N.T. Hidden Tolls !

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 15:49
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On our recent trip we also drove from Katherine up to Darwin and a few days later we wanted to drive back to Katherine but via a different route so as to see some new country.

The only highway back is via the Arnhem highway and then down Kakadu highway.

However you are not allowed to drive this road unless you pay an $80 toll ($40/person).

This charge also gives you access to Kakadu park and I would have swallowed that if I wanted to visit Kakadu however we only wanted to drive back to Katherine.

Tried to explain that but apparently no exceptions.

N.T. residents don't have to pay the toll.

We went to main visitor centre next to parliment house in Darwin and made our disgust at this anti-tourism measure known to all there.

So be aware of hidden N.T. tolls.
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Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:22

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:22
Hi Robin

Who told you you had to pay?
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:29

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:29
Hi Steve

3 places - first at Katherine visitor centre

A dirty great big sign on way in near Humpty-do , which I couldn't believe and hence we ended up at main Darwin visitor centre where it was confirmed.

Apparently its a fairly new thing and does not apply to most other parks like Litchfield etc.
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:36

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:36
There is a fee for entering Kakadu if you wish to visit the park, however, if you drive straight through without stopping there is no fee charged.

What I don't understand is that you didn't want to visit the park after driving all the way to Darwin.

The mind boggles, and as said below you didn't do a lot of research for someone who has been on this forum for a long time, and you don't have anything decent to say about where you have been either.

Sad really.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 17:36

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 17:36
If you have any info that supports that we would all like to see it Steve - its clearly at odds with the understanding of many including both visitor centres.

The fee was introduced in april last year and has resulted in visitor numbers being down so apparently lots don't like it.

And why would I research Kakadu when I never had any intention of visiting it on this particular trip ?



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Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:23

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:23
Robin,

When you planned this trip for yourself and the other group members, I assume you did realise that Kakadu is not only a National Park, most of which charge an entry fee, but is a World listed heritage area.
The fees you are charged help pay for the maintenance, services and facilities provided in the area.
Apart from the fact that your chosen route isn't the only way back from Darwin to "civilisation" why should any visitor, apart from the locals, be able to enter and just give the reason that they are not planning on doing any sightseeing or touring, so say "don't charge me"??
Your statement that you wanted to drive back that way "to see some new country" makes me wonder.
You didn't have a good word to say about the GRR or Kakadu or much else in that part of Australia.

Cheers
Pop

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:43

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:43
No I didn't realize that about Kakadu Pop, specifically because I did not intend to visit it.
Hence its not relevant - as I said If I wanted to visit it I would have accepted the fee.

Apparently the fee might even be illegal to charge for diving on a public highway.

Anyway the fair solution seems to be to charge N.T. residents for using national highways whenever they leave N.T.

P.S. You may have missed where I said I loved the trip espically Litchfield and even spent a whole day there.
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Follow Up By: Chris B26 - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 21:15

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 21:15
Wow, a whole day in Litchfield.
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Follow Up By: Top End Az - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 09:20

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 09:20
A lot of Darwin/surrounding area residents go fishing out at Kakadu on the weekends. As well, you have truckies, road transport, station owners and other businesses who regular travel to Darwin from Jabiru and vice versa. Bit steep charging them $40 each go. This has been raised before, and the cost to local businesses outweighs the $40.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 09:56

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 09:56
Yes Top End , and wether or not the visitor centres are giving out right info it certainly caused a significant loss of revenue to business from our decision to not do that 500km drive which would have generated about $40 just from fuel taxes for my car.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:44

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:44
Robin, where do you think the "fuel taxes" for your car would wind up??

Or for that matter how much profit margin would end up in the pockets of locals businesses?

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:24

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:24
I don't think it's been very well hidden as I have known about it for some years now.

You wouldn't want to go to Bamaga then. You will have to watch out for the "hidden" toll there as well.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:52

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:52
Even staff at main Darwin visitor centre seemed a bit confused at first Rangie but soon found some documents to support it, they told me it only came in for last season but I don't really know that.
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:59

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:59
Robin there is no evidence to prove it, because it simply isn't true.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 17:52

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 17:52
A quick search on the web shows the fee was increased to $40 in april 2016 Rangie , and this resulted in fewer visitors.

