The $15.5 million upgrades at the Nitmiluk park are continuing.
The new Nitmiluk National Park Gorge walking trails design tender has been awarded to GHD.
The $5.5 million investment into the Nitmiluk Gorge is part of the NT Government's $103 million Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package.
The grant was announced in February.
Working with the Joint Management Board, Jawoyn Traditional Owners and park rangers, the GHD led design team will:
- Create a new Nitmiluk Gorge Walk, linking the Gorge Tourist Precinct with the western edge of Butterfly Gorge
- Design boardwalks, bridges ramps, hand-rails and any other built infrastructure needed for an exciting but safe walk along and across the gorge escarpment
- Collaborate with stakeholders to inform the design intent, which is to align the walking trail linking the Gorge Tourist Precinct to Baruwei Lookout to allow mountain biking (MTB) to IMBA Green Circle Trail Difficulty Rating (TDR), where possible, creating a shared use MTB and walking trail utilising existing trails and management tracks where suitable
- Similarly for a shared-use trail linking the Gorge Tourist Precinct with Southern Rockhole, Pat’s Lookout and Jedda’s Rock
- Design shared-use visitor nodes at Baruwei Lookout, Pat’s Lookout and Jedda’s Rock accommodating both walkers and cyclists needs.
The design phase is expected to be completed by the end of next month.
In addition to the $5.5 million works, Nitmiluk National Park is undergoing important infrastructure works under a previous government $10 million package to upgrade, refresh and develop tourism infrastructure in the park that began in 2017/18.
That $10m grant was awarded by the CLP Government but reallocated from the now mothballed Skywalk project.
The package includes:
- First Gorge jetty replacement and refurbishment of adjacent footbridge to improve the visitor experience – tender to be released in the next quarter
- Construction of a slip-lane and carpark on the Gorge access road to support the development of a new cultural walk and Nitmiluk Tours Cultural Touring site - completed
- Replacement of a walkway between the first and second crossover on the ‘wet season’ side of Nitmuluk Gorge – final stages of installation
- Upgrade of 17 Mile Valley track including a new Katherine River crossing and stabilisation of 17 Mile Creek crossing to allow vehicle access to Biddlecombe Cascades, to support the development of a new overnight ‘glamping’ experience.
- There is also the refurbishment of the adjacent day use and picnic area footprint being delivered as part of the Gorge Tourism Precinct Project. This project also includes a new masterplan, the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre upgrade and refurbishment, landscaping and a water play area.
Katherine MLA Sandra Nelson said: “The government through the record $103 Turbocharging Tourism stimulus package is investing $5.5 million into tourism infrastructure to expand walking opportunities in Nitmiluk National Park.
“The record investment in turbocharging tourism will attract more visitors, create jobs and out more money into the pockets of Territorians.
“We are working closely with the Jawoyn Traditional Owners to expand the walking experience in the park, develop new multi-day walking experiences combining Aboriginal culture and nature, as well as linked visitor facilities such as mountain bike trail networks in new areas of this spectacular park.”
Arnhem MLA Selena Uibo said: “Nitmiluk National Park is known for its incredible country and walking trails, with people travelling from all over the world to experience the challenge of the 62km Jatbula Trail.
“This is an exciting investment for this incredible Park. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the unique sandstone and riverine landscape and experience Jawoyn culture.”