Improvements to Tourism Infrastructure at Kennett River

Project background

Kennett River is a small coastal hamlet located halfway between Lorne and Apollo Bay. It has become a popular tourist stop to experience Australian wildlife such as koalas and native birds. 

The large groups of tourists and tour buses have created pressure on this small community and its infrastructure, including increased traffic and safety issues in the precinct. 

In 2020, Colac Otway Shire Council (Council) received funding through the Geelong City Deal (GCD) to deliver tourism infrastructure improvements in Kennett River. Council prepared a site Masterplan, completed site investigations, designs for road and parking upgrades and for a public toilet and wastewater treatment plant, whilst leading consultation on the project up until mid-2022.

A review into the GCD projects located along the Great Ocean Road was conducted in 2022, which paused progress. The review ultimately recommended a transfer of delivery responsibility for the three continuing GCD projects to the Authority, aligning to our mission to protect and manage the region’s iconic coast and parks.

This included the highly anticipated $3.69 million Improvements to Tourism Infrastructure at Kennett River project.

We thank and acknowledge Council for their work on the project to date.

Key project information

The Improvements to Tourism Infrastructure at Kennett River project will support the growing tourism and visitor economy by delivering public infrastructure and accessibility improvements through several initiatives.

The tourism improvements will include;

  • A new public toilet and a new or upgraded wastewater treatment plant in the adjoining Kennett River Caravan Park; and
  • Car park and road improvements works

The revised location of the toilets and wastewater treatment plant to within the Kennett River Caravan Park will ensure maintenance efficiencies, improve traffic flow and safety within the precinct.

One of the design principles for the project will include traffic management features that will discourage large coaches from entering the local road network into Kennett River, providing parking for small tour buses and promote safer pedestrian movement and driver behaviour.

Another key objective of the project is that new facilities are appropriate to Kennett River’s size and unique character, retaining open space areas, and views and access to Kennett River.

Have Your Say

Since we took on the project in 2023, a few things have changed so our first round of community engagement is focusing on finding out more about what you liked and disliked about the previous plan for the project and to provide information about what the future plans for the project will include.

The tourism improvements that we're funded to deliver will include a new public toilet and a new or upgraded wastewater treatment plant in the adjoining Kennett River Caravan Park as well as carpark and road improvements works.