NT campers seize the opportunity to ‘head bush’

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Grey nomads in the Northern Territory
The magic of the Northern Territory will hopefully soon be accessible to people from all over Australia.

While most grey nomads are still unable to get there, the Northern Territory is still finally seeing plenty of campers hitting the beauty spots again.

With biosecurity zone restrictions lifted on Friday, locals were able to head bush and gorges, waterholes, parks and campgrounds were all reported to be busy.

Senior director of Parks and Wildlife in Central Australia, Chris Day, praised campers’ behaviour.

“People were really well spread out, and all doing the right thing,” he told the ABC.

Camping spots and walks within the West MacDonnell Ranges were especially popular.

The General Manager at Standley Chasm, Nova Pomare, said she had vastly underestimated the number of visitors.

“We normally have this car park full with buses, coaches, student groups, grey nomads — but for locals to actually pack the park, that was beyond what I expected,” Ms Pomare told the ABC. “Local support is huge for us, but once the borders open up hopefully we’ll have the interstate visitors coming — I think they’re all keen.

However, she said the season had pretty much been a write-off.

“Within three days of Covid-19 hitting we lost over $60,000 in bookings, so that’s been massive for us,” she said. “We are trying to get past that point, looking forward to the future.”

In Katherine, the Riverview Tourist Village also enjoyed a busy weekend.

“We haven’t made as much money in the last two months as we did this weekend so it is a massive difference maker for us,” manager, Fiona Young, told the Katherine Times. “We’re blessed here with strong advertising as well as the Hot Springs at our back door, and we also had a lot of overflow from the national parks filling up.”

At the Katherine Holiday Park, there were 218 people staying over 64 sites on the weekend.

“We had mostly people from Darwin but a few from Alice Springs as well … we were still nowhere near capacity but it’s obviously good to see people here,” manager, Tracey Bache, told the Katherine Times. “The borders is still the biggest factor for us.”

  • If you are back on the road, have you been surprised by how bust the caravan parks and camping sites have been?
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