New Camping with Custodians campsite opens in WA’s Kimberley region

Published: May 3, 2024

A new indigenous-run campground has opened in WA’s Kimberley region as part of the state government’s Camping with Custodians initiative.

The site at Lombadina – on the spectacular Dampier Peninsula – will offer visitors the chance to learn about local Aboriginal culture and customs, while staying on Bardi Country with the Traditional Owners.

The operators will also be a booking agent for activities and tours in the area, ranging from mud crabbing to whale watching tours.

The Camping with Custodians project provides high-quality campground accommodation owned and run by Aboriginal people, creating income, employment and training opportunities for local communities.

Lombadina is the second Camping with Custodians campground to open on the Dampier Pensinisla. The Djarindjin campground, located five kilometres from the new Lombadina facility, was officially opened in 2022, and has proved to be a popular option for caravanners and campers.

Seven sites have now been developed through the Camping with Custodians initiative, with other sites located at Imintji, Mimbi, Doon Doon, Violet Valley and Peedamulla, with planning underway for additional sites in the future.

The program is one of the key outcomes of WA Government’s Jina: WA Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2021-2025, which aims to make Western Australia the nation’s premier destination for Aboriginal Tourism.

WA’s Tourism Minister, Rita Saffioti, said each of the Camping with Custodians sites offered something unique.

“We know there’s demand for authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences, and there’s definitely opportunity for growth in this area,” she said. “Camping with Custodians enables visitors to experience the unique Aboriginal culture in a personal, authentic setting, while creating employment and training opportunities in local Aboriginal communities.”

  • Have you stayed at one of the Camping with Custodians campsites? How was it? Comment below.

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Violet Valley great place to stay

Peedamulla is excellent, stayed there a coupla years ago, nice & quiet with a great communal fire pit. Not far off the highway, easy access. No sign of the custodians while we were there, the station owners were looking after the place. Highly recommend short stay chill out spot.

Stayed at Peedamulla many times, top spot & facilities. No sign of custodians while we were there.
Highly recommended.

Are dogs allowed at these new sites?

no

Peedamulla June 23 – built well, potential to be great but let down by no maintenance, overflowing bins, toilet broken and grounds on poor condition. Great initiative but if don’t have upkeep, what’s the point. Sunk govt money again!

Can a pensioner afford this new initiative? Or is this another money making scheme to further restrict common access.

Stayed with two other couples at Lombadeena about 20 years ago. Parked our campertrailers outside cabins we rented. ( reasonable fee) Qualified us to go crabbing (reasonable fee) . Cooked the crabs we caught in the mangroves, with muscells, and cooked and ate them. What an experience! A really different community.

no pets allowed although their are “camp dogs” wandering around

Lest year we stayed at Mimbi and was excellent. Can’t say the same for Violet Valley very tired and unappealing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eddie

Have stayed a two of these developments. No real interaction with the locals. Tend to be much more expensive than privately owned and developed camp grounds/caravan parks.

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