Trails set to boost tourism

David CharlesworthHarvey-Waroona Reporter

HARVEY residents looking to honour WA’s only World War I regiment have been encouraged by the announcement of the Strategic Trails Blueprint.

Harvey residents and members of the Bunbury 10th Light Horse Troop have been working to establish a horse riding trail as a heritage trail dedicated to the West Australian 10th Light Horse Regiment.

Troop member Harry Ball said the trail was established 30 years ago, but had fallen into disrepair with no remaining signs along its route.

“We always knew it was there and we’d always ridden it, so we thought we’d do something about it,” he said.

Mr Ball said local volunteers and the troop were hoping to bring the trail back and install information signs about the 10th Light Horse.

“Not just on the war story, but all that followed,” he said.

Mr Ball said while there were many historic and heritage trails throughout WA, there was none dedicated to the 10th Light Horse.

This effort coincides with the announcement of the WA Strategic Trails Blueprint 2017-2021 by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray at the Trails Industry Forum on May 19.

The blueprint provides a roadmap for the creation of walking, mountain biking, horse riding and canoeing trails throughout WA and economic development through coordinated trail networks.

“WA has some of the world’s most stunning natural landscapes and we need to open those up for Western Australians and tourists,” Mr Murray said.

Harvey shire president Tania Jackson said developing trails created active tourism opportunities, could provide links between towns, and access natural areas in an environmentally sustainable way.

“We can grow the tourism market around Munda Biddi, Bibbulmun Trails and others throughout the region,” she said.

“I look forward to Harvey being part of that.”

Mr Ball said the group hoped to establish something similar to the John Boyle O’Reilly Heritage Trail in Australind.

The story of the Irish escapee was an interesting draw for visitors and the story of the regiment could also be an attraction, Mr Ball said.

“It’s a great horse story and it’s a great human story,” he said.

Harvey Visitors Centre manager Helen Denton said she was excited by the Trail Blueprint announcement.

“I think its wonderful idea looking at that market,” she said.

Ms Denton said the bridle trail could form a unique attraction for the region to draw tourists.

“We’re really excited about that because it’s a point of difference for Harvey,” she said.

“Little towns like Harvey often get left out of the picture.”

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