Flinders Chase National Park, located on bushfire-ravaged western-end of Kangaroo Island, will be open soon for guided tours once the area has been declared safe.
In early February tourism operators and stakeholders were given the chance to see inside the park on specially escorted tours provided by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW).
The visit opened the conversation about future escorted site tours with commercial tourism operators to the park’s iconic sites of Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and Cape du Couedic Lighthouse.
The western end of the island, which is where Flinders Chase National Park is located, was severely impacted with 96 per cent of the park and the adjoining Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area being burnt.
DEW Director of Tourism and Economic Development Jo Podoliak said the department is working closely with the local community to boost tourism opportunities.
“There is still so much wildlife to see and experiences to do in Kangaroo Island’s unaffected parks, including enjoying one of the island’s top tourist destinations Seal Bay Conservation Park and staying overnight at the Cape Willoughby heritage cottages,” Ms Podoliak said.
“Although the iconic Flinders Chase National Park was severely affected by the bushfires, the park’s Cape du Couedic Lighthouse and Lighthouse Keepers Cottages were saved and Admirals Arch, home to a colony of long-nosed fur seals was also unaffected.
“Remarkable Rocks have not been damaged, but the nearby boardwalk and visitor facilities have been destroyed.
“Though it will be some time before Flinders Chase National Park is open to full public access, the department is working hard to allow managed access - with guides - via a ‘safe corridor’ as soon as it is safe.
“The safe corridor will start at the entrance gate of the park and run about 25km to Admirals Arch.
“We are also working with commercial tourism operators and regional tourism leaders to find new and creative tourism offerings in Kangaroo Island's parks.
“This includes opportunities at the six stunning eastern end parks on Kangaroo Island that were unaffected by the bushfires.”
In 2018-19 Kangaroo Island parks contributed more than $53 million to South Australia’s economy and supported 360 jobs. The park attracts over 120,000 visitors each year.
For more information visit www.parks.sa.gov.au/bushfire-recovery