QUANDAMOOKA people will launch an “eco-cultural” cruise from Brisbane to North Stradbroke Island next month, with the aim of having the business running in time for the Commonwealth Games next year.
The day cruises from Brisbane to Minjerribah or North Stradbroke Island will immerse visitors in Indigenous culture.
Visitors will cruise on the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay and enjoy a slap-up lunch prepared by chef Kieron Anderson, featuring local seafood and bush tucker like native sugarbag, pandanus palm fruit, native finger lime and kangaroo.
The December 6 inaugural cruise will be a test run
Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Cameron Costello said the Commonwealth Games was ideal to get the project started, especially as the tide lines on Minjerribah were the inspiration for the Games medals’ design.
“Starting with the Commonwealth Games in April we will initially run monthly cruises throughout 2018 and from there we hope to be running at least one trip per week in 2019 and beyond,” he said.
“Additional cruises are also available by special booking for corporate and conference groups. It will be a valuable addition to the Brisbane and Queensland tourism offering.
“We are extremely lucky to have this natural and cultural wonderland – Moreton Bay and its sand islands – so close to the capital city.
“QYAC’s vision is for Quandamooka Country to be a global eco-cultural tourism destination, which sensitively showcases the area’s natural beauty and the Quandamooka people’s timeless cultural heritage.”
Mr Costello said the Yuggera people of Meeanjin (Brisbane) were also included in the project.
“We are also working with the Commonwealth Games organisers, Tourism Queensland and Brisbane Marketing to help promote and build this new and unique tourism offering,” he said.
“On 6 December we will be conducting our preview cruise. The price is $195 per person and bookings are essential as numbers are limited to 110 per cruise. People can book online at Q-coast.com.au.”
Straddie Flyer’s Calypso will leave from South Bank at 9am, steam across Moreton Bay to Minjerribah, with tourists then taken to cultural sites and Point Lookout on the ocean beach.
Yuggera guides, from the internationally-acclaimed Nunukul Yuggera Dance Company, will welcome people to Meeanjin and provide commentary.
On the boat people can learn to weave, speak a local Aboriginal language, play didgeridoo or inspect Indigenous artefacts.
On Minjerribah they will be welcomed to country by Quandamooka people before spending a day experiencing the many cultural and natural wonders of the world’s second largest sand island.
“Indigenous cultural heritage is found all over Minjerribah and its surrounds,” Mr Costello said.
“The evidence points to over 20,000 years of continuous occupation and land and sea use by the Quandamooka people. There are currently over 1000 known cultural heritage sites across Quandamooka country.”