Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Project- planning

The Project

The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is a proposed multi-day 57 kilometre walk through the spectacular Alpine region from Falls Creek to Mt Hotham. It aims to immerse visitors amongst the incredible mountainous scenery, gnarled snow gums and fields of alpine daisies, heritage huts and walking to the summits of some of Victoria’s most spectacular peaks.
The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing is identified as one of the four walks in the “Walk Victoria’s Icons” portfolio, which also covers the Great Ocean Walk, the Grampians Peaks Trail and the Coastal Wilderness Walk.  

Project benefits

The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing will add to the tourism offer in Victoria’s High Country and be a key drawcard for domestic and international visitors. It will bring tangible economic benefits to the alpine resorts and towns as well as other local businesses and tour operators and engage a new generation of advocates who appreciate and value the unique alpine environment.

Next phase of project

Parks Victoria and Regional Development Victoria are focusing on various planning mechanisms including - 
 Further research such as flora and fauna values, cultural landscape values, visitor use and modelling, economic analysis, market sounding, and further design of facilities,
 Seeking input from the nature-based tourism sector on product activation and operating models,
 Address all necessary regulatory and statutory approvals required,
 Establish a clear ROI or NPV based on preferred designs, operating model, and predicted capital investment. 
This phase of the project is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Engagement and project management

This next phase of project delivery will be undertaken by Parks Victoria and Regional Development Victoria in close consultation with strategic partners:

 Project planning and design will be developed with support of strategic advice from partners such as the Alpine Shire Council, Falls Creek resort, Mount Hotham resort, Tourism North East, DELWP, Visit Victoria, Bushwalking Victoria and Victorian National Parks Association who will comprise the Strategic Partnership Committee
 The Parks Victoria Managing Country Together Framework will be used to engage and work with Traditional Owners while developing this product,
 The community can register to receive further updates on this project by sending an email to FHAC@parks.vic.gov.au 

Frequently asked questions

What is the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing?

The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing will be Australia’s world-class alpine walking experience that captures the essence of the Australian Alps – the solitude, the seasons, the breathtaking beauty and the stories of the High Country.
The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Master Plan outlines the proposed 57 kilometre, multi day route which will take in the Diamantina Spur and Razorback with an optional ascent of Mount Feathertop, Victoria’s second highest peak. The Alpine Crossing links the Falls Creek and Mt Hotham Alpine Resorts. 
(The existing walk between Falls Creek and Mount Hotham follows a 37 kilometre, three-day and two-night route as part of the 655 km long Australian Alps Walking Track).

What is this next phase for the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing project?
The next stage is to undertake detailed assessments including environmental risk assessments, cultural landscapes values, statutory planning assessments, detailed designs, economic analysis, operational models, Traditional Owners engagement and other necessary elements that will inform the business case development. 

What overnight stay options will there be on the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing?
The Masterplan outlines the two overnight elements of the guided walk experience 
1. Camping on designated tent platforms 
2. Sleeping overnight in a purpose-built hut. 
3. Independent hikers can continue to self-select places to camp along the route.  

What about protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage values?
Traditional Owner groups have been involved in the development of the master plan and will be engaged throughout the next stages.  The planning will also seek to further understand the cultural landscape, and which values need protection, and which may potentially be expressed to people undertaking the walk.

Can I still walk the route separate to these planned new facilities?
Yes, independent hikers will continue to be able to walk the route and self-select where to camp.

What benefits could the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing bring to region?
The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing will add to the tourism offer in the Victoria’s High Country and be a key drawcard for domestic and international visitors. It will bring tangible economic benefits to the alpine resorts and towns as well as other local businesses and tour operators and engage a new generation of advocates who appreciate and value the unique alpine environment.

How was the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Master Plan developed?
The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Master Plan development was led by Parks Victoria in partnership with Tourism North East, Regional Development Victoria, Visit Victoria and the (then) Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. 


There have been three previous rounds of engagement for the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing:
1. A preliminary concept was released in early 2016 which outlined the preferred route and conceptual approach for the walk. Feedback from this stakeholder and community engagement informed the development of a draft Master Plan. 
2. The draft Master Plan was made available for public comment between 28 November 2016 and 27 January 2017. 
3. A follow up stakeholder and community engagement session was held in both Bright and Melbourne in May 2018 following the Ministerial release of the finalised Master Plan.

Plans

Falls-Hotham-Alpine-Crossing-Master-Plan

Falls-Hotham-Alpine-Crossing-Master-Plan-Summary

 

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