The first stage of the refurbishment of Nitmiluk Visitor Centre is underway at Nitmiluk National Park.
The upgrade is part of the Northern Territory Government’s $10 million investment in the park, which has more than 270,000 visitors every year.
Stage one includes refurbishing and modernising the kitchen and bathroom facilities.
It also involves design for the Cultural Precinct walk, which includes a new track to a nearby rock art site, and upgrades to the First and Second Gorge cross-over walkways.
Chairperson of the Jawoyn Association and Nitmiluk Board, Lisa Mumbin, says it’s great improvements are underway.
“We’re excited the visitor centre is getting a facelift, and when it’s finished it will tell the stories of Jawoyn people, country and culture,” Ms Mumbin says.
“Jawoyn have always welcomed people and visitors to share our country.
The upgrades also come in the year we celebrate 30 years since our land rights were recognised and we forged joint park management with the Northern Territory Government.”
Visitor Centre services won’t be affected by the upgrade.
They’ll be offered in temporary accommodation on the front lawns of the current Visitor Centre.
The Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture Lauren Moss says the work aims to improve visitor experience and also supports local jobs in construction and tourism.
“We continue to work closely with the Jawoyn traditional owners to improve infrastructure and share the experience of this spectacular park,” Ms Moss said.
Member for Katherine Sandra Nelson says tourism is a key economic driver in the Katherine region.
“Nitmiluk National Park is a major attraction,” Ms Nelson said.
“It’s great for Katherine businesses and local jobs.”
Upgrade works already complete include the construction of a slip lane on the gorge access road to support a new Jawoyn cultural enterprise and the development of a new carpark.
They’ve also included upgrades to the Katherine River crossing and the 17 Mile Valley track to support the Nitmiluk Tours’ new Biddlecombe Cascades glamping experience.