This project is live

The Eco Tour is a self guided drive, with a tour brochure and map with information on sixteen sites on the tour.
The Eco Tour involves an innovative new map of the Eldorado and Byawatha Hills district for visitors in the north east. Funded through the Australian Governments “Envirofund” the Self Drive Eco tour route begins at The Vine Hotel, located just outside Wangaratta township and is also close to the Hume Freeway for easy access.
The map includes background information about the sixteen historic and Landcare sites featured on the scenic seventy kilometre route. Explanatory notes containing additional information from landholders, community, the Department of Primary Industries, North East Catchment Management Authority and North East Water are provided on the reverse.
“We wanted to give visitors to the North East the opportunity to take home with them a better understanding our local landscape. One of the conditions of the leases for the original settlers was to clear the trees for farmland. The timber that was harvested from the Byawatha Hills provided the power to run the gold dredge at Eldorado” explained local farmer Sandy Campbell.
“The original clearing had left problems for todays farming families and for our native animals and birds. We began by collecting seeds from local trees and shrubs nearly twenty years ago and started to plant shelter belts. By all of us working with our Landcare group, and using whole farm plans, our group has carried out a huge amount of revegetation and restoration work. The raptors and wedge-tailed eagles are back along with many other birds.”
The tour route includes the North East Water water treatment and re-cycling plant, the El Dorado museum, Cocks Eldorado Dredge, and features examples of direct seeding and agro-forestry, a dairy farm recognized for its sustainable farming achievements by a State Landcare award,  salinity recharge control sites and a “Rabbit Free” property.
The project has been supported by the Rural City of Wangaratta, who have assisted by creating safe roadside pullovers and numbered signage so people can safely park to view the sites. The Public Interest Law Clearing House also assisted with legal advice and support.
Click here to download the Eco-Tour Map