Aussie government to CHARGE tourists visiting popular Instagram spots

Instagram influencers in the wild will soon be hit with a fee to take those ‘gram worthy shots in the Northern Territory.

The state government is preparing to introduce a charge for dozens of famous swimming spots and parks including Edith Falls, Litchfield and Mataranka hot springs.

As part of the pay-to-visit system, all interstate and international tourists will be forced to fork out for a Parks Pass from April 2023. While a day pass will set a family back $25, a two week stay comes in at $75 and an open pass will cost $150.

Florence Falls in the Litchfield National Park from above (left) and a woman stands in front of the falls (right).
Florence Falls in the Litchfield National Park is on the Northern Territory Government's hit list. Source: Instagram

Out of the 85 parks, reserves and protected areas the Northern Territory Government manages, the fee will apply to 50 of them. Those camping and hiking will still need to pay relevant fees on top of this charge.

While Territorians will be exempt from requiring a Parks Pass, the announcement hasn’t gone down well with those online.

“That’s ridiculous!” one person wrote on Facebook. “Charging for a swim in nature??” said another. “Here comes the cash grab,” someone else added.

Money to be used to maintain parks

The Northern Territory Government says the Parks Pass will help protect, modernise and improve the state’s parks and reserves through the generation of new revenue for their care, management and development.

“Our parks and reserves contribute greatly to our wonderful lifestyle and economy,” Parks and Wildlife Executive Director Sally Egan said. “Revenue from fees will be invested back into the protection, maintenance and safety of our parks and the creation of new visitor experiences.”

A woman in front of at Karlu Karlu, the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve (left) and a couple (right).
Interstate and international tourists will also need to pay to visit Karlu Karlu, or the Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, from April 2023. Source: Instagram

“These charges mean our parks and reserves are maintained and developed for generations to come so Territorians and visitors can continue to enjoy the amazing landscapes and native wildlife.”

Traditional Owners will also share in the revenue from the Parks Pass.

‘It’s not fair’

While the state government is giving tourism operators until next October to adjust to the introduction of the fee, some are worried that asking tourists to fork our more money could make them think twice.

“It’s not fair,” Dalabon man Manuel Pamkal, who shares his Indigenous culture and art with tourists, told the ABC. “When families come it costs them lots of money.”

“We all know that fuel prices have gone up, food, and they are already paying money for camping. I think swimming should be free.”

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