TRADITIONAL Owner Juan Walker has been running his tour business for more than a decade.

Walkabout Cultural Adventures offers unique cultural tours within Kuku Yalanji country, focusing on Aboriginal culture, significant sites, environmental information and local tourist attractions.

Prior to COVID-19, the business was thriving and Juan felt there was untapped potential in the tourism industry where he said “job opportunities for Indigenous people were endless”.

“We want to pass on our cultural knowledge to our young people and tourism is a means of ensuring our culture doesn’t die,” he said.

“Guests are welcome to sample some seasonal bush tucker while appreciating the history, culture and traditions of our Australian Aboriginal people.”

But, like many other businesses in the Shire, Juan says COVID-19 forced the popular tour into hibernation on March 23 this year.

Juan is all set to start tours from June 12, when restrictions are eased to enable visitors from further afield.

“As to when bookings actually flow through, well that’s anyone’s guess,” he said.

“I remain hopeful it will be sooner rather than later… let’s just say, we will be “open” and ready for bookings.”“As far as tourism goes; given it is such a dominant industry here, we need the people who live locally and regionally to pull together, get out and about… stay in the hotels, resorts and B&Bs, dine out, take tours… be on holidays in our own backyard!”

On a positive note, Juan said supporting small businesses such as his was what made the economy and the community thrive.

“It has been really positive seeing our small community really pull together during this time,” he said.

“Given we all love where we live, working locally allows us to truly enjoy this. When we work together it makes running and operating a business more worthwhile and enjoyable.”

Walkabout Cultural Adventures offers half day and full day tours exploring Kuku Yalanji country with experienced Aboriginal guides, taking a maximum of 11 passengers.

Check out Walkabout Cultural Adventures website here.

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