Visitors to Kakadu National Park will soon be able to enjoy safer and more reliable dry season access to the spectacular Twin Falls area, with construction to raise Jim Jim Creek crossing now underway.
Croc surveys have been completed, water levels are low enough for on-ground works to commence, and with plans ticked off by the area’s Traditional Owners and the Northern Land Council, the upgrades are in full swing.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the upgrades are part of a $276 million investment by the Australian Government into the upgrade and renewal of infrastructure in the dual World Heritage-listed park.
“Jim Jim Creek crossing is subject to high rainfall and potentially deep water which in recent years has made the area impassable even for well equipped vehicles,” Minister Ley said.
“Raising the crossing will allow visitors to drive across Jim Jim Creek more safely and improve access to the Twin Falls plateau walk, which provides jaw-dropping views down into the gorge and across to remote, unspoilt wilderness.
“A number of pipe-like structures, or culverts, are now being installed in what is a culturally and environmentally friendly solution that will allow crocodiles, turtles and fish to swim underneath.
“We are committed to working alongside Traditional Owners to conserve this extraordinary environment and protect Kakadu’s unique environment and cultural heritage values.
“Improved infrastructure across the park will allow more people to visit this beautiful area and learn about how cultural knowledge frames caring for country.”
The upgrade and renewal of infrastructure in the dual World Heritage-listed park is being delivered by Parks Australia in consultation with Traditional Owners as part of the Kakadu Tourism Master Plan.
This new phase in the upgrade follows the selection of Territory Construction Services (TCS) as the successful tenderer for construction and design.
Parks Australia has worked closely with Kakadu’s Traditional Owners and Board of Management, the Northern Territory Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority and the Northern Land Council to ensure Kakadu’s upgrades maintain the park’s reputation as a key national and international tourism destination while showcasing its unique natural environment and Indigenous culture and heritage.
Jim Jim Creek crossing is currently closed to visitors and will remain closed during construction.
The upgrades are expected to take up to 6 weeks, and once complete will provide visitor access to the Twin Falls Plateau Walk, positioned above the gorge, later this dry season.
Meanwhile the Twin Falls Gorge itself will remain closed this year as Parks Australia continues to work with Traditional Owners and technical experts to develop plans for upgrading viewing platforms and improving access to this area.
Images of construction and design are available here (view in Google Chrome or Firefox): https://spaces.hightail.com/space/43oasyxwHu