The birth of Jawoyn tourism
In September 1993, the Jawoyn Association made its first move into mass tourism, co-purchasing the boat operations at Nitmiluk Gorge.
The association made the move under a joint venture called Nitmiluk Tours with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commercial Development Corporation (CDC) and Travel North.
In July 1994, we bought out CDC’s share of the joint venture to take a total of 50 per cent equity.
More than a decade later, on January 1, 2006, we bought out Travel North’s interests to became the full owner of Nitmiluk Tours and the sole operator of the boats, canoes, caravan park and visitor centre at Nitmiluk National Park.
We run all tourism operations at Nitmiluk National Park, including Nitmiluk Gorge and Leliyn Falls.
Nitmiluk Tours offers visitors a range of experiences at the park. After perusing the Visitor Centre at Nitmiluk Gorge, visitors can book boat tours, hire canoes for a few hours or a few days, go swimming, find out about trails to walk, and book helicopter tours over Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge and Leliyn (Edith) Falls.
There is also a range of accommodation available at Nitmiluk and Leliyn, ranging from camping and caravans through to fully-equipped cabins.
Since becoming the sole operator in the park in 2006, Nitmiluk Tours has substantially increased the number of tourism opportunities and facilities for the more than 250,000 visitors to the park annually.
In June 2006, Nitmiluk Tours undertook an ambitious program to upgrade the caravan park as well as other facilities at Nitmiluk Gorge, including building cabins.
A month later, we took over the operations of the Leliyn Falls campground and kiosk, situated on the western boundary of Nitmiluk National Park.
It is now moving to provide more accommodation, through a high-end ecotourism centre Cicada Lodge.
Nitmiluk Tours also operates culture and art tours to Manyallaluk (Eva Valley), one of the Territory’s longest running tourist operations.
Nitmiluk Tours was set up under the Jawoyn philosophy to "share our country".
When the Jawoyn people first won back Nitmiluk and the surrounding park in 1989, many people feared we would close the park to tourism. But this was far from our minds. We are happy to share our beautiful country and to show people how much it means to us.
Through Nitmiluk Tours, we are also able to put money back into the Jawoyn Association to fund its important services and to support employment and training in the tourism industry for Jawoyn people.
- Visit the Nitmiluk Tours website or call 1300 146 743.