15 April, 2022
Gateway to Cape York officially opens ahead of the Cape’s tourism season
COOK Shire Mayor Peter Scott officially opened Lakeland’s Gateway to Cape York and sculpture park on Friday, April 8, at a ceremony with more than 60 stakeholders, Cook Shire Councillors, community members, artists and representatives from neighbouring Aboriginal Shire Councils and local government agencies.
Featuring an iconic “gateway,” a purpose-built traveller information centre, a rest stop area and an interactive sculpture park that showcases communities from Cape York. The $1.2 million project at Lakeland on Mulligan Highway welcomes visitors to Cape York Peninsula.
The Queensland Government delivered the gateway with $998,000 from the Building our Regions program. Cook Shire Council contributed $290,000 and managed the delivery of the project.
Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott said this gateway would be significant to tourism in the region.
“Lakeland marks the beginning of many Cape York adventures and is a significant tourist junction for the tourism drive market and 4WD adventurers,” Cr Scott said.
An essential aspect of the project was to highlight what makes the Cape historically, culturally and ecologically unique and educate visitors on what they can do to help preserve it.
“The Gateway to Cape York gives vital tourism infrastructure to Lakeland that has been designed to be iconic, interactive, artistic, educational and inspirational,” Cr Scott said.
The information centre showcases the history and unique ecology of Cape York while addressing environmental challenges, including littering, fire, invasive plants and animals and the importance of respecting landowner’s rights.
The sculpture park features 16 artworks designed and developed by communities across the Cape.
The park has been designed in the shape of a map of Cape York, with the park’s footpaths symbolising the region’s iconic roads.
Each sculpture reflects the spirit of the community who designed it and the community’s geographic location on the map.
Cook Shire’s Manager Tourism, Arts and Events Sally Eales said the grand opening marked a new beginning in a successful tourism season.
“With international travel restrictions easing, today’s official opening of the Gateway to Cape York heralds the beginning of what we know will be a sensational tourism season for the whole region,” Ms Eales said.
“Iconic and very Instagram- able, the Gateway to Cape York makes Lakeland a must-see itinerary stop for everyone visiting or setting off to explore Cooktown and Cape York.”
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the Palaszczuk Government’s Building our Regions (BoR) program supported the delivery of essential infrastructure across regional Queensland.
“The Gateway to Cape York is a great way to welcome tourists to the Cape; it’s beauty and adventure,” Ms Lui said.
“I can’t wait to see many tourists travel here and learn about these communities.
“BoR has a long and successful track record of supporting local governments to deliver projects bringing jobs and economic opportunities to communities across Queensland, including those in our most remote locations.
“BoR has approved funding of over $348 million for 271 projects in 67 regional council areas, attracting additional investment of over $539 million and supporting an estimated 2770 construction jobs and many flow-on jobs and opportunities.”
For more information on the Gateway to Cape York, visit http://www.cooktownandcapeyork.com/