Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery has thrown his weight behind a proposed Mount Keira adventure park, saying the city council has committed $50,000 to plan the attraction.
Advocates for the ambitious project, which would involve establishing an adventure-based tourism attraction on Wollongong's most visible landmark, are gathering pace in their push to win support.
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh and Cr Bradbery met Minister for the Illawarra John Ajaka on Mount Keira on Friday morning to brief him on the proposal.
The Mercury understands Destination Wollongong, which put forward the plan, is seeking support from the NSW government - not to fund the project, but to help find a way to unlock parts of the mountain managed by National Parks.
Cr Bradbery said the project had got a "very positive" reception from Mr Ajaka.
"It's so spectacular, Mount Keira, in terms of its natural beauty," Cr Bradbery said.
"It's a site that is of high tourism potential.
"You have got to convince the government that this is a goer.
"It's not a pipe dream; it's an opportunity to build tourism infrastructure that will give people, when they come to Sydney, an extra experience."
Cr Bradbery said it should be possible to manage the environmental impacts, calling it an "eco-tourism" project that had the beauty of the natural environment at its heart.
Included in the plan are a zip line, rock climbing, bungee jumping, native bird sanctuary, tree top adventure park, eco lodge, mountain bike trails, cafe and function centre.
"We are so lucky that we have such an incredible blank canvas, and it really does present a fantastic opportunity for the community to come forward with their ideas of what they would like to see Mount Keira become," Mr Sleigh said.
"A priority is to look at options available for the existing kiosk facility, with a view to having a food and beverage offering at Summit Park as soon as possible.
"Whilst those investigations take place, short-term options such as coffee and food vans, or even a purpose-built "container" bar and cafe have been suggested.
"There has been some excellent work taking place in other areas, with National Parks and Wildlife providing access to certain trails for mountain bike riding."
Mr Ajaka's office would not allow media to attend Friday's meeting, and said the minister had no comment.
The adventure playground plan also examines the possibility a cable car could run between Stuart Park in North Wollongong to the top of the mountain.