The West Australian Government is expanding its Camping with Custodians program, ahead of what it expects will be a surge in interest in indigenous tourism.
Aboriginal communities are now being encouraged to register their interest in developing and operating public campgrounds. The Camping with Custodians is an Australian-first program under which top quality campgrounds are built, and are then owned and operated by the community.
The campgrounds are open to the public, allowing visitors to learn more about the local Aboriginal culture.
For the host community, Camping with Custodians generates income, employment, training opportunities and the chance to showcase local culture, with all fees collected remaining in the community.
Five campgrounds have been developed to date, at Imintji, Mimbi, Violet Valley and Doon Doon in the Kimberley, and at Peedamulla in the Pilbara. Work has started on a new campground at Djarindjin on the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome, while the campground for the neighbouring Lombadina community is in the planning stages.
“We know the demand for Aboriginal tourism outstrips what is currently available in WA, and there is an opportunity for significant growth in this area,” said WA’s Tourism Minister David Templeman. “The five campgrounds currently open have been very popular, and I look forward to expanding this program across the State.”