Time to head to the Outback: Uluru and Kakadu to reopen to tourists as travel restrictions are set to be lifted in the Northern Territory
- Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Park will be reopened from next Friday
- They were kept closed to allow for urgent renovations for incoming visitors
- The National Cabinet will meet on Friday to discuss reopening state borders
Holiday trips to some of Australians most beautiful sights at Uluru and Kakadu are back on the to do list as the Northern Territory rolls back internal travel restrictions.
From next Friday, Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Park will be re-opened after they were initially kept closed when the NT entered into stage three restrictions last week.
At Uluru, in central Australia, tourists will be able to explore a range of walking tracks where they can experience and photograph local wildlife.
Kakadu, on the NT’s north coast, will reopen for day trips between 8am and 5pm with overnight camping initially banned due to renovations in the area.
From next Friday, Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Park will be re-opened in the Northern Territory
National Parks director Dr James Findlay said there was accommodation options Jabiru, Cooinda and Mary River for those looking to stay the night, and plenty to do during the day.
‘Mamukala Wetlands, Mangarre Rainforest, Bardedjilidji, Gungural, the Yurmikmik area and the Burrungkuy region will also be open, allowing for some stunning walks and access to Kakadu’s wildlife and world‐class rock art,’ he said according to NTNews.
Most boat ramps along the coastline will also be opened for those looking to enjoy a spot of fishing.
Kakadu, on the NT’s north coast, will reopen for day trips between 8am and 5pm with overnight camping initially banned due to renovations in the area
‘At Uluru‐Kata Tjuta National Park, walking tracks and sunrise and sunset viewing areas will be open,’ Dr Findlay said.
Visitors can take a walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole, hike around the base of Uluru or explore Kata Tjuta’s breathtaking views.’
Walking trails will be allowed only around the base of Uluru after climbing on the cultural landmark was officially banned in October last year.
Tours and organised group activities will remain closed in the first stage of reopening along with Uluru’s Culture Centre.
NT Tourism chief executive officer Glen Hingley slammed the decision to keep the parks closed and said it had held $1million back from tourism operators but Dr Findlay said the wait was necessary.
‘Currently, we are continuing to make some urgent infrastructure repairs across the park, including at the Bowali Visitor Centre which will remain closed for several weeks, district ranger stations and staff housing,’ he said.
At Uluru‐Kata Tjuta National Park, walking tracks and sunrise and sunset viewing areas will be open but no tours will be operational initially
Dr Findlay said the renovations would help support an expected influx of visitors.
Interstate travel to the Northern Territory is still not allowed for tourists but mandatory hotel quarantine will be relaxed from June 15.
On Tuesday, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he would hold off any decision to reopen borders until 10 days after Black Lives Matter rallies in the southern states to see if they resulted in an increase of community transmission of COVID-19.
‘We’re watching these community transmission rates down south. No-one knows the answer yet on how they’ll handle the step out from stage one to stage two [restriction easing],’ he said according to the ABC.
‘We will know very soon if it’s contained down south, and then with confidence you can make a border decision,’ he said.
Interstate travel to the Northern Territory is still not allowed for tourists but mandatory hotel quarantine will be relaxed from June 15. Pictured is Kakadu National Park