Haunted Hills Bike Park Update: December 2019

Get Wheelie Excited! HHBP Planning Permit Approved!

By Nicholas King
Haunted Hills Bike Park Superintendent

Since our last update, the Haunted Hills Bike Park Steering Committee with our contractor Trailscapes Pty Ltd, have been working together to gain all planning approvals. In short, we now have approval from Latrobe City Council to construct the 39ha bike park. There are some final planning and engineering works that local firm Beveridge Williams are completing, and a registered builder will be appointed shortly to complete all infrastructure to compliment the bike park. This task has been quite the journey from our original vision in 2012 to create “…a clear pathway towards developing Haunted Hills Bike Park into a significant ‘gateway’ trail network… …attracting strong interest from both local and visiting riders… …providing opportunities for genuine regional economic benefit.” As a result of this work, we can expect construction to commence very soon, as all statutory planning approval conditions are met.

It has been exciting to watch the development of this innovative project from concept designs through to actual plans, all of which would not have been possible without the support of the Australian Government Regional Jobs and Investment Packages funding.

It is an absolute pleasure to finally share theses plans with the community and to see feasibilities commence for the opportunities of a Central Gippsland Hub and Baw Baw to Latrobe Valley Epic Trail.

Image 1: Birsdeye Studios designed this amazing concept of the old Latrobe City depot site at Haunted Hills.

Image 2: Developing concept design through to creating an Australian Standard for Bike Park innovation

Image 3: Utilising topographic and GIS mapping, together with community input, we have settled on this network.

But wait! There’s more…

Here’s the wheelie cool bit! We’re expanding! Gippsland MTB, partnering with Latrobe City Council and our neighbour Energy Australia Yallourn Mine, we have secured a lease to increase the size of the HHBP which will add to fun factor! This will form Stage 2 of the entire trail network. We acknowledge the support of Mine Manager Ron Mether and the role that he played assisting this project to become reality. We also thank Lance Wallace who has stepped into Ron’s role and has carried on this work to create sustainable trails that our community can enjoy into the future.

More recently, we have been consulting with John Calabro and his design team at ‘The View From Here’ to help us appropriately design and brand the HHBP, with consideration to expanding the designs to a possible future Central Gippsland Hub to bring uniformity to the bike parks. We are working closely with Destination Gippsland to align with their recently released Destination Management Plan for the visitor economy and Inspired Adventure activities. We are on track to design ‘Hero’ products and experiences, combined with ‘Signature Trails’ in Gippsland. This will increase the market offering to support the expanding tourism activities here in Gippsland.

Image 4: Some initial branding ideas and concepts that The View From Here team are starting to work with.

As all of this work rolls along, it’s important to look back at how far we have come! The direction looks bright, shiny and positive in all directions from here as we move to progress the opportunity to further develop the Central Gippsland Hub which comprises Haunted Hills Bike Park as the centerpiece and potentially Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort, Erica Bike Park, Maryvale Pines Bike Park, Somewhere Good (Glengarry), Blores Hill Bike Park and the Avon/Mt Hedrick area. We are also excited to see progress of the Baw Baw to Latrobe Valley Epic Trail opportunity.

Image 5: All paths lead to paradise! Our planning permit has been approved by Latrobe City Council.

Enjoy the upcoming holidays with family and friends, and we’ll be sure to see you out on Gippsland’s awesome trails soon! Make sure you pop a big wheelie for me!