Park management look to social media

Killalea State Park manager Nathan Cattell. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON
Killalea State Park manager Nathan Cattell. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

THIS year is expected to be a big one for Killalea State Park, with a focus on new revenue streams and using social media to increase patronage.

Last year, the Killalea State Park Trust gathered community feedback on the 265-hectare park's future.

Park manager Nathan Cattell said he hoped the park's revised plan of management would go on exhibition in late February/early March.

Topics of discussion will include a world-class surfing facility, a walking track linking Bass Point to Minnamurra and a new road to ease traffic through Shell Cove.

Mr Cattell said there would beextensive consultation .

He said new ideas included a modern facility to replace the demountable classrooms.

The hub complex would house surfer training and education programs, and environmental education programs.

He said a new walking path linking with other local tracks could be a tourism drawcard.

The new plan will focus on heritage management and revenue streams.

In addition to camping facilities, the park gets income from fitness and surf school licences, and a licence fee agreement with Segway Tours South Coast.

Mr Cattell said hosting wedding receptions, creating a track for the physically impaired, and extra camping sites could increase visitation.

"There are ways to make the park sustainable," he said.

Last November, state government funding for Illawarra region Crown reserves was announced, including $27,500 to the park trust for the Killalea State Park Social Media Marketing Strategy.

Google search optimisation and developing online camping bookings are Mr Cattell's priorities.

"It [social media] hasn't been utilised to its full potential," he said.

"I'd like to see a situation where people are asking questions . . . or even making complaints [online].

"We need to encourage further community involvement in the park, and get people in during off-peak periods."

Developing online video content and a Killalea QR code would enable visitors to conduct self-guided tours, scanning their smartphones at various points throughout the park and then being able to watch video content.

"People need to know the history of the park - things like how Killalea State Park got its name - and that would help.

"It's a futuristic way of promoting the park, and I think it'll work.

"There are exciting things ahead - 2014 will be a big year for the park."