TWO Mandarin-speaking rangers have welcomed the thousands of tourists who visited the Twelve Apostles this Chinese New Year.
Eugena Han and Wenbo Chen have joined the Parks Victoria team at Port Campbell National Park, where their multilingual skills will help Chinese visitors understand more about the precious coastal environment.
Chinese New Year – which fell on Friday – is an important Chinese date that is followed by up to two weeks of celebrations.
During this time, many people visit regional Victoria, with the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps particularly popular destinations.
When not providing native-language information to Chinese visitors, the two rangers will be working on land and facilities management programs throughout the national park.
“I feel excited to educate visitors and motivate them to appreciate the natural and cultural values of Port Campbell National Park,” Ms Chan said.
“Through my talks, I am hoping visitors learn more about the park and the surrounding areas, and spend more time along the coast and in the hinterland.”
Mr Chen said he had always wanted to work in Australia’s national parks, so his new job was “a dream come true”.
“My background in environment and tourism studies enables me to engage tourists in a different way, particularly Chinese tourists.
“It is enjoyable to tell them about the unique geology, history, native fauna and flora of our national parks, especially when in their own language.”
The Chinese New Year celebrations will also mark the end of summer, the busiest visitor period at the Port Campbell National Park.
In the week after Christmas, more than 72,000 people visited the Twelve Apostles precinct, and daily peaks of more than 10,000 are again expected during Chinese New Year.
A traffic management plan that has been operating over peak summer periods will also be in place for the Chinese New Year period.
The plan includes traffic controllers, speed limit reductions, traffic-flow coordination and roadside barriers to prevent illegal and unsafe parking.