The many elements associated with this project have their own project timelines and stage of delivery. Here is the extensive update on the project below;
The town in the centre of Sturts Steps Touring journey is undergoing much change in this project and elements include;
Post Office renovation
A New Museum
A New Night Sky Park
Additions to the existing caravan park including a Camp Kitchen and Shelter
Extra Accommodation for visitors
The Milparinka Sculpture
Also a significant town within the journey, Tibooburra also has many additions being added to the visitor experience. These include;
A new Museum
Town Walking Tour Interpretation Signs
Additions to the existing camp kitchen at the Local Aboriginal Land Council camping ground
The Tibooburra Sculpture
Other Elements include;
Wayfinding and Interpretation Signage
Digital integration with extra engagement for visitors
Contact West Darling Arts
The component of the Art Trail that is now complete is the 3 sculptures in Sturt National Park that take the form of a Bandicoot (Artist: Brian Campbell), a Bilby and a Quoll (Artist: Ivan Lovett)*. Each adding an element of representation to the Wild Deserts project and the icons that Sturt National Park will once again be recognised for.
Thank you to the Managers of the Wild Deserts Project for their assistance and coordination of the installation of these magnificent icons to the area.
The remaining pieces include;
Packsaddle - The addition of a sculptural monolith in testament to the past and current. Stone pieces will be engraved by artist Ian Marr of the Outback locations in the region, visited by many including Captain Charles Sturt and the names of Sturt's party on the Inland Sea Expedition. Status; Under Construction off-site
Milparinka - a testament to the Women of Milparinka in the 19th century, this sculpture reflects the letters that were written to families and loved ones acknowledging hardships and joy. The artist is Gritta Walker. Status; Under Construction onsite
Tibooburra - recognising the importance of the Cameleers to Tibooburra, this sculpture located outside the Tibooburra Aboriginal Land Council Museum will pay homage to the animal and his carer. Artists is Ivan Lovatt. Status; Design under approval
Thanks to West Darling Arts for their project management of these sculptures.
* Sturt National Park Sculptures were all made from the left-over wire fencing from when the Wild Desert conservation area was fenced.
Sculpture images can be seen below.
The sculptures in progress
What makes Sturts Steps an engaging touring journey is not only the towns you visit but the comprehensive signage strategy that stops visitors and helps them to understand the importance of the landscape and activities that occurred on that place before them.
The signage comes in 3 forms;
128 Road Signs pointing to key attractions and the route
9 Interpretation Shelters located on roadsides with comprehensive information for visitors
32 Interpretations Posts located in significant locations that interpret one particular story or icon.
The successful tenderer for the Interpretation shelters and interpretation posts has been confirmed as AW Signs. Artwork is at the approval stage for all bar the current 3 Interpretation Posts already installed in Sturt National Park and supplied by Country Mile Signs.
Sturt's Steps new addition
There are 2 letters next to Sturt's Steps - TM. Sturt's Steps is now a touring experience that is trademarked.
This approval confirms the importance of history when connecting with visitors across the region, and emphasising the importance of Charles Sturt's legacy in Outback Australia. Sturt's Steps can then tell more stories, offer more experiences, and welcoming more visitors to the region long into the future.
There is a new camp kitchen being added to Milparinka and an extension being built alongside the existing Tibooburra campground facilities. Concept drawings are going through the approval stage prior to procuring and can be seen below. These facilities will provide excellent amenities for visitors to the region, with 58% of all visitors to the region caravanning or camping.
The addition of interpretative signage is an important aspect of this project as we help visitors to understand the history of this place, our traditional carers of the land and their stories, European settlement, the geology, flora, fauna, and how the region operates today. Two new museums will be added to the region that will be engaging and informative for all visitors.
OSM was successful in the tender process for the Milparinka Museum and Taylor Made was successful in being the supplier for the Tibooburra Museum. The construction of these buildings is being done off-site and they will be transported to location almost complete. See images of the construction below.
As part of the Sturt's Steps Project the Waterhole at Milparinka received a make-over removing considerable silt build up and rubbish that had to be dumped over the years. This is truly started to form an oasis in the desert and a great place for visitors to relax. Located just below the Milparinka Caravan Park, it provides an excellnt outlook as well.
Two itineraries were confirmed in March 2021 to take key industry stakeholders on the journey and gain their feedback on our additions and allow shaping of the elements to better suit industry needs. Unfortunately only one of those tours has been able to go ahead as we have been challenged with obstacles such as the March floods, peak season restricting availability, and now COVID lockdowns in Sydney and NSW. See past activities below for the images from the famil that did go ahead.
Conversations with these stakeholders continue regardless to ensure that we plan for organised tours, inbound interest once borders open, and an inclusive approach to the promotion of this touring route amongst other amazing touring journeys. Thanks to Destination NSW for their inclusion on www.visitnsw.com.
Outback Etiquette Tools available for Industry Use
To assist in educating our visitors on some of the nuances to Outback travel, access and amenity, the Sturts Steps Committee have provided these tools for any business, region, council, town to use to communicate to existing and potential visitors.
Download your version that suits your requirements, add your logo and display away!
Industry Famil March 2021
One of the planned research familiarisation tours was able to take place in March 2021. Thanks to Destination NSW, Insights Australia, GoWay Travel, and Broken Hill City Council for attending and to the amazing partners in Corner Country who hosted them; Milparinka Heritage & Tourism Association, Pimpara Lake Station, Mt Gipps Station, Pincally Station, Milparinka Hotel, Tibooburra Family Hotel, TJ's Roadhouse and Motel, Tibooburra Beds & Camping, Corner Country Store, Tibooburra Local Aboriginal Land Council, Tibooburra Village Committee, Wild Deserts Project, Cameron Corner Store and Packsaddle Roadhouse.
Community Forum 11th November 2020
Lori Modde and Ruth Sandow were in Tibooburra for a community forum on the 11th November 2020. This was a great opportunity to update the community on what has been achieved to date and what is next on the agenda for the project. This was also a time where the community could ask questions and give input on the museum contents as well as the sculpture that will be added to the town.
This meeting coincided with a project site visit that entailed many meetings in Broken Hill with current and future stakeholders as well as a site visit to Sturt National park to confirm the location of the elements in the Park. A few photos from the trip can be seen below.