THE ROC SERIES | WHEN THE TRADITIONAL CUSTODIANS OWN THE RESORT
At award-winning, Advanced Ecotourism and Respecting our Culture (ROC) Certified Wilpena Pound Resort in the Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park, guests are welcomed to country nightly in Yura Ngawarla, the language of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners.
This welcome, which includes Aboriginal songs, traditional stories and local information presented by a Yura staff member, is just one of the many ways in which Wilpena Pound Resort works closely with Traditional Land Owners to deliver ecologically sustainable tourism that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.
The resort is jointly owned by Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association, and Deon Johnson, of Cooee Traveller, says this is one of the things visitors love most about the property:
“Everyone loves that you are staying at a resort co-owned by the Adnyamathanha people. All guests enjoy listening to the Welcome to Country and the tour throughout the Ikara-Flinders Ranges. It’s about helping keep traditions alive.”
These traditions include stories and sacred knowledge passed down through generations – stories like the creation belief of two serpents forming the round shape of the Wilpena Pound landscape, and cultural heritage which shows that the Ikara-Flinders Ranges landscape has been a meeting place for Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years.
The partnership between IBA and the Adnyamathanha people offers guests the opportunity to explore and appreciate this iconic National Park and its ancient lands, rich in history, biodiversity and unique landscapes from the perspective of those who know it deeply.
Aboriginal Cultural Tours at Wilpena Pound Resort are also run by local Indigenous guides, who are proud to share their country and culture with visitors.
Can this kind of tourism support reconciliation? The answer comes back clear from Wilpena: Yes, it absolutely can.
For more information about Ecotourism Australia’s ROC Certification program, visit the program website.
[Images: Wilpena Pound; Wilpena Pound Facebook]