GOING TROPICAL: The wet, tropical rainforest environment of Kondalilla Falls, Montville.
GOING TROPICAL: The wet, tropical rainforest environment of Kondalilla Falls, Montville. Sunshine Coast Destinations Ltd

MAP: One step closer Coast hinterland zipline attraction

THEY'RE not quite walking a tightrope, but Zipline Australia has cleared another hurdle, on its quest to provide a tourism experience with a twist in Obi Obi National Park.

The group is working on a tender process to erect a 2.1km zipline course, from Narrows Escape, finishing at the National Park boundary.

It would mimic similar projects successfully built including the Otway Fly Zipline Tour in the Otway Ranges, Victoria, Tasmania's Hollybank Treetops Adventure Tour and the newly-opened Illawarra Flyer in New South Wales.

It was understood yesterday that the Zipline Australia team had received in-principle support from the native Jinibara tribe for the project.

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The Obi Obi National Park zipline will mimic similar Australian projects such as the Hollybank Treetops Adventure Tour in Tasmania, where riders can cruise through the trees.

"For us, it's all part of the second stage of the tender process," Zipline Australia's managing director Michael Thompson said.

"We need to develop traffic management plans and environmental management plans... and our priority now is agreeing terms for a return to the State for the National Park.

"The designer and builder that we've got on board has already built three world-class ziplines."

Mr Thompson said he was confident of the environmental consideration being implemented by the project, which would see minimal disturbance to the forest, and no permanent infrastructure created within the forest.

"It's a traverse on a cable through the treetops," he said.

Map of hinterland zipline
Map of hinterland zipline

Member for Buderim Steve Dickson, a big supporter of the plan as former minister for national parks, said he hoped State Government would back the environmentally friendly project.

"It's not about destroying anything," Mr Dickson said.

"And as a sidenote, it's going to create some jobs and it's going to bring some tourists to our area... all I could ask is for common sense to prevail."

Montville Chamber of Commerce president Allan Rhode said if done "carefully and sensitively" he believed the zipline would enhance the qualities of the national park, and be a boon for local businesses.

Sunshine Coast Environment Council and National Parks Association of Queensland had both previously expressed concerns about potential commercial ventures in national parks, and in September last year, then-shadow environment minister and current Deputy Premier Jackie Trad opposed the proposed zipline.

"We don't think that national parks should be opened up to full commercial ventures," Ms Trad said on September 28.

"I think it really will make people think twice about coming to Kondalilla (a zipline running overhead)."

Mr Thompson said he had not been told to stop the process by the present State Government.

An artist's impression of the proposed 2.1km zipline course.

The Line:

Obi Obi Zipline will be about 2.1km in total, with individual lines of up to 500m

Construction period expected to be less than 10 weeks