Expressions of interest to run the Window on the Wetlands site are being sought by the NT Government after the tourist spot was controversially closed indefinitely on January 1.
The Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security issued expressions of interest today, looking for a potential private operator to manage the two level visitor centre building, constructed to represent the form of a dancing brolga, complete with amenities, café, and interactive display with the top level viewing deck providing an uninterrupted 270 degree view of the wetlands.
The formerly government-managed 18.5-hectare site was shuttered earlier this year due to the building’s state, cost of operations, and declining tourist visits, the NT Government cited at the time.
The tourism asset is located 70km East of Darwin on Ludawei (Beatrice Hill). It offers majestic views of the Adelaide River floodplain and is conveniently located for visitors travelling to Arnhem Land, Jumping Crocodile Cruises or Kakadu.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for a commercial operator to provide a new and extraordinary experience to visitors in a beautiful setting, iconic to the Top End,” Senior Director, Commercial and Community Partnerships Aggie Wegner said.
“The site offers spectacular views of the Adelaide River floodplains, lightning storms and offers huge potential to service the drive market, organised tours and to provide services to independent travellers.
“It is hoped a dynamic operator will stimulate growth in visitation to this incredible attraction and give it a new lease of life.”
The government had previously stated it cost roughly $300,000 a year to run and attracted about 30,000 people a year. The CLP Opposition criticised the government for closing the site, saying it was a blow to tour operators in already tough tourism conditions.
The government was unable to reach an agreement with potential operators before the site was closed on January 1.
The department said proposed operators should consider indigenous traditions of the Limilngan-Wulna people when making commercial representations and respect the cultural significance of the site and the area.
The expression of interest process is open from today until May 5, 2021.
The Environment, Parks and Water Security department urges interested parties to register at Parks.EOI@nt.gov.au to attend a site visit on April 16 or reach them via 8999 3638 for more information.