A recent article in your columns "Tourism in Camden Haven" (Camden Haven Courier 4/03/2021) sought suggestions for increasing visitor numbers to our beautiful area.
Large numbers of holiday makers and locals frequenting Dunbogan attractions during the recent December- January holiday period attest to the value of Dunbogan Reserve, Tuckeroo car park (South Beach), Trevor's Corner, Pilot Beach and the Kattang Nature Reserve to the tourist economy. Enhancing these areas is a surefire way to drive tourist numbers and add to the Camden Haven economy.
A unique opportunity exists to substantially improve the area. Using Newcastle's King Edward Park as inspiration, the area bounded by Camden Head Road, Kattang Nature Reserve, Washhouse Beach and the Pilot Station access road could be converted into a world class park. With proper access, a terraced, grassed area would be a magnet for day trippers to walk the Flower Bowl, picnic in the new park and enjoy panoramic ocean views of the Camden Haven River mouth and the ever changing ocean towards Bonny Hills and beyond.
Proper access and facilities would also allow nursing homes in the extended Laurieton/Port Macquarie/ Taree region to provide an outing to the park for a morning tea or lunch with nursing home residents able to take in the joy of the majestic scenery.
To drive overnight visitor numbers, the natural slope of the site would allow the development of a natural amphitheatre for cultural events. This would be a unique facility on the Mid North Coast. With the co-operation of regional media and local schools and musicians Christmas Carols in the park could become a major event attracting thousands of visitors to our area.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council with the co-operation of local or touring cinema operators could follow the example of Brisbane City Council and offer free recent family movies in the park during peak holiday periods bringing many families to our area. This could even be extended to something similar to Moonlight Movies offering latest releases in an idyllic setting.
An extension of the amphitheatre proposal could involve the presentation of musical and orchestral events bringing large numbers of overnight visitors to the area for entertainment with the added benefit to accommodation, restaurant and café providers in the area.
An ancillary benefit of developing this park would be to make the historic Pilot Station building more apparent and accessible to the general community. Returning the focus of this building to the community could facilitate its use as a regional art gallery, enhanced Camden Haven Historical Museum or for the provision of accommodation for a subsidised artist in residence to further encourage the artistic community in the Camden Haven.
The imminent completion of the popular Beach to Beach Walk will place added focus on the Pilot Beach area making the proposed park the jewel in the crown of recreational facilities in the region.
The creation of the "Pilot Station Park" would be the catalyst for a major advance in the cultural, artistic and tourism life of the Camden Haven and would provide major benefits to locals, visitors and the business community of our area.