Katherine rallied behind a working bee at Nitmiluk National Park today as the park opened to the public.
Nitmiluk Tours itself is still a week off restarting full operations, but CEO Jane Runyu-Fordimail said it was a relief to be back in action.
"Those first few weeks when COVID-19 hit we were just in panic-mode and it was full-on," she said.
"We had to stand down 31 staff which was really tough and run on a skeleton crew of 13, the majority of those won't be able to come back until next year now.
"The park itself has enjoyed the break though, it's been healing itself and we've watching higher numbers of animals come back so it's beautiful to see.
"We ourselves felt so isolated here without all the people coming in and looking around the park so we're loving having people in again," Mrs Runyu-Fordimail said.
The turn-out for today's working bee surpassed expectations.
Katherine Flexible Learning and Engagement Centre children were commended for their effort removing passion-fruit vines from the boat-ramp area.
Clontarf were leading a group of Katherine High students from the Transition to Work program, and said the exercise would help buff out their resumes going forward.
The young ladies from STARS Foundation were taking charge of cleaning up the pool and surrounding areas.
Students from St Josephs were also out pitching in, and Katherine Mayor Fay Miller and CEO Ian Bodill were seen mop-in-hand and flipping burgers on the BBQ.
Even popular Australiana singer Melanie Gray made the 6 hour round-trip from Darwin to show her appreciation for the park.
For Jane Runyu-Fordimail, the turnout just shows how crucial Nitmiluk is to Katherine.
"Nitmiluk means a lot to Katherine, we're part of this place," she said.
"Just look at all the people who turned up today or who have been calling us to find out when we're opening, it's great to see and we can't wait to be back," Mrs Runyu-Fordimail said.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.