The MRBTA is pleased to announce that it received $100,000 through State Government’s Regional Economic Development (RED) Grant Program to commence the Ngilgi Cave Modernisation Project.

The project, which is in the early stages of development, will involve the development of a contemporary purpose-built visitor experience centre and upgraded cultural meeting place, leading to increased visitation, spend, length of stay and employment in the region.

The MRBTA intends to leverage further grant funding to assist in the completion of the $3+ million project over the coming years.

Ngilgi Cave is one of the region’s most visited caves, and we have witnessed visitor numbers steadily increase over the past ten years as demand for nature-based tourism experiences grows.  Over the last two years, however, visitor numbers have started to plateau.  The above ground infrastructure is very dated, and not in line with modern visitor’s expectations, or the below ground beauty of the cave itself.  The Ngilgi Cave Modernisation Project will create a world-class, iconic, innovative and culturally sensitive above ground visitor facility.  Centring on a contemporary purpose-built visitor experience centre with café and cultural meeting place, the redevelopment will provide a compelling, authentic and expanded visitor experience.  In providing a high quality visitor experience, the project will result in increased visitation, spend, length of stay and employment in the region.

The main aims of the redevelopment are to:

  • drive economic growth
  • create jobs and protect jobs
  • take action to preserve the ecology and the long-term sustainability of the cave as a tourism asset
  • provide Aboriginal employment and promote Aboriginal small business opportunities

The project is still in the early stages of development, and estimated to cost a total of $3.5 million.  The $100,00 in RED funding announced last week will enable the MRBTA to get started on the project, while it pursues other avenues of funding, including the Federal government’s Building Better Region’s Fund.  It is likely the project will take a number of years to reach final completion.

The architectural concept was developed by Chris Willcox at Willcox & Associates, 3D images were developed by Tim Brickle at 3D Walkabout.

Please contact Steve Harrison, Joint CEO/Group Operations Manager for any enquiries.