tourism | November 07, 2022

Funding to explore Pomonal water tunnel transformation

The Nationals in government will provide $200,000 to develop a feasibility study into transforming an existing water tunnel near Pomonal into a premier walking track underneath the Grampians Nationals Park.

The one-kilometre water tunnel, which was dug by hand through the Mt William Range in the 1870s to establish a secure water supply from the Grampians to Stawell, is a noted historical site within the Grampians National Park.

Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Emma Kealy said the Pomonal district was quickly becoming a major tourist destination.

“Set against the backdrop of the Grampians National Park, Pomonal is a hive of activity and increasingly being recognised as a premier tourist destination in its own right,” Ms Kealy said.

“Ararat Rural City Council and Grampians Tourism have done a lot of work on their proposal to turn this historic water tunnel into a premier walking track between Tunnel Track Car Park and Lake Bellfield, and I am proud to support them with funding to develop a feasibility study for this exciting project.

“The Grampians National Park is already home to a large number of walking tracks for people of all abilities and I have no doubt that this new walking track will complement the suite of options available and attract even more people to this fantastic part of the world.”

Ms Kealy said the feasibility study would explore options for connecting Pomonal and the new walk to the Grampians Peak Trail, a 160km world-class 13-day hiking experience from Mt Zero in the north through Halls Gap and finishing at Dunkeld in the south. The peaks trail has already attracted thousands of visitors to the area.

Historic records state that work began on both ends of the tunnel on 18 February 1875. The day was recognised as a public holiday in the Stawell district, with more than 1000 people present as construction commenced.

The tunnel has barely been altered since it was first constructed and remains in excellent condition.

Caption: Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has announced that the Nationals in government will commit $200,000 for a feasibility study into transforming an existing water tunnel near Pomonal into a walking track.

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