Eye on wellington | If I asked you what Wellington's greatest asset was, what would your answer be?

Many Wonders: Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields at the Wellington Caves Visitor Experience Centre.
Many Wonders: Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields at the Wellington Caves Visitor Experience Centre.

If I asked you what Wellington's greatest asset was, what would your answer be?

Would you say the picturesque main street including the spectacular Cameron Park?

It's hard to argue.

In my opinion it makes the wellington CBD one of the most stunning in regional NSW and I am delighted that Council has been focusing on making improvements.

From the Cameron Park master plan which will set the direction for the park for years to come, including new trees to enhance the beauty, to the soon to be added Wellington Wiradjuri Cultural Experience,

there is something special about Cameron Park.

And the CBD has also undergone beautification and works to enhance that natural beauty.

You may have said the new Wellington Aquatic Leisure Centre, which is a sensational $8.35 million facility.

It is an incredible complex and gives Wellington one of the most up-to-date pools in Western NSW.

Don't forget it open to the public for just a $2 coin entry up until Australia Day.

You might also say Burrendong Dam, which is undeniably a haven for recreational water activity, although it is hurting with the current drought.

All of these are wonderful assets for the city, but I feel Wellington's greatest asset is arguably the Wellington Caves.

A true wonder of nature and one of the most unique tourist attractions in Western NSW, the Caves really are an asset to Wellington and the wider region.

The Caves are truly amazing, but the facilities that support them had become tired and stale.

Council recognised the importance of modernising the facilities to match the majesty of the caves and maintain its place as a tourism hotspot.

We were successful in applying for funding to construct the new Visitor Experience Centre, a $3.5 million upgrade that will give the Caves more versatility than ever.

The new centre includes a visitor welcome precinct where tickets to the Caves can be purchased, and a new café area befitting the attraction.

We also have the discovery lab, which will include a scientific educational classroom and other spaces for learning experiences.

The exciting part is that the new centre is so big, there is plenty of scope to add new elements to it.

There is a fantastic opportunity to turn the Caves into the ultimate educational excursion for school children and that has already started but there is so much potential to do even more.

The process of moving staff to the new centre has begun and that will allow the final upgrades to the old entrance building and Sibbald's House.

The official opening will likely take place once all works are completed in late January.

For those who haven't been there, I strongly recommend a visit. It is a fantastic facility to have in our own backyard.

And with the new Visitor Experience Centre there is more reason than ever to check it out.