Tour around the Cauldron

FEDERAL Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson will tour the base of Mt Warning today as they launch the addition of the Tweed, otherwise known as Australia's Green Cauldron, to the National Landscapes program.

The Mount Warning/Wollumbin caldera, stretching from Byron Bay to the Gold Coast and west towards the Great Dividing Range, was given the label Australia's Green Cauldron earlier this year as part of a marketing campaign to promote the region to international tourists.

The National Landscapes program is a collaboration between Tourism Australia and Parks Australia which promotes unique natural and cultural environments to key target markets.

The Green Cauldron will join Australia's Red Centre, Kakadu, the Flinders Ranges, the Australian Alps and the Great Ocean Road in the National Landscapes program.

Mr Garrett and Mr Ferguson will walk the Lyrebird Track at the base of Mt Warning before joining about 100 local government representatives, tourism operators and other stakeholders at the launch at Mavis's Kitchen, near Uki. Head of Tweed Tourism Phil Villiers said the campaign would target "experience seekers", or those looking to do something they have never done before and who are interested in conservation.

"We are targeting international markets that are seeking a unique experience, who like to stay longer and spend more money," Mr Villiers said.

"They are the type of people who want to see the environment maintained, not destroyed."

Chair of the Mt Warning Wollumbin Caldera National Landscapes steering committee Robyn Rae said conservation was a big part of the program and that the brand name Australia's Green Cauldron emphasised this. "The Mt Warning Wollumbin Caldera encompasses World Heritage listed rainforests, an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, marine reserves and rural landscapes in and around the remnants of an ancient shield volcano," she said.

Ms Rae said the visit from Mr Garrett and Mr Ferguson was evidence of the Federal Government's dedication to developing Australia's Green Cauldron as a sustainable tourism icon.

"Even more importantly, their presence at the official launch underlines the integral link between tourism and conservation which is the cornerstone of the National Landscapes program."

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