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
The component of the Art Trail that is now complete include 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.
In addition, the pieces at Milparinka are also now complete, produced by Bonny Quayle and Gritta Walker. These pieces tell the stories of Milparinka, a testament to the Women of Milparinka in the 19th century, reflecting the letters that were written to families and loved ones acknowledging hardships and joy. In addition, a beautiful artwork that can be found in the museum was commissioned by artist Clarke Barrett, depicting Captain Charles Sturt.
The Tibooburra sculpture is now complete and stands outside the new Tibooburra museum. The cameleer and his camel are a testament to Tibooburra's beginnings, as without camels, settlement in the far reaches of Outback Australia would have been impossible.
The remaining pieces to the Art Trail 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
Tibooburra Museum Wall - On the side of the museum will be an artwork that will showcase the elements of the history and today in Tibooburra. Clark Barrett is the artist. Status; Work will commence in August 2022.
Milparinka - The final artwork for the trail is another wire sculpture at the intersection of Milparinka Township and Sturts Steps Touring Route. It is of Sturt and his horse, a moment a time as he traverses the landscape towards Depot Glen. Status; Work has commenced off-site.
Thanks to West Darling Arts for their assistance in this area of the project.
* 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
Contact West Darling Arts
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 now complete and images of construction and installation can be seen below. These museums will now undergo the fitting out of the content over the course of the next 4 months.