Geo Tourism draws visitors to the Murchison

Article image - Geo Tourism draws visitors to the Murchison London Bridge, Sandstone, WA.

Shire of Mount Magnet, Western Australia, will play host on 18 September when seven local governments join forces to officially launch the Murchison Geo Tourism project.

The project is a collaboration between the Murchison local governments and the Mid West Development Commission, with the assistance of Professor Ross Dowling from Edith Cowan University.

Geotourism is an emerging global economic development opportunity which fosters tourism based on the geology and landscapes that shape the character of a region.

By drawing connections between geology and landscapes, ecology, astronomical observations and their relevance to local Aboriginal culture, geotourism adds a completely new dimension to the regional tourism experience.

Murchison Shire Chief Executive Officer, Kelvin Matthews said, “While the Murchison District abounds with these features and characteristics and is therefore ideally placed to embark on the Geo Region experience that would embed tourism as an integral economic component of the region, other local governments should seriously consider the opportunities that geotourism for their
regions can offer.”

The Murchison Geo Region hopes to become Western Australia’s first UNESCO recognised Global Geo Park, a tag expected to draw national and international interest.

“Ultimately, growing our tourism industry improves amenity for everyone and makes our region an even more desirable place to live, work and invest.

“Geotourism capitalizes on the existing natural features in a regional context that would add significant new value to these existing experiences.”

The Murchison Geo Region project has completed stage one including the Plan blueprint.

“The project also included finalizing the identification and description of Geo Region sites, a Branding Style Guide, a Geo Region Trail Guidebook and most importantly a dedicated app for site identification and location description.”

Information accessible via the app includes interpretation of how geology informed the natural environment (flora and fauna) and its use by traditional Aboriginal owners and non-Aboriginal settlers, providing visitors with an appreciation of the geodiversity that underpins the landscapes and biodiversity.

The shires involved in the project are Wiluna, Meekatharra, Mount Magnet, Cue, Yalgoo, Sandstone and Murchison.