The new Park Passes will be introduced from April 2023 for both domestic and international visitors, with tourists able to purchase day-long, week-long, and “open” options for specific national parks in the region.
The list applies to 50 national parks out of 85 in the Northern Territory, including: Adelaide River Foreshore Conservation Area, Illamurta Springs Conservation Reserve, Mary River National Park and Watarrka National Park.
The parks which will require a pass for entry feature several springs and waterfalls that are much-photographed and posted on scial media. These scenic areas are regularly seen on Instagram feeds as swimming spots and picturesque tourist destinations.
In terms of the costs involved, a day pass is being listed as $10 for an adult, which translates to around £5.50. The same pass will be priced at $5 for a child or $25 (£14) for a family.
Meanwhile a two-week pass will cost $30 for an adult, $15 for a child or $75 for a family. Finally, an open pass is to be $60 for an adult, $30 for a child and $150 for a family.
As reported byABC News, Parks and Wildlife executive director, Sally Egan, said: “Revenue from fees would be invested into the “protection, maintenance and safety of our parks and the creation of new visitor experiences”.”
“Nothing at the moment that we are hearing or seeing is suggesting that people will have a real problem and it would stop them coming to the Northern Territory,” Ms Egan added.
People were quick to add their opinion underneath a tweet announcing this move by ABC News, with the post asking followers: “Would you pay to swim in the NT’s most famous natural pools?”.
One user said: “I’ve seen how tourists leave national parks after visiting, rubbish everywhere. If people have to be employed just to keep the area clean, I’d be happy to pay.”
A poster seemingly opposing the fees, tweeted: “If the government can find a way to charge you for something, they will.”
But another added, that providing the costs go to management and the parks’ protection, “it sounds fair”.
Passes can be purchased online from April 2023 and those living in the Northern Territory will be exempt from any charges.