An exciting international star-gazing opportunity is set to arrive at Lake Keepit, with the announcement of star-gazing tents and baths to arrive at Reflections Holiday Park.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the new project aims to maximise the clear star-studded skies in an area with no light pollution and boost the regional economy by increasing local tourism and creating jobs.
"Lake Keepit is a favourite destination for scores of locals and tourists who love to take in the scenic views, take a dip in the water or hook into a yellowbelly at Reflections,” Mr Anderson said.
“It will also maximise the appeal of Lake Keepit, by making it a ‘super-star holiday park’ that will boost the State’s capacity to attract astronomy enthusiasts from not only across the country, but around the world.”
The NSW government has awarded $2 million to the project through the Regional Tourism Activation Fund with a co-contribution of $500,000 by Reflections Holiday Parks and CEO Nick Baker said the facilities will be activated in collaboration with the local Gamilaraay people, the Tamworth Regional Astrological Society, local performing artists and local food and wine producers.
“The event infrastructure will enable us to welcome guests for fine dining and performances under the starry skies, from hearing stories of the Zodiac, to learning about Aboriginal Culture and the Dreamtime,” Mr Baker said.
The tourism grant will fund a star-gazing tent precinct and star baths with views to the night sky, telescopes and firepits, upgraded park facilities, commercial catering opportunities and outdoor dining and performances under the sky.
The grant also means Reflections Lake Keepit will be able to cater for longer stays, events and festivals, school groups and coach tours – visitors who will support local cafes and restaurants, enjoy adventure and cultural tourism and return year after year.
It is estimated the new facilities could attract more than 45,000 visitors and around 6,200 visitor nights each year, contributing $1.675 million to the economy, meaning an additional economic benefit of nearly $610,000, and more than 8000 extra visitors and 1600 visitor nights annually.
Other recent improvements to the Lake Keepit holiday park include:
A glamping tent precinct with 6 two-person tents, a communal firepit area with sandstone seating and landscaping. •
A $350,000 water treatment plant, $40,000 in road upgrades, and $50,000 refurbishment of premium chalet accommodation.
Plans to establish an on-site fuel facility for visitors and their boats by early 2023.