Caravan parks in Katherine are bracing themselves for the peak tourist period coming up.
Following a good shoulder season at the end of April, most of the caravan parks in Katherine are currently experiencing tourist numbers on par with last year.
Riverview Motel and Caravan Park manager Wendy Batten said their 100 powered sites are currently at 85 per cent capacity.
“We find the grey nomads down south wait until after Mother’s Day to leave, then they hit the road,” Mrs Batten said.
“We have had a very good shoulder season and that has continued on, but June and July are our busiest seasons. At that time we will be at full capacity.
“We sometimes even have to turn people away,” she said.
Owner of Shady Lane Tourist Park, Phil Bates said he usually finds caravan parks in Katherine experience the same ups and downs at the same time.
Currently, slightly ahead of last year’s number of visitors at the park, Mr Bates said he is gearing up for a very busy period which will hit off starting mid June.
Many of the travellers staying at caravan parks in Katherine are grey nomads, retired travellers on a long trip who visit the NT in the dry season for the stunning weather, beautiful national parks and natural wonders.
However, caravan parks in the NT can cost upwards of $40 per night for a powered caravan site, making for an expensive trip.
Brian Hill, owner of Manbulloo Homestead, 12 kilometres from Katherine town centre, charges about $10 less than the other campsites and has had some complaints about the high prices from visiting tourists.
“The NT is more expensive than southern states, but what you have to understand is (caravan parks) in the NT only have about four to five months to make an income,” Mr Hill said.
“(Caravan sites) have expenses all year round, but may only be filled for half that time.”
Mr Hill is hoping the cool weather down south will get travellers off their couches and into their caravans to experience the warm weather in the Top End, he said.
With the baby boomer generation at retirement age Mr Hill is expecting a spike in visitors over the next ten years.
“The medium-term prospects are looking good.”
“We have just added another 20 powered sites as we had to turn people away last year in the busy period and I’m expecting to see more tourists on the road with the baby boomers retiring and buying up caravans,” Mr Hill said.