Indigenous Eco-Tours for Schools at Boort
Published on 01 September 2016
A major new tourism initiative previously announced for Loddon Shire has received a significant boost, with its primary architect setting up home in Boort.
In making the move, Jida Gulpilil, operations manager of indigenous educator and tour provider Gulpilil’s Australia, has underlined his commitment to developing the company’s programs in the region.
“Boort is a unique place with hundreds of sites of Aboriginal heritage significance,” Mr Gulpilil said.
“We definitely have sites in the Dja Dja Wurrung area that were carbon-dated recently to 31,000 years ago.
“On top of those that have been recorded, there must be over 2,000 more at the Boort lakes – the largest known site for scar trees in the world.
“There’s nowhere else like it – Boort is up there with Kakadu, Lake Mungo and the Gunbower Forest for cultural heritage and environmental values.”
Mr Gulpilil’s great-grandfather was Sir Douglas Nicholls, outstanding footballer, boxer and athlete, who was appointed Governor of South Australia in 1976.
“At this stage, we’d like to focus on schools in Loddon Shire, but our marketing material would obviously get to Bendigo and elsewhere in Dja Dja Wurrung country,” he said.
“At the same time, we’d also be looking at international tourists and the retiree market.”
Indigenous eco-tours for school students and others are to be introduced on Little Lake Boort from early next year, showcasing the history, customs and beliefs of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Yung Balug people of the Loddon Plains.
School excursions could offer local Aboriginal language, dance and ceremony, canoeing, bushwalking, visits to ancient cultural heritage sites, boomerang and spear throwing, ochre painting and story-telling, arts and crafts.
School visits could echo some of the above, plus music, drama and other hands-on activities.
For more information, contact the Loddon Visitor Information Centre on 5494 1257.