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'A very special part of the country'

G'Day Group buys up big in NT

Mackdonnel Range

Mr Wilckens (left) and Mr Brendan Heenan

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THE G'Day Group, owners of iconic Northern Territory's Kings Canyon Resort and Glen Helen, has acquired the MacDonnell Range Holiday Park in Alice Springs and Shady Lane Tourist Park in Katherine, significantly increasing their Territory tourism holding.

The group is the largest regional tourism accommodation provider in Australia, with more than 300 properties located in all states and territories.

Focussed on strengthening its offering through the Red Centre and northern Australia, it also owns El Questro in WA and with properties in Kununurra and Broome.

"For years we have been trying to grow our offering in the NT," chief executive Grant Wilckens said, adding that he was thrilled to have such "fantastic Territory properties" joining the group.

"It is home to some of the best caravanning and camping country in Australia, and some of the best outdoor experiences to be found in the world.

"It's a very special part of the country."

He said it was "a huge honour" to be the new owner of the top awarded MacDonnell Range Holiday Park ... "one of the best parks in the whole of Australia".

"Brendan Heenan, with great support from his family, has done an incredible job with this park and is to be congratulated for building it into such an outstanding property.

"The Katherine property is another great new feather in our cap. Katherine is becoming a more important NT town and with lots of tourism, government and defence activity.

'We are aiming to get people
to stay ... and stay longer'

"By bringing this property into the network we will be aiming to get more people to stay, and to stay longer, as they make their way between Alice Springs and Darwin and vice-versa."

The MacDonnell Range Holiday Park sits on more than 11ha and offers 53 tourist cabins, 16 bunk rooms, 300 tourist sites and 20 long-stay sites.

It has a heated swimming pool, waterslide, gym, BMX track, basketball court and jumping pillow.

It was bought from Mr Heenan, who said he was handing over the reins to capable new owners.

"Building the Alice Springs park up to be the best in the Territory and one of the best in Australia is something I'm very proud of," he said.

"It's taken a lot of work over the past 40 years, and I'm confident I've found the right buyer to take over my legacy and grow the property to the next level.

"It's been a wonderful industry to be a part of and I have met and worked with many amazing people, especially through BIG4 Holiday Parks of Australia, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia and the tourism industry in the Northern Territory.

"I will continue to be a passionate supporter of tourism in central Australia and the NT."

The park was bought from Phil and Marianne Bates who said they were keen to see it flourish with investment from the group.

"I'd love to see the G'day Group grow this property and really market the destination so people realise just how much there is to see here and why they need to stay longer," he said

The MacDonnell Range Holiday Park is due to settle in December. Shady Lane Tourist Park in Katherine will settle in early November.


 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved

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