One of the region’s hidden gems is set to become more accessible with a grant from the NSW Government’s Crown Reserves Improvement Fund (CRIF).
Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has today announced funding for a not-for-profit Crown Land trust to upgrade the eroded gravel driveway down to a camping site on the shores of Lake Windamere.
“Outdoor education is not just fun for our kids, it’s a great way for them to get active, and connect with and learn about the natural world around them,” Mr Saunders said.
“The Lake Windamere Under Canvas Camping ground is absolutely stunning, but the gravel access road has been severely damaged by years of wet weather and is currently only accessible by 4WD.
“This funding will allow them to upgrade the road to bitumen, reopen the site and welcome back users like childcare and school groups with open arms!”
Lake Windamere Under Canvas Camping is a community-owned safe and functional campsite for outdoor environmental education and family recreation. It is wholly run by a small board and volunteers.
Crown Land manager Mike Rowland said the committee members and volunteers have maintained the road themselves for years, but it finally became too much.
“It’s heart-breaking to have to tell people ‘You can’t come out, it’s just not safe’,” Mr Rowlands said.
“We were really draining the small amount of savings we had to continue maintaining the road, and in some cases the money was coming out of our own pockets.
“We’re so grateful that we’ve been successful in this grant. Having a road that’s accessible to all vehicles, including buses, it’s going to open so many opportunities for those groups and the kids that are missing out on outdoor education and activities.”
Crown land covers about 34 million hectares or 42 per cent of NSW with more than 34,000 reserves across the state including parks, ovals, showgrounds, racecourses and community halls.
The Lake Windamere grant is part of $16.48 million being offered to support 264 projects across the state.