In July this year, our consultants visited the Aboriginal community Ali Curung in the southern Barkly Region NT. Together with the Barkly Regional Council and local businesses and communities, we are developing a Barkly Region Visitor Experience Master Plan with the aim of growing visitation and length of stay in the region.
The Ali Curung community is home to more than 500 people and well renown for its Arlpwe Art Gallery. The Gallery also has two art centres and a pottery training centre where visitors can learn about Aboriginal art as it is being created. The Gallery is an important source of income for the local community and has visions to grow through greater promotion, hosting of annual cultural events and development of short cultural tours showcasing sacred sites and bush tucker in the region.
The Iytwelepenty/Davenport Ranges National Park is in the south of the Barkly Region NT. Jointly managed between the NT Parks, Wildlife and Heritage Division and Traditional Owners, the Park provides incredible 4WDing, camping, bird watching and swimming opportunities. With permanent waterholes, this national park certainly provides a remote off the beaten track journey surrounded by natural oases in the desert. TRC is currently working together with the Barkly Regional Council and the NT Government to enhance visitor experiences in the region including improved access, visitor infrastructure and promotion of places like Iytwelepenty/Davenport Ranges National Park.
If these walls could talk! The historic town of Newcastle Waters lies in the northern section of the Barkly Regional Council area. The township was once a thriving community with a local store, post office, school and pub servicing drovers, soldiers and travellers from all corners of the country. A welcome respite after weeks on foot, in carriage or riding horses across dusty plains, today visitors can walk through the heritage listed buildings and imagine the people and conversations that must have occurred!
Working with Traditional Owners and Council, there are opportunities to improve the interpretive experience, visitor facilities and also consider a campground, cultural and historic tours, bird watching sites over the nearby Longreach Waterhole and re-animating the Old Store for sales of visitor refreshments. With several historic sites and stories throughout the region, there are also opportunities to develop a historical trail connecting visitor journeys particularly along the Stuart Highway.
The Barrow Creek Telegraph Station is one of 11 telegraph repeaters constructed during the 1870s, providing a means of communication from Adelaide to Darwin and beyond. The southern point of the Barkly Region, Barrow Creek is home to a historic pub, cemetery and the telegraph station, all with remarkable stories of early European settlement in the region. The Barrow Creek Telegraph Station is one of the many visitor sites included in the Visitor Experience Master Plan for the Barkly Region. Together with the Barkly Regional Council and NT Government, TRC is investigating opportunities to develop a historic trail through the region, linking historic and cultural journeys for visitors and promoting greater length of stay in the region.