In addition if you wish to camp etc there are others fees.

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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 18:28

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 18:28
Unfortunately you have been miss informed, I suspect this is because 99.99% of people that want to drive through Kakadu want to visit the place. I am guessing that when you asked if you needed to pay to go through Kakadu the answer would have been yes. That 00.01% that wanted to drive through Kakadu without visiting it would be you.

Yes Robin there is a park pass fee, this means if you use any facility within the park you need to pay the park pass fee. This is something you said that you would support if you wanted to visit the park.

However, you said you didn't want to visit the park but just drive through it, this means you don't have to pay a fee if you drive through the park non stop or break your trip in 2 and stay one night in jabiru.

To answer your question above, the park pass was re introduced in 2007, and the fee structure was was increased in April 2016. This means from the 1st of Nov to the 15th of May the fee is $25 per adult $60 for a family with a concession of 25% for those over 60 from the 15th of May until the 1st of November the fee rises to $40 per adult and $100 per family with a 25 % concession.

The visitor numbers since the increase has risen approx 4% per year since the new fee structure was implemented.

How do I know this? I am the Tourism Visitor Support Officer for Parks Australia atKakadu headquarters.

I have also lived and worked here for over 40 years, it is my job to know these things.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 19:03

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 19:03
Hi Steve

I support your trying to get to the exact situation here without the other comments.

I can assure you that I clearly understand the issues and just what the words mean hence we specifically asked about the no stopping senario and at 3 different places and the answer was clear and made to 4 of us , in fact as it turns out I even have the Kakadu camping guide marked "staff copy" with me.
It doesn't address this issue though.

So clearly if what you say is correct then there are several misinformed visitor centre employees whose job it is to know and they are costing the N.T.

I have dealt with these sorts of things before and sometimes even the relevant legislation is ambiguous. If could even come down to who is the responsible authority for the road reserve, and those giving advice see the highway inside the park boundary and hence require the fee.

I make a suggestion -phone up Darwin visitor centre and ask them (its possible they even remember me ).

Robin

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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:42

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:42
How do you "make a disgust'? at ParliAment House.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:49

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:49
I think you may have read it wrong RMD - I said at visitor centre , and made a bit of a scene to get my point across.

Got some support from others their at the time.

Interestingly my initials are RDM
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:58

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 16:58
Well Robin you made a big fuss about nothing, because your statements are simply not true.

There is no fee for driving non stop through Kakadu, as stated above there is a fee for visiting the park.

You my friend are a little confused.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 20:54

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 20:54
Robin,
Gee, you have troubles/disappointment in the Kimberley, now we are hearing about your woes in the Territory....might be safer to stay in Mexico (Victoria).

Stay safe..
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 21:44

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 21:44
Cant get a break around here Robin, one minute you're misinformed then you're basically being called an liar/idiot!

No wonder this site is just about dead these days, too many sour pusses!
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 08:53

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 08:53
Nutta, I'm sorry you feel the need to voice your opinion that "this site is just about dead these days" and that there are too many "sour pusses".
If that is your genuine opinion, why bother coming on here at all?

As far "sour pusses" go have a two eyes open read of Robin's posts re the Kimberly and this one.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 09:36

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 09:36
Hi Nutta

Actually I don't mind - in my professional career I have often been in ""Shoot the messenger "" senarios, which is why I take reasonable steps to verify things I report.
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Follow Up By: Nutta - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:13

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:13
I like to have a look at all sites that interest me but this one is slowly dying, it used to be one of my favourites. Its down to 1 thread a day at times and maybe 3 or 4 if lucky, a few years ago I couldn't keep up.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 06:54

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 06:54
Geez Robin.

Between $40 and your review of the Kimberley, you would have been much happier staying home. LOL

Obviously it was one of those trips.

Sometimes life is how you look at it.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 08:57

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 08:57
Luv your signature line Boobook, and so appropriate...LOL

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 09:24

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 09:24
I stole that from a google engineer who believes it's the mathematical formula for happiness. I think it's right.

