Works continue on the restoration of the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct with the $1.5 million tender for major refurbishment and landscaping upgrades awarded to Alice Springs company, Nicholl Constructions.
The upgrades are part of the Territory Labor Government’s $3.5 million Turbocharging Tourism investment and Stage One of the Five Point Plan to boost the West MacDonnell region’s cornerstone attraction, showcasing the historical significance of the site.
The Precinct is one of only five nationally listed NT heritage sites and the Hermannsburg Region (Ntaria) is well known as the home of artist Albert Namatjira, with an extensive history between German missionaries and local Aboriginal people.
Nine of the existing sixteen buildings will undergo significant restoration works, including stonework restoration, timbers and roofing renewal, utility upgrades in addition to landscaping upgrades to better cater for visitor movement around the site.
The upgrades follow salt extraction works completed last year by local masonry experts, Centralian Masonry who employed three local Aboriginal community members.
The area will also receive new contemporary display materials to better share the history and stories of the Lutheran Mission and Aranda people.
Navin Officer Heritage Consultants have developed a design plan to be delivered in partnership with the Australian Government.
The restoration of the Precinct aims to create fresh experiences and new activities to help drive increased visitation from locals and tourists.
Over 17,000 visitors visit the Precinct each year with projections of 30,000 to 40,000 visitors annually within the next five to six years.
All works are proceeding in consultation with Traditional Owners and with appropriate Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority and Central Land Council approvals.
As stated by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:
“Tourism is a critical industry for communities across the Northern Territory, which is why the Territory Labor Government is investing in enhancing visitor experiences throughout our regions, supporting economic growth and creating local jobs.
“Hermannsburg Historic Precinct is one of only five nationally listed heritage sites in the Territory. It is the cornerstone attraction for visitors to the West MacDonnell region.
“We have invested significantly in preserving and enhancing this incredible piece of Territory history to maximise tourism opportunities for the local community and the region.”
As stated by Member for Namatjira, Chansey Paech MLA:
“We have been working with stakeholders including the Finke River Mission and the Hermannsburg Historic Society to maximise tourism growth in Ntaria and create more jobs and business opportunities in the region.
“The 16 buildings in the Historical Precinct are one hundred and forty-years old and have strong heritage, cultural and artistic significance as the home of Mr Albert Namatjira – an internationally revered Aboriginal artist and namesake to our local electoral division.
“We’ve previously seen an increase in visitor numbers following the sealing of the final section of the Mereenie Inner Loop Road, so it’s important we continue to enhance our offerings to welcome visitors back as soon as we can.”