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Published on : Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Concept plans have already been revealed for a skywalk at Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park.
The Nitmiluk aerial experience would operate year-round, with Wet Season access via the existing jet boat operation.
Minister for Parks and Wildlife Bess Price said the project would create a world-class visitor experience, generating jobs and more tourist revenue for local businesses at Nitmiluk which attracts almost 250,000 visitors a year.
The skywalk would be similar to those already operating successfully in Western Australia, Queensland and overseas.
It’s intended the skywalk will be built by Government and offered to a suitable private sector operator to run as a commercial business. The project, and potentially others, will be developed in consultation with traditional owners.
The skywalk proposal endeavours to showcase the spectacular views of Nitmiluk Gorge while complementing the natural beauty of the landscape by integrating the structure seamlessly into its surroundings.
This is achieved through the use of suitable organic looking materials, including perforated, rusted metal to enhance the natural hues of the gorge along with frameless glass balustrades to achieve maximum opacity and minimise obstruction of views.
Minister Price said more and more tourists were seeking adventure tourism experiences.
“The skywalk would be a great step forward in the development of Nitmiluk and provide an exciting and memorable way for tourists to enjoy the true splendour of the local landscape,” she said.
“My Government is committed to growing and developing our tourism market and new experiences like this skywalk will enhance the visitor experience and, in turn, add value to our parks and reserves and allow traditional owners to share their country and stories more widely.”
Minister Price said the initiative would effectively extend the tourist season at Nitmiluk and offer visitors an alternative way of viewing “the spectacular panoramas from up high, safely and sustainably into the future”.
“It has the potential to increase visitor numbers during the Wet Season, when the Katherine River is flowing and the waterfalls are cascading, “ she said.
Minister Price said she was excited about the on-going tourism potential of Nitmiluk. “And I look forward to continuing to work with chairperson Lisa Mumbin and the rest of the Nitmiluk National Park Board to ensure the park prospers in a balanced cultural and environmental way,” she said.
Ms Mumbin said that just as Jawoyn people made everyone welcome, “ we welcome opportunities and investment that’s a benefit to all”.
“ As our elders say: ‘We should always keep thinking about what we can do for visitors. We need to dream more and be open always to possibilities’.”