A GRAMPIANS National Park inclusion initiative has received national recognition.
The park’s all abilities walking track and TrailRider program were among the projects that helped Parks Victoria win a Qantas Australian Tourism Award in the specialised tourism category.
Parks Victoria was recognised for providing nature-based tourism for people of all ages and abilities through the Grampians project, and others in Arthurs Seat State Park, Brimbank Park, Serendip Sanctuary and Wilsons Promontory National Park.
Parks Victoria became a finalist after winning an award at the Victorian Tourism Awards in November last year.
TrailRiders are motorised wheelchairs that are free for people to borrow in the Grampians.
The chairs are able to navigate steep gradients on long walks and trails, and carers and volunteers known as sherpas help people to use them.
The first TrailRider in the Grampians launched in late 2011.
Parks chief executive Matthew Jackson said the organisation was thrilled this work had been recognised at such a high level.
“Parks Victoria is the state’s largest nature-based tourism provider and we want our parks to be a destination of choice for visitors with disabilities,” he said.
“It is really important that visitors with disabilities can access the same experiences in nature that many of us often take for granted. That’s why we’ve been working hard to make our parks more accessible and inclusive.”
Mr Jackson said the group was working on a new disability action plan to build on its inclusion and accessibility initiatives.