This is not goodbye, but…
This announcement is going out with a heavy heart, a lot of emotion and a bit of fear, as we step into the unknown.
Lorella Springs will not be opening its doors in 2023, except for visitors as part of a prebooked outback tour group.
I have spent almost my whole life to make Lorella what it is today.
I have even often joked that I do not own Lorella – Lorella owns me.
Forty years ago, it was a piece of land in the middle of nowhere, that nobody wanted or even showed interest in.
It protected my family and I when we were at our most vulnerable, and in return it allowed us to care for it and made us its ‘keepers of the land’.
It connected with us several decades ago and has led our lives ever since.
And so, it only came naturally that we decided to let Lorella welcome others too.
Almost 25 years – that is how long I have been doing tourism at Lorella for.
What started as my family and I opening up our backyard to the public to share the many beautiful wonders of our private property, I believe has turned into one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations and the longest surviving tourism venture in the Northern Territory. At Lorella we have it all – for the nature lover, the bush walker, the bird watcher as well as the outback explorer, the remote camper and anyone keen to discover our unique Top End savannah region – a true wilderness sanctuary.
I never aimed to be a big corporation, only a successful small family business.
Fate would have it that Lorella would grow so popular that she became a victim of her own success.
It is not just the bureaucracy or the feeling of being forgotten and less supported in our remote location. It is not just either the pressure from those who do not accept that I, too, have an attachment to this land and care for it. It is the above and more.
The red tape has become too much for us to keep things as they are.
There was a time when my vision was so clear that the sacrifices I had to make in my life only seemed natural and fair. However, in recent times, with more and more restrictions being laid on us, I have been losing that dream and far from becoming easier, the running of Lorella’s tourism as it is has become impossible.
Lorella changed not only my life but the life of many.
Some people said it saved them.
It certainly saved me – more than once.
And like me, I know there are hundreds, thousands, out there in Australia and even abroad, who simply love Lorella for what it is. People who respect who we are and what we do. Many who will hurt to find out that they may never go back to what we consider to be a unique place on earth.
My dream has unravelled.
With sadness we say a huge THANK YOU to the many thousands of visitors who have become our loyal and good friends over the last 20-something years, and to the myriad of armchair followers that had us on their bucket list for one day.
Please believe me when I say, we feel and share the disappointment and shock. However, unfortunately, this situation is out of our control for now. Lorella cannot reopen to the public in 2023.
Lorella Springs Wilderness is therefore taking a new direction. It may be looking a bit bumpy ahead, but let’s see where the future leads us.
Thanking you all for your ongoing support and love of Lorella.
Rhett & family.
We leave you with a selection of photos of the evolution of Lorella.