An exciting new chapter is being touted for Kakadu National Park as a tourist destination with the release of the Kakadu Tourism Master Plan.
The plan for one of the Northern Territory’s best-known attractions is said to have the backing of Traditional Owners and the support of key tourism organisations.
It will guide a $276-million rejuvenation of the World Heritage area as a national and international tourism destination, a showcase for Indigenous culture, a home to Indigenous communities, and as one of the country’s most significant natural environments.
Strategy developed in consultation with Traditional Owners
With tourism, roads and infrastructure projects already under way, the Federal Government says the strategy has been developed in consultation with Traditional Owners to further support their outlook for the park and reflect their cultural history.
“We’ve listened and collaborated extensively with Traditional Owners and all stakeholders, and I made a point of extending the final consultation phase to ensure all voices were heard,” said environment minister Sussan Ley.
“The plan reflects a landmark vision to breathe new life into one of Australia’s national treasures and it underlines our ongoing commitment to working with Traditional Owners.”
Kakadu is to build on reputation as established tourism site
According to Ley, the aim is to see Kakadu build on its reputation as a world-class tourism site; one where visitors can experience and connect with the park’s unique cultural and natural values in a sustainable way.
Over the next 10 years, the plan outlines new tourism facilities, new experiences and greater access to sites.
Among the facilities will be a World Heritage visitor centre to showcase Kakadu’s significant cultural and natural values, plus new visitor services hubs at Mary River, South Alligator and East Alligator.
Upgrades to amenities at park’s world-class rock art locations
Plans for new accommodation include ecolodges, wellness retreats, a family holiday park and safari camps. There are also upgrades to viewing boardwalks, platforms and amenities at world-class rock art sites such as Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) and Ubirr.
An expanded major events calendar is to focus on increasing cultural events with indigenous Bininj/Mungguy businesses, such as a Taste of Kakadu festival and seasonal ranger programs.
Projects that are already underway include the re-opening of Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre following upgrades and improvements to facilities, designs for upgrades to the popular Cahills Crossing viewing area, and work on raising the Jim Jim Creek Crossing to enable safe access to Twin Falls this year.