In November 2021, the NSW Government announced the establishment of the Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area, along with an unprecedented $50 million investment to create a 'must see' destination at the new park, which is expected to attract up to 200,000 new visitors to the region per year and generate more than $30 million in economic output in the Lithgow region.
The draft master plan balances conserving the park’s natural and cultural values with existing and future visitation demand by creating sustainable eco-adventure tourism experiences that connect people with nature.
The master plan outlines the park’s significant natural and cultural values and identifies key management strategies and planning principles, to guide the delivery of the proposed improvements.
The draft master plan proposes a range of high-quality, immersive, nature-based visitor experiences including:
- the ‘Lost City Adventure Experience’, which will be a key attraction of the park offering one of the longest zip-lines in Australia and exhilarating via ferrata (supported rock climbing) experiences.
- the ‘Wollemi Great Walk’ with eco-style accommodation and facilities, linking Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area to Wollemi National Park.
- an extensive network of purpose-built mountain bike tracks, catering for a range of abilities with connections to Lithgow township.
- all weather four-wheel drive designated touring routes
- family-friendly designated camping areas.
The draft master plan proposes a range of visitor experience improvements and the following visitor precincts:
- State Mine Gully and Lost City Precinct
- Carne Creek and former Plantation Precinct
- Birds Rock Precinct
- Long Swamp Precinct.
Other proposed improvements include new and upgraded camping areas, lookouts, bush walking tracks, viewing platforms, parking, wayfinding signs, interpretation and a range of supporting visitor amenities, which are sensitive to the natural environment.
Visitor infrastructure will be subject to rigorous environmental and cultural heritage assessment, prior to commencing.
While not all improvements proposed in the draft plan may be delivered immediately, the master plan provides long-term visitor experience planning for the park, to better manage existing and future visitor demand and the enhance conservation outcomes for the park.
The priority for delivery is the Lost City Adventure Experience and Wollemi Great Walk with associated visitor facilities.
We will continue to update the community on what is being developed as the project progresses through the detailed design stage. Register your interest to receive updates online at our Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area webpage.