The NT’s oldest homestead is for sale.
Historic Springvale has been put on the market by a weary Werner Sarny who has admitted defeat after a long fight with officialdom to reopen his beloved resort.
Mr Sarny said he and his wife decided it was well past time to “go out of business”.
“I am over 80 and my children are not Interested in it (Springvale).
“So after 45 years it is time to sell Springvale and go out of business.”
Springvale, build from local stone in 1879, has been closed to the public for four years.
Katherine Times reported earlier this year how Springvale remained mired in red tape.
The NT Government has offered encouraging words but no solutions to allow for the re-opening of the important tourist attraction.
Government intervention caused the NT’s oldest surviving homestead, and likely the NT’s biggest trees, to close to the public four years ago.
But the government said it was the private ownership of Springvale which was complicating its reopening.
There is no guarantee a new owner would restore the sprawling resort complex or focus instead on the homestead, which remains in good condition despite its age.
Owner Mr Sarny, a legend of the Katherine tourism industry, said he had been greatly encouraged by the outpouring of support for Springvale after the Katherine Times detailed his ongoing dilemma.
“I genuinely appreciate and am encouraged by all the positive community support and feedback regarding reopening Springvale Homestead to the public,” he said.
Springvale was forced to close four years ago after new flood zone laws meant waste water disposal of the past needed to be updated.
The park’s 50-bed accommodation blocks have suffered from the long closure, the powered camping sites are overgrown, the pool is outdated, only the orchids are still flowering in the pond.
The famous Croc Spot tours are long gone.
Mr Sarny believes the giant Indian Rain trees, four planted for each of the original owner’s children, now more than a century old, are likely the largest trees in the NT – each are heritage listed.
Springvale is being sold privately by Mr Sarny at Travelnorth as 34 hectares of river parkland with Katherine River frontage.
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