28 Mar 2016
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Minister for Tourism
Willem Westra van Holthe, Member for Katherine
A new Katherine based mountain biking and adventure tourism business will receive a Northern Territory Government tourism infrastructure grant to buy signs and trail markers to establish a Katherine mountain biking precinct.
Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Adam Giles announced the grant today, and also announced a grant for the Katherine Museum to develop a new interactive display about the areas immortalised in Jeannie Gunn's classic novel, "We of the Never Never".
Member for Katherine Willem Westra van Holthe said Two-Wheel Dreaming (TWD) would target visitors seeking an active holiday in the Top End, providing both supported and DIY biking adventures.
"With the natural beauty and landscape, Katherine has the potential to be considered amongst the best mountain biking experiences in Australia," he said.
"However, this experience is largely unknown and unavailable to tourists due to the lack of dedicated and signposted trails.
"With the assistance of a $50,000 Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund grant, TWD will buy trail head signs and trail markers to mark a selection of mountain bike tracks in and around Katherine that will form a Katherine mountain biking precinct.
"These tracks and trails would be available for everyone to use free of charge at any time, helping to establish Katherine as a mountain biking destination."
Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Adam Giles said the Northern Territory Government was in the process of developing a new Master Plan to grow mountain biking right across the Territory.
"Our new Master Plan will help us grow this niche tourism market and attract even more holiday makers to the Territory, which will have positive spin-offs for local businesses," he said.
"The Master Plan will also highlight the social opportunities and benefits for locals of mountain biking too, with the potential to promote a more active and healthy lifestyle."
Mr Westra van Holthe said Katherine Museum would also receive a $33,878 Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund grant towards the project.
"Jeannie Gunn's novel 'We of the Never Never', which centred around her time at Elsey Station near Mataranka, is known as an Australian classic and has sold more than a million copies since it was first published in 1908," he said.
"While the Katherine Museum has two punts used by Mrs Gunn and her husband Aeneas Gunn's dinner suit within their collection, this grant will help them new create a digital, interactive display about the Elsey Station and the Roper River area.
"The new digital display will feature visuals and commentary about landscapes and historic sites around the Elsey area where the novel was set, providing an interesting new exhibition for tourists and school groups visiting the museum."
Mr Giles said the Country Liberals Government's Tourism Infrastructure Development Fund was aimed at helping the tourism industry attract more visitors here and encourage them to stay longer.
"It has been fantastic to see significant interest from local operators wanting to improve their infrastructure, and while some of these projects are small in scale, they will make a huge difference to improving the overall visitor experience," he said.
"A thriving tourism industry helps to develop our regions, boost local businesses, create more jobs and grow the Territory economy.
"It's all part of the Country Liberals Government's plan to drive the development of North Australia and build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020."
Media Contact: Scott Whitby 0438 531 583