Work has started at a popular campground within Lincoln National Park as part of a $1.5 million investment to improve existing visitor facilities in Eyre Peninsula parks.
Environment and Water Minister David Speirs announced works have began at Fisherman's Point Campground, which are part of a broader $1.5 million upgrade package across Lincoln and Coffin Bay national parks as part of the state government's 'Parks 2025' plan.
Upgrades at the campground will include formalising and delineating individual campsites, new signage, replacing toilet blocks, improving vehicle access loop tracks and improving pedestrian beach access.
Designated sites are also a part of the upgrades which will allow visitors to book a particular camping spot. Works are expected to be completed by autumn this year.
Mr Speirs said the government was investing $130 million into national parks to boost conservation, improve visitor experiences and increase numbers.
"Our national parks are more popular than ever with visitor numbers at record levels which continues to provide a significant economic boost to our regions and support local jobs," he said.
"These upgrades to national parks on the Eyre Peninsula will encourage more people to visit one of the state's most stunning locations."
Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said upgrades to campgrounds in Lincoln and Coffin Bay national parks would provide an improved visitor experience for those staying in the region.
"The Eyre Peninsula is home to some of the state's most beautiful parks with its beautiful coastline and beaches and these upgrades will further enhance its reputation as a must-visit destination," he said.
"This will help build the profile of the Eyre Peninsula region and contributing to the region's goal of diversifying the experiences on offer for visitors."
Parks 2025 involves a collection of state government investment initiatives which aim to build capacity of parks while conserving the natural environment for the benefit of the state economy.
As part of the plan $2 million have been pledged to Eyre Peninsula parks, with the remaining $500,000 to go towards the Eyes on Eyre project, a joint initiative between Regional Development Australia Eyre Peninsula, Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board and Department for Environment and Water, in conjunction with local councils.
Latest developments with Eyes on Eyre has seen upgraded campsites at Sheringa Beach and Walker's Rock, near Elliston, now available for online bookings with more campgrounds to be added in the future.
RDAEP tourism development manager Annabelle Hender said it was encouraging to see the state government supporting local national parks and nature tourism locations, which "form a fundamental part of what makes the Eyre Peninsula special."
"It's fantastic that we are able to protect these assets so that they can be enjoyed by locals and visitors into the future," she said.
Ms Hender said with COVID and lockdowns many people had been suffering from "nature deficiency disorder" and were keen to get out to Eyre Peninsula's natural surroundings, and the online booking system in place would help manage numbers visiting the sites.
Elliston District Council mayor Malcolm Hancock said the pilot system in place was the next step for the two campgrounds in the district following upgrades in recent years.
"We've made significant improvements to both sites at Walker's Rock and Sheringa Beach, and as a council we are committed to continuing this work," he said.
"The Elliston district has some incredibly beautiful destinations, but we need to ensure visitors can enjoy these places in a sustainable way."