The NSW Government has announced a $9.6 million upgrade to facilities at the popular Wombeyan Caves tourist attraction and in Mares Forest National Park.
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman made the announcement on Friday, 21 August.
The cave upgrade will include new cabin accommodation, interpretative signage, amenities, a cafe and bookable function area.
The funding from the NSW Environment and Tourism Fund will also improve pathways and roads in the national park, which was heavily impacted by the Green Wattle Creek bushfire in December 2019 and January 2020.
Mr Barilaro said the funding should boost visitor numbers to Wombeyan Caves.
“For many, Wombeyan Caves brings to mind fond memories of childhood holidays, but this well-loved tourism attraction is due for a modern facelift that will mean families continue to visit and make memories for many years to come,” he said.
“Local businesses are excited about the prospect of a transformation for this popular attraction with all the infrastructure required to accommodate greater numbers of tourists in the region.
“This makeover will also open up a number of opportunities for corporate tours and group bookings through nature-based tourism activities and events such as concerts within the caves.”
Ms Tuckerman said the upgrades will provide an improved visitor experience from the moment a tourist enters the park to the second they rest their head on a pillow. Importantly, this will all be while preserving the unique environmental features of the site.
“These upgrades will allow more people to safely and sustainably enjoy what nature has to offer while also encouraging more overnight stays and return visits, which supports local jobs and businesses that rely on tourism,” she said.
“As well as opening up new opportunities, the precinct will become a nature-based rest-stop for travellers on the drive through the Upper Lachlan Shire and will help showcase the fantastic management practices of our NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.”