MOUNT Archer's untapped potential is about to be unleashed with Stage One of the Mount Archer Activation Plan receiving close to $1 million combined funding.
A $450,000 funding boost announced in this week's State Budget will allow Rockhampton Regional Council to deliver a 'wow factor' summit walking circuit to rival some of the best in the state.
The move is part of a stage-by-stage roll out of an impressive plan for the peak which involves potential projects such as a tree-top zip line, an eco centre, abseiling, climbing and much more.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) is working with Rockhampton Regional Council to connect tracks at the summit of Mt Archer.
National Parks Minister Dr Steven Miles said the new $450,000 funding boost meant by late 2018, walkers would be able to do a circuit of nearly two kilometres.
"They'll be walking below the summit between existing lookouts, passing through stringy bark forest with grasstrees and cycads, and pockets of rainforest and vine thicket,” Dr Miles said.
Rockhampton region mayor Margaret Strelow said plans were already finalised for the circuit and about $400,000 for the project was expected to be included in the Rockhampton Regional Council Budget 2017-18 to be handed down in the next two weeks.
Cr Strelow said the circuit would include an elevated section of walkway that swings out over the edge of Mt Archer and allows extraordinary views.
"I think there are bush walkers and cyclists who will come specifically because of the enhanced facilities,” Cr Strelow said.
"The things that we're building at Fraser Park will encourage people to extend their stay in the region and every extra day is important.”
Cr Neil Fisher said of all of the projects in the Rockhampton region, the plans for Mt Archer was the one that really captures the public's imagination and passion.
"What has also been successful about the whole Mt Archer Activation Plan is that it's captured the interest of all levels of government. This is going to have a fairly important role because it is going to contribute to the linking of the national park and Fraser Park walkways,” he said.
"We are going to have an all abilities usage of our walkways at the top of the mountain and I think that's something very, very few other tourism recreation areas actually have.
"It's to give the best possible views and through that we can actually tell the story of the Durumbal people and our cultural past.”
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said it was great to see QPWS and RRC working together to introduce locals and visitors to the maginificent bushland on Rocky's doorstep.
"Walkers will enjoy spectacular views over the city and ranges and out to the ocean, with a variety of birdlife, including glossy black-cockatoos feeding in the she-oaks,” she said.
"QPWS is working with Council on the project and the work to realign and extend the walking tracks will be done in the 2017-18 financial year.”
Dr Miles said the Sleipner Lookout Walk and Zamia Walk in Mount Archer National Park would be upgraded in coming years.