In an incredible way, you never know who you’ll talk with, what you’ll be doing or where you’ll be going!

This month started with a visit to Aragoon with Paul Clement, who hopes to develop a bush campground by the river for visitors to enjoy. Aragoon is to the south of the Kalumburu Community and provides a unique opportunity for visitors to camp alongside the place where two mighty rivers meet – the King Edward and the Carson Rivers. The drive in required a bit of bush bashing and a choose your own adventure type route, but once by the river, the scenery was stunning – I could definitely imagine myself kicking back here for a week under the shade trees with a good book and a fishing line!

I was then treated to a demonstration in how to make spears by local tour guiding legend Clarrie Djanghara. I watched as he carefully prepared the spears, straightened them with heat from the fire, sand and strengthen them before sharpening the spear tip and painting. What incredible knowledge and culture Clarrie is sharing with visitors. He told me the story of how he uses a cardboard box on tour to demonstrate his accuracy of throwing spears. One disbelieving visitor picked up the box, put it on his head and told him to ‘go for it’. Clarrie suggested he put the box on the ground first and let him throw – he could then put the box back on his head if he wished. The visitor agreed and Clarrie precisely threw the spear clean through the centre of the box. He laughed and said ‘that man looked like a white ghost after that!’ Off the record, he informed me he is apparently booked over the next few days to take a bit of a celebrity into his Country…hopefully we can reveal more after our next visit!

Sunset was shared with the beautiful Margaret Peurmora, who we’ve been working with to establish her own Kalumburu walking tour business – See Kalumburu – Tours with Margaret. Margaret’s tours will be up and running for 2020, providing an absolute must experience for those keen to learn more about Kalumburu, Aboriginal culture and history. With her cheeky sense of humour (‘look Tracey, such a big Boab tree, but he only has such small nuts…’), to her gentle philosophy on life with stories passed down from her Grandmother and Mother, See Kalumburu – Tours with Margaret will be unforgettable.

To finish, we had the privilege of presenting to the Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation Board and the broader Kalumburu Community our collaborative tourism planning progress to date. This included showcasing:

  • Kalumburu Tourism Marketing plan and grant applications to support implementation
  • Consultation and individual support and business plans for planned tour businesses, two campgrounds and a mobile coffee cart business and sourcing various funding support and partnerships to implement each
  • Design of a Kalumburu Visitor Guide to provide visitors with a welcome and information on what they can see and do around Kalumburu
  • Design of a self-guided tour brochure of the Kalumburu Mission precinct
  • 2019 Visitor Survey and Report
  • Kalumburu Tourism Action Plan 2019-2020

The Board commended TRC on the ‘trusting relationship built with various individuals in Kalumburu’ and expressed ‘how easy it was to work with TRC’. The Community is so delighted with our work, they have asked us to help them with developing a Community-wide Business Plan so they may realise their Vision:

I wonder where we’ll end up on next month’s Kalumburu visit…I’ve been promised oysters the size of my hand! And who is Clarrie’s mysterious celebrity…?!