The Board of Nitmiluk Tours today announced its purchase of the 50% stake in Cicada Lodge held by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), taking 100% ownership of the flagship property.

“This announcement marks a significant milestone for Nitmiluk Tours and the Jawoyn Association”: said Chairperson of Nitmiluk Tours, Ms Jane Runyu.

“IBA partnered with Nitmiluk Tours in the development of Cicada Lodge which opened in 2013. The aim has always been for us to take on full ownership which we are proud to do so today. It is a landmark moment for us, with the Lodge being one of the first 100% Indigenous owned and managed luxury properties in Australia. This is the second joint venture between IBA and Jawoyn that has resulted in 100% Indigenous ownership following the successful partnership in the Nitmiluk cruises business in 1993”.

“It is a landmark announcement for our people, for the Katherine region and for Indigenous Tourism in Australia.

“From the customers perspective we envisage very little change”, said Ms Runyu, “as we aim for a smooth transition into Nitmiluk Tours systems and operations. The Lodge will continue to be run as the lead product in the Nitmiluk Tours tourism portfolio alongside the touring operations and other accommodation options in the National Park”.

Today’s announcement is a significant step in a story which began in 1993 when the Jawoyn Association made their first foray into tourism with the establishment of Nitmiluk Tours and the co-purchase of cruise operations on Nitmiluk Gorge. The 18 room Cicada Lodge adds to the Nitmiluk Tours tourism portfolio which includes cruise operations, campground and caravan park, Nitmiluk chalets and various food and beverage operations.

Cicada Lodge was opened in March 2013.