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The concept of the Waterfall Way began in 2002 with the idea of establishing a single walking track following a spectacular journey from Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, east of Walcha, to finish on Muttonbird Island at Coffs Harbour. This idea grew in to a broader sustainable tourism project, involving eco- and nature-based tourism experiences extending from the New England to Coffs Coast.

By 2003 the New England Ecotourism Society (NEES) along with a team at the Centre for Ecological Economics and Water Policy Research at the University of New England had studied the region and met extensively with local stakeholders and community members. Through these discussions, they developed the original walking track concept into a broader shared concept that includes the region’s varied and exciting nature-based experiences as well as its challenging walking tracks. For more information on this stage of the research, download the Concept Plan and / or the Feasibility Study PDF files developed by the UNE research team.

In April 2006 NEES gained funding through AusIndustry’s Australian Tourism Development Program taking a step forward on building a

sustainable tourism strategy across the region, through identifiing opportunities and supporting the development of a regional network of experiences for visitors, that incorporates indigenous, nature-based and ecotourism products.

This development was underpinned by the collaborative creation of a shared regional brand identity and marketing strategies to promote the region.The Waterfall Way network brings a coordinated approach to tourism activity in the area offering support and creating new opportunities for business.

The Waterfall Way tourism initiative makes a significant contribution to the sustainable development of the region as it engages with communities, builds partnerships and contributes tools to foster the sustainable management of natural, cultural and social assets.

If you want to know more information on the development of this project, please contact:

Glen Chapman, President, New England Ecotourism Society
Mick O’Loughlin, Researcher (Sustainable Community Development), University of New England
Manuela Taboada, Researcher (Collaborative Branding), University of New England

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