Wodonga Council
Planning for Wodonga Hills

Page URL: https://www.wodonga.vic.gov.au/Our-Major-Projects/Planning-for-Wodonga-Hills

Planning for Wodonga Hills

 /  Our Major ProjectsPlanning for Wodonga Hills

Planning for Wodonga Hills


Nature on our doorstep

A planned approach to greater community enjoyment and more sustainable management of the Wodonga hills consists of the Planning for Wodonga Hills strategy and five associated master plans.

  • Need for long term strategic planning for biodiversity outcomes
  • Management of increasing use, recreational and anti-social behaviour/vandalism
  • Community awareness and access 

The overall Planning for the Wodonga Hills Strategy gives the background to the project, identifies a set of principles to guide planning and describes a set of “overall” strategies or specific actions to apply across all five Wodonga Hills. 

  • Sustainable Management and Enjoyment
    To ensure that leisure, recreation and tourism facilities and activities can be developed, managed and enjoyed without adverse impacts on the hills’ biodiversity, cultural heritage and scenic values or the experiences of other visitors, and in recognition of the resources available to Council.
  • Biodiversity, Habitat and Heritage Values
    To maintain and enhance the hills’ cultural heritage and historic values, natural vegetation, habitat and biodiversity values and wildlife corridor connections to surrounding environmental lands.
  • User, Neighbour and Community Safety
    To ensure that visitors can enjoy the hills with a reasonable degree of safety and security, and that management of the hills minimises risks to neighbours or adjacent assets, particularly bushfire risks.
  • Landscape and Scenic Values
    To protect and enhance the hills’ landscape and scenic importance as a backdrop to the Wodonga urban area and a central element of the town’s character that is greatly valued by residents and the wider community.
  • Accessibility, Connection and Integration
    To increase the accessibility of the hills and their connection to the wider Wodonga open space and pathways networks, including greater emphasis on making locations and experiences accessible to disabled or less-mobile visitors.
  • Leisure, Recreation and Tourism
    To improve and diversify activities and experiences offered across the Wodonga Hills, as a whole and within each hill individually, with particular preference to quality nature-based uses which are in keeping with the underlying values of a site.
  • Awareness, Appreciation and Understanding
    To increase visitors’, and residents’, awareness, appreciation and understanding of the hills, the leisure and recreation opportunities they offer, and their values.



Five hills - Distinct but unified

To support the realisation of the strategy, a masterplan has been prepared for each of the five Wodonga Hills. These more detailed reports explain the rationale behind the role and management directions identified for each hill.

Each masterplan details a suite of strategies or specific actions to deliver the vision for each site.

Klings Hill - Rugged High Points and Habitat
High ridgelines and vantage points offering a range of nature-based experiences - with potential for improved community use and enjoyment in the future.
Federation Hill - Local Leisure and Fitness
A readily accessed, convenient, semi-natural setting for every day leisure and recreation use.
Bears Hill - Short Woodland Walks
Short walks and local views on a woodland covered hill - and a “pivotal” hill with the potential for more nature-based enjoyment in the future.
Huon Hill – Lookouts and Loop Walks
The premier and most central attraction among the Wodonga Hills, offering vehicle access to day-use facilities and stunning lookouts plus a variety of well-marked short and longer loop walks.
Mahers Hill - Quiet, Steep, Rewarding Views
A quieter destination, where visitors tackling its steep challenging tracks are rewarded with stunning panoramas - and a place for environmental gains.


Implementation

The strategy and masterplans were adopted by the council in October 2017. An advisory group was established to prioritise the actions in the strategy and plans and that was presented to the council in 2019. The group has been disbanded with a further review of the strategy slated for 2021.

Consultation and revision of the strategy and plans is ongoing and forms part of the long-term implementation plan. 

The overall plan is very much long-term, with actions and strategies that will be 20 years in the making. 

The plan identify potential new trails and facilities based on current and anticipated demand. However, that is not to say the demand for all of these presently exists. The strategy establishes a process for assessing any new track or trail proposals. This includes demonstrated demand and consideration of whether alternatives exist elsewhere. 

The strategy recognises with increased usage comes increased management responsibility. Only if adequate resources are available to ensure the intended user experience and safety standards are achieved over the long term, will an action be implemented.


Projects in progress

In August 2019, Wodonga Council adopted a motion for the implementation of actions from the Planning for the Wodonga Hills strategy and associated master plans.

The council resolution sought the implementation of three actions from the Klings Hill master plan.

Document Library
Additional key documents
The following are the key council policies and plans that will support, inform and enable the implementation of the Wodonga Hills strategy and plans

Timeline
  • July, 2016 to August, 2017

    Development and consultation of strategy and plans

  • 2018

    Wodonga Hills Advisory Group appointed

  • October, 2017

    Adoption of strategy and plans

  • 2018
    Priority implementation plan presented to the council
  • August, 2019

    Council resolution in regards the implementation of three actions including funding

  • 2020

    Ongoing – Action 1 – Collaborative Land management

  • May, 2020

    Action 14 – Complete Mountain Bike Track loop – project begins