Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…read more
30 years ago this week, America fell in love with Crocodile Dundee and Kakadu
"That’s not a knife, that's a knife," might be the immortal line from Crocodile Dundee, but it was the rugged and beautiful landscape of Kakadu that captured the imagination of Americans as the film made its debut across the USA 30 years ago this week.
On 26th September 1986, Crocodile Dundee opened on 879 screens in the USA and became the biggest grossing film in Australia’s history. In America, it grossed US$174.8 million at the box office, and was only pipped by Top Gun as the most successful film in the USA in 1986.
It wasn’t the first time that Paul Hogan, who played the larrikin Mick Dundee, had shown Kakadu on the international stage, with Tourism Australia combining the two for the ground-breaking ‘shrimp on the barbie’ advertisements, but with Kakadu’s dramatic landscape such an integral component of the film, a fledgling tourism industry was supercharged overnight.
Crocodile Dundee put Australia on the map for Americans, and many other international travellers. Julia Redwood, who directed the documentary Selling Australia about the film’s impact recalls "Hogan's character shaped the American view of Australia and is still relevant today. If you show a picture of Paul Hogan to an American today, they'll know exactly who it is."
Not surprisingly, the ‘crocodile’ became a central attraction for tourists, with the famous Crocodile Hotel developed by the local Gagudju people in the shape of a ‘ginga’, as the crocodile is known in the local language.
Tourism to Kakadu has enjoyed a major renaissance in 2016, with easier access, lower hotel costs in Darwin, and the falling Australian dollar all contributing to the revival.
This week in 1986, an Australian dollar was worth US$0.63, and while the current exchange rate is at US$0.76 for an Aussie dollar, the reduction from peaks of US$1.10 has seen the US inbound market to Australia rise to record levels in 2016.
Commenting on the anniversary of Crocodile Dundee, Chair of Kakadu Tourism, Rick Allert - who was also a former Chair of Tourism Australia – said that Paul Hogan’s roguish, good-humoured character was the perfect complement to the Kakadu landscape.
Allert explains “the film goes much deeper than some people might think, capturing the spirituality of the Indigenous traditional owners along with the region’s rich cultural significance.
“One of the most spectacular locations – the Gunlom waterfall and infinity rock pool – was known in 1986 as UDP Falls – named after an uranium mining company, because apart from the Indigenous people, miners were the only people who had explored the area.
“Today, sites made famous in Crocodile Dundee – such as Ubirr, Nourlangie and Bardedjilidji walk – are more easily accessible, and there is an excellent range of accommodation and organised tours to cater for travellers.
“Our tourism businesses such as the Crocodile Hotel, Cooinda Lodge and Yellow Water Cruises have enjoyed one of their best trading years for quite a long time, attracting increased numbers of both international and domestic visitors wanting to follow in the footsteps of Mick Dundee.
“We have upgraded the Crocodile Hotel, introduced an Indigenous ‘artist in residence’, and at Cooinda, the launch of ‘Flash Camp’ style accommodation this year has been an enormous success.
“The season has been quite unusual because of heavy rains during September, but this will mean the waterfalls will be running for much longer, there will be even more fish in Yellow Water Billabong and there will be an extraordinary amount of bird life in Kakadu National Park for Kakadu Bird Week, which starts from 2nd October.
“We have a lot to thank Paul Hogan for his brilliant efforts in raising Australia’s profile in the American market, and with Chris Hemsworth now having a similarly positive role, we can look forward to continuing growth in the American market that will benefit the whole of Australia for some time to come.”
For more information go to www.kakadutourism.com
Images (from top): Paul Hogan and Crocodile Dundee co-star Linda Koswolki, the Crocodile Dundee movie poster, the Crocodile Hotel and the Gunlom waterfall and rock pool. Courtesy Kakadu Tourism.
7th June 2016 - CROCOSAURUS COVE CAGE OF DEATH A GLOBAL PHENOMENA
10th February 2016 - NORTHERN TERRITORY TOURISM A ‘BEACON’ FOR THE ECONOMY
8th June 2015 - TRIPADVISOR NAMES THE WORLD’S FAVOURITE LANDMARKS
22nd April 2015 - WORLD’S PROTECTED NATURAL AREAS RECEIVE EIGHT BILLION VISITS A YEAR
18th November 2014 - CONSERVATIONISTS CALL FOR ACTION IN KAKADU
16th April 2012 - MADAME TUSSAUDS OPENS SYDNEY ATTRACTION
20th January 2011 - OPRAH AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE SCREENED TO US AUDIENCES
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…read more
Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…read more
Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…read more
Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…read more
Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…read more
TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide. Our…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!