Some of Australia’s most iconic national parks are getting a facelift!
In an effort to help the tourism industry that’s been smashed by COVID-19, the Federal Government has pledged $233 million to upgrade key national parks across the country.
Five of Australia’s most well-known natural attractions – Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks in the NT, Booderee National Park on the NSW South Coast, Christmas Island and the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra – are all receiving federal funding to improve infrastructure and support the struggling industry.
What will each park receive?
The majority of the cash will land in the Northern Territory, with upgrades to the cultural centres within both the parks, revamped walking tracks, viewing platforms and campgrounds, as well as upgrades for the Mutitjulu community near Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay will see a new visitor centre, as well as upgrades to the campground amenities, roads, carparks, walking tracks and viewing platforms.
Christmas Island National Park gets a new bird watching destination overlooking the Indian Ocean and an upgraded viewing platform over Margaret Knoll Lookout.
And the Australian National Botanic Gardens will get smaller updates, including upgraded firefighting infrastructure.
The cash is estimated to support over 1000 jobs over the next three years and it’s hoped the improvements will boost the number of visitors to the national parks and surrounding areas.
Environment Minister, Sussan Ley has said investment in our national parks is crucial to supporting the tourism industry.
‘More than 50 per cent of domestic tourism bed nights are spent doing something with the natural environment. So our parks are front and centre of this.’
Despite some travel restrictions being in place around the country, Ms Ley said that upgrades will begin immediately. The commonwealth national parks are currently open to the public, with some sections remaining closed.
Feature photo by @mattcherub