Rehabilitation for hot springs

Located 300 kilometres south of Darwin on the busy Stuart Highway tourist route, Katherine’s hot springs are a unique and valuable recreational resource. Attracting tourists and local residents, the hot springs and picturesque Katherine River environs provide a fine example of closed riparian or rainforest vegetation.

However, the biodiversity of the riparian vegetation is at risk due to the impact of intensive use and weed invasion.

To protect and enhance the area, Katherine Town Council has installed walking tracks, retaining walls and a raised walkway. Revitalisation of the hot springs and surrounds is an important part of Council’s Katherine River Plan of Management.

Through a Green Corps program, rehabilitation of the denuded stream and spring head banks is taking place. In addition to the environmental benefits, to date this program has provided 25 local people with valuable new skills and work experience.

Revegetation of the area, a weed management plan, exclusion fencing and interpretative signage are all part of the project. As well as protecting the biodiversity of the hot springs precinct and the stream bank from further erosion, Council aims to encourage the appropriate use and enjoyment of the River environs by residents and visitors alike.

Katherine Town Council recently received $30,000 funding from Natural Heritage Trust which will greatly assist this ongoing project.