Hidden swimming areas and dozens of new campsites will open this dry season in Litchfield National Park, one of the Northern Territory’s top tourist destinations.
The Government of the Northwest Territories expects the new sites in the central valley of the park will attract more than 20,000 visitors in 2021.
The area has never been open to the public before.
Thirty-two campsites spread over three campsites, each with swimming areas, will open during the dry season months, starting in May.
The new sites include an escarpment gazebo, and cycle and walking trails linking the Lost City, Central Valley and Litchfield Park Road areas.
Northern Australia Parks Director Lincoln Wilson said it would be the first area to open in Litchfield in more than a decade.
“When it is open, we anticipate that approximately 20,000 to 30,000 people will pass through this area each year,” he said.
“Currently we have around 330,000 visitors to Litchfield, which just helps to expand the number of visitors.”
Work is still in progress at some sites, but it should gradually open in the coming months.
Mr Wilson said reservations with NT Parks and Wildlife to camp in the areas will be necessary due to limited space and the need to protect the environment.
“Some of the soils are quite sandy and fragile,” he told a group of reporters who were given an overview of the sites on Wednesday.
“We are trying to limit the number of people who come here.”
Mr Wilson urged people to be patient as he expected there would be a rush of people wanting to visit the new sites.
Visitors will need a four-wheel drive vehicle to reach them.
The site’s $ 17.5 million upgrades are part of the NT government’s Turbocharging Tourism campaign, which the government said aimed to support more than 15,600 direct and indirect jobs in the territory.
The Government of the Northwest Territories plans to introduce an online reservation system for campsites and an increase in park fees in July.
Shona Whitaker, who was visiting the park from Queensland on Wednesday, told UKTN that a reservation system would make it easier for visitors to check whether camp sites are vacant.
“The blogs said you had to be here at 10 am to get a seat. Then maybe [online booking] would be ideal, ”she said.
His travel companion, Ben Parkin, said they were drawn to visiting the territory after seeing ads on social media.
“It’s all over my Instagram, visit the NT, and these are all the places we’ve seen or are looking to go,” he says.
The NT government plans to release a draft master plan for its parks, including Litchfield, in November.
It will include a vision of how the visitor experience can be improved from 2022 to 2052.
Earlier this year, the NT government was criticized for failing to consult with indigenous groups to name the suggested sites.
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Safety said the names of the new sites have yet to be confirmed and there will be consultation with the traditional owners of the park. , the Northern Land Council and other stakeholders.