THE summit picnic area atop Arthurs Seat and the car park at the bottom will be closed for about 15 months during the construction of the gondola ride, Parks Victoria stated last week.
Parks Victoria regional director Chris Hardman said “works to build Melbourne’s newest major tourism attraction” would start in the week beginning Monday 5 October when fences would be erected around the construction site after the spring school holidays.
“The picnic area alongside Purves and Arthurs Seat roads will be fenced off for the duration of the construction period,” he said.
“Safety fencing is there to protect contractor works and ensure visitor safety during the build, which is our top priority.”
Visitors could picnic at “the expansive and secluded Seawinds Gardens, just a short 600 metres walk from the summit picnic area”.
“Seawinds Gardens offers stunning sea views and is often visited by kangaroos.”
Mr Hardman said picnic and barbecue facilities would remain available at the main picnic area to the north (Port Phillip side) of Arthurs Seat Rd, where public toilets, playground and picnic shelter are located.
“The project provides $16 million in private investment and $1.5 million in public facility improvements in the park, and will create jobs during construction and through the tourism industry for the term of the lease,” he said.
“I look forward to sharing the magnificent views of Port Phillip that are available from Arthurs Seat with park visitors when the gondola opens late next year.
“During the works, a number of special arrangements have been made to keep the park open to visitors.
“Building an exciting tourism attraction for the Mornington Peninsula will create some temporary visitor inconvenience during the works period.
“Parks Victoria is working closely with the lessee, Arthurs Seat Skylift Pty Ltd, and Mornington Peninsula Shire to keep the park open to visitors and curious onlookers during the works. We apologise for the inconvenience.
“At times during the construction period, public car parking areas are expected to be busy with contractor vehicles. We remain committed to maintaining as much public car parking in the park as possible.
“The lower car park at the base of Arthurs Seat will be closed throughout the construction period to allow Parks Victoria and Skylift to establish a safe work compound and construct the new gondola lower station and public facilities.”