First Pilbara Camping with Custodians campground opens

April 10, 2018 3:49 pm

Western Australia’s third Camping with Custodians campsite, and the first in the Pilbara region, has opened at Peedamulla Station near Onslow.

Peedamulla is a 220,000 hectare Aboriginal-owned pastoral station which runs from the North West Coastal Highway to the coast.

It is home to a collection of heritage-listed buildings and structures – one of which has been restored as the campground reception office.

The nature-based campground, which has powered and unpowered sites, gas barbecues, hot water showers and flushing toilets, is operated by the Peedamulla Aboriginal community.

Tourism Western Australia’s Camping with Custodians initiative is an Australian-first program, which gives visitors the opportunity to camp on Aboriginal land, and to meet and mix with local Aboriginal people, knowing that the proceeds of their visit will stay in the community.

Imintji Campground and the Jarlarloo Riwi Mimbi Campground, both in the Kimberley region, officially opened in July last year.

Peedamulla Campground, now officially open for business, has 20 campsites and will operate from March to November each year.

A fourth site is currently being developed at Violet Valley in the East Kimberley.

Tourism WA research shows 78 per cent of visitors to WA in 2016-17, expressed an interest in Aboriginal tourism, however, only 21 per cent of people experienced it.

There is a strong opportunity to capitalise on the increasing interest in Aboriginal tourism, and the State Government is working on a number of initiatives, including expanding Camping with Custodians, to help further grow the sector in the State.

Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:

“Camping with Custodians not only delivers a network of much needed visitor accommodation in some remote areas of Western Australia, it also gives Aboriginal communities the opportunity to showcase their traditional culture.

“Visitors to the campgrounds will be able to experience a range of additional activities such as guided tours, art sales and cultural performances, which research consistently tells us visitors want to take part in but often can’t easily access.

“Aboriginal tourism plays an important part of Tourism WA’s two-year action plan which will attract more visitors to Western Australia, encourage them to stay longer, disperse further into the regions and do more while they’re here.”

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

“Connecting with country through Aboriginal eyes is an experience like no other for both Western Australians and visitors to our State.

“It also builds pride and economic opportunity for our Aboriginal communities.”

Source: Government of Western Australia Media Statement