It explains why some people are pissed off when they scratch their Porsche, but you can go to Cambodia and see people who have a smile 1 mile wide if the sun shines. I think it also explains why so many people are depressed these days. It rarely happened when society was poor and had to work hard for a living.



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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:02

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:02
Tony, it seems the more "stuff" people have, the harder it is for them to find happiness.

Maybe that's why those who have comparatively little find it easier to smile at the small pleasures life offers from time to time.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 at 19:03

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 at 19:03
As per my comments on the Kimberly born 50-100 years too late

and to put it into perspective if i wish to gain access to any haul road railway line access road.

Guess what I have to pay a fee and undergo a safety awareness training video questionnaire. If I'm not prepared to do this then sorry can't do it simple as that
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Reply By: Iza B - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 06:57

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 06:57
The $40 per person is a Park Visitor's fee, not a toll. "made our disgust" at the main visitor centre is probably an interesting story among the staff there at smoke time, now.

Iza
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:12

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:12
I reckoned the visitor info centre is used to getting it's fair share of grumpy old grey nomads as visitors....lol
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 at 19:32

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 at 19:32
Your trip including the Kimberly, sounds more like a military operation than what most look for.

I have driven through, delivered freight and never had a problem with charges. We have also enjoyed the wonderful sites of Kakadu, Arnham land and the Kimberly area, plus everything across the north.

Sorry, but what did you actually see in your travels or was it more about everything was free.



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Reply By: LandCoaster - Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 12:13

Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 12:13
Thanks for the heads-up on this Robin, im going to have to really double check my details before travelling up that way.

A few years back in WA I had to drive past the turn-off to Wave Rock.
Life isn't always about what other people expect.
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 19:53

Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 19:53
It pays to do your research, because I have proved this information to be wrong on this thread and the other one he started on the same subject.
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Follow Up By: William P - Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 22:27

Saturday, Sep 09, 2017 at 22:27
The same issue applies to just about all National Parks in Aust that have entrance fees but also have public roads that transverse them. If you are stopping you pay but if you are just driving through you dont.

I believe the Royal National Park and Kosciusko National Park are exactly the same.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 08:42

Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 08:42
No worries Landcoaster.

Since that post I have recieved a 3rd reply , this one from Kakadu services officer who said you don't need too pay.

So from the 3 centres I have 2 saying you do and 1 saying you do not.
We also have input from others via this post as above.

Unfortunately , despite my request , the main N.T. tourist office has not (to my knowledge) done anything to correct visitor centre advice.

Its to late for us , but I would tell people to go with "You don't have to pay - if you don't stop":

In the unlikely event of being required to pay, this post and its references would be enough to have it overturned down the track.

.




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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 12:19

Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 12:19
There is no entry point that stops you to find out if you are just passing through or not, you will not be pulled over and asked to produce a park pass unless you are at a visitor site.
If you drive from Darwin to Jabiru and then from Jabiru through to Katherine then no park pass is necessary.

The only thing I don't understand, is why someone would drive an extra 250 kms not to see a World heritage National Park. Everyone I have spoken to about this doesn't get that either. It just doesn't make sense.

Happy Travels.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 15:26

Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 15:26
Hi Steve

The $80 it would have cost each of our cars was the knockout blow.

It was the single most expensive park / camp cost in our entire 8 week holiday
and contrasted heavily with say Litchfield which not only cost nothing but had some fun 4wding.

I'm sure Kakadu is lovely and maybe we can include it in our next big trip.
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 18:00

Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 18:00
I don't get the big deal about someone driving out of their way just for the heck of it...many a time I'll take the long scenic way home from wherever just to see what's on that route / check out it's scenery, and not plan to stop off anywhere. Whilst the reason they didn't go was incorrect, I understand why that was a route they considered taking....lord knows the Stuart Hwy can be a boring drive in much of it's route.i
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 22:34

Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 22:34
Many moons ago Kosciuszko NP USED to charge entry fees even if you were simply traversing through on the Alpine Way. Can't recall when or why it changed but I know there were many complaints before they dropped the charge.
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