The Snowy Monaro Regional Council (SMRC) is looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the region after a challenging start to the year due to bushfires, COVID-19 and ongoing drought.
The NSW alpine region is set to open from Monday 22 June with SMRC Mayor Peter Beer confirming a 22 June opening for Thredbo and Perisher, and Charlotte Pass on 26 June.
“Visitors need to understand that everyone has to play a role in their own safety and hygiene,” Mr Beer said. “We have measures in place across the region, but it will not be a normal season in any way and resorts are releasing information about passes and operations for the season ahead. National Parks & Wildlife will advise on park access.”
Mr Beer noted that for the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend (6-8 June), “this will not be anything like the traditional opening of the winter season”.
“Access to Kosciuszko National Park will be closed for any recreational purposes from Bullocks Flat through to Dead Horse Gap, plus closed from the Kosciuszko Road entrance. There will be no access to the resorts.
“We recommend that visitors wait until the resorts open later in June before planning their trip south or look into the other options on offer such as fishing and walking outside of the park, and exploring our wider Snowy Monaro region.”
In addition to the upcoming snow season, Mr Beer welcomed the resumption of regional travel from 1 June to help bring “some relief to our local businesses who have been struggling with drought, bushfires and COVID-19”.
“Our small businesses have been doing it tough through the lack of tourists given visitors were unable to travel to our region. It’s important we give our tourism industry every opportunity to recover as it’s our main economic driver in the Snowy Monaro, followed by agriculture,” he said.
In addition to the snow, Mr Beer said the region boasts many offerings, including the last part of the official fishing season.
Helping boost tourism and jobs in the region is the NSW Government’s contribution of $3.3 million from the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund to revitalise the educational centre at popular tourist attraction, Gaden Trout Hatchery.
The project will deliver the infrastructure required for a modern nature-based tourism hub, such as a new educational facility with an office, meals room, toilets, carpark and integration of the Thredbo Valley Track into the hatchery picnic area.
Meantime, Mr Beer also acknowledged bushfire recovery is still very much a priority in the Snowy Monaro.
“The process is ongoing throughout the region and we know there are still many people grappling from the devastating fires. Our Recovery Team is working with bushfire affected residents.”
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