New tourism signs around Killarney
‘PHOTO opportunity 300 metres ahead’ a sign promises, yet 300 metres later a muddy pull-off zone and a bit of green foliage is hardly a prime backdrop to a holiday snaps album.
Killarney residents have been scratching their heads at the new signs which have popped up at odd locations along Spring Creek Road, part of a Main Roads $750,000 project funded through the Federal Government Black Spot Program.
Cambanoora Co Tours and Events guide and fifth-generation Killarneyite Louise Brosnan questioned the positioning of the photo opportunities for holiday-makers.
“A Brisbane tourist of mine at the weekend asked about the signs and said ‘exactly where are we supposed to be taking photos at these spots – are we missing something?’,” Ms Brosnan laughed.
“There’s so many beautiful spots they could have put the signs so some of them are a bit questionable.”
She did concede there were two or three pull-off areas which were fairly well-positioned, including one just past Dagg’s Falls.
“There is one which has quite a good view but it’s smack bang on the corner, so putting it on a blind spot to have people pull over with doors opening and getting out to take a photo is very dangerous,” Ms Brosnan said.
“I first noticed the signs on the weekend and there was a huge amount of traffic on the long weekend so it wasn’t safe.”
Ms Brosnan said she believed Main Roads had the right intention by putting the signs in areas where the roads could easily be widened, but would “like to see the science behind” the final decisions.
Another Killarney resident, who did not want to be named, said they had received a letter in the mail from Main Roads advising them of the upgrades but that a “bit more community consultation wouldn’t have gone astray”.
“They said they’d be doing upgrades and putting in pull-off areas but that’s as far as it went in regards to discussions with locals,” the resident said.
“We do have to promote the area and the info board (at the start of Spring Creek Road coming from Killarney) is great.
“We need infrastructure, we need improvements and it’s not that it’s bad, but if they had a little community feedback from the start it would have been a lot better.”
Another concern the resident had was tourists stopping at some of the photo pull-off areas near private farm gates.
"People might decide to go through open gates up people’s driveways in search of these photo opportunities which is a worry – we’ll have to lock our gates,” the resident said.
Meanwhile, Spring Creek Mountain Cafe and Cottages owner Bev Ruskey isn’t fazed by the signs as she believes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
“They’re in good spots for people to pull over but there does seem to be a lot of signs; I’ll say that as a local,” Mrs Ruskey said.
“People might wander into the bush and find something to photograph – there’s a lot of nice spots up here.
“Personally I’m glad they’re starting to address the tourism issue up here – I’ve been lobbying long and hard to get something done about this road.”
Queen Mary Falls Caravan Park owners Dianne and Paul Octrin said they have had many locals commenting on some of the photo sign locations.
“They have all said there’s nothing there with some of the signs and they could have picked a better spot,” Mrs Octrin said.
“But it’s all picturesque up here... it’s all beautiful,” Mr Octrin added.
The couple was grateful about one road improvement implemented recently – that is, the 60kmh zone enforced for the whole of Spring Creek Road.
“We get a lot of people in a weekend with parents putting bird seed in kids’ hands and the birds and the children can get frightened when a car zooms through,” Mrs Octrin said.
“It’s great it’s now 60 all the way through, especially as we have so many people wandering back and forth across the road from The Falls,” Mr Octrin added.
A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said the locations chosen for the signs were “sites already used by tourists where vehicles could safely stop and pull over”.
“The department welcomes suggestions for new sites provided they meet safety and environmental provisions.”
What do you think? Email firstname.lastname@example.org