Exploring the NT will cost slightly more this dry season with camping prices set to increase and a new fee for multi-day walks being rolled out in Northern Territory National Parks.
The increase in camping fees will impact the 85 parks, reserves and protected areas across the Northern Territory and is the first increase in more than 20 years according to the NT Government.
The fees will increase over three years starting on July 1 and will initially be worth up to $3.40 per night across all Category A and B campgrounds in Territory Parks and Reserves.
In the Katherine region, this will affect the Jalmurark - 12 Mile Yard camping spot in Elsey National Park and any campsites on the overnight bush walks at Nitmiluk.
A new fee for multi-day bush walks will also start on July 1, which will increase expenses for walks on the Tabletop Track in Litchfield, the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia and the Jatbula Trail in Nitmiluk National Park.
A Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security spokeswoman said the fee will be $25 a day and capped at $125 total.
"So for the Larapinta trail which is a longer walk the most you'll pay is $125," she said.
The spokeswoman said there are currently no plans to charge people for day-long bush walks, including the recently unveiled mountain biking and walking tracks at Nitmiluk Gorge.
Parks and Rangers minister Selena Uibo said the revenue generated from the new fees will be put towards maintaining the environmental integrity of the parks.
"It is imperative that we are able to care for, maintain and improve our parks," she said.
"Camping and walking fees for Territory parks have not been increased in over 20 years, and increasing fees will help to generate some of the funds required to support our parks.
"The revenue from fees that will flow to traditional owners in 33 of our parks will provide the opportunity to create jobs on country and develop Aboriginal tourism opportunities."
The fees will only apply to visitors and NT residents will continue to have free day access to National Parks.
The Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security reasserted its claim the revenue from park passes will also be put towards park maintenance, with a portion of the money given to governing land councils on behalf of traditional owners.
Knott's Crossing Resort general manager Joanna Pace said the most popular attractions in Katherine are the local National Parks, estimating "90 to 100 per cent" of her customers plan to visit them.
She said a small increase in cost will not put visitors off exploring the natural sites around the NT.
Ms Pace said if the revenue is directed to park maintenance the popularity of the National Parks will increase.
"When you're going to a well kept and organised National Park you may expect to pay."
She said mass business closures and minimal effort to attract people to the region during the wet season is more damaging to local tourism than a small increase in fees.
"What would stop them more is the lack of tourism businesses being available and being open."
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