Striking Eco Centre opens at Mossman Gorge, Far North QLDAustralia, Recommended Saturday, August 11th, 2012
The official opening last week of the new $20 million Mossman Gorge Centre eco-tourism business north of Cairns has turned a 20 year dream into reality for the Mossman Indigenous community of the Kuku Yalangi people.
Indigenous Land Corporation Chairperson Dr Dawn Casey said construction of the new centre, opened on 7 August 2012 by Indigenous Affairs Minister the Hon Jenny Macklin, was a vote of confidence in the future of north QLD tourism. With strong eco-credentials that include electric buses to transport visitors to and from the gorge, an environmentally friendly building design that enhances its location, along with a committed focus on providing training and jobs for Indigenous locals, Mossman Gorge looks to have a bright tourism future.
“The ILC is proud that it has been able to work closely with the Mossman Gorge Aboriginal Community to deliver an eco-friendly facility that helps protect the World Heritage Listed rainforest environment while providing local Indigenous jobs,” said Dr Casey.
“When the Mossman Gorge Centre opened its doors in June 2012, the centre had 66 employees, 90% of whom are Indigenous – a wonderful result. The Indigenous staff, who have undergone intensive, accredited, industry-based tourism and hospitality training to equip them for their new jobs, have welcomed visitors to their country, sharing the Kuku Yalangi culture and shown what Indigenous economic development is all about.”
“It is not just investing in a building, it is about investing in people,” she enthused.
Indeed, one only has to spend a couple of hours at the striking new facility at the base of Mossman Gorge to appreciate it is the people who make this place tick. Their enthusiasm for sharing their country is palpable. Elder Roy Gibson, the man who had the passion and tenacity to see his dream come to fruition, albeit 20 years in the making, is just one of the characters you’re likely to meet here. Roy is the lead guide on Dreamtime Gorge and Dreamtime Legend Walks and the heart and soul of these tours: if you find yourself in his group, pay attention as he has some terrific stories to share.
Artist Pam Salt is another whose engaging presence is on hand to explain the artworks on display at the centre. A talented artist in her own right, Pam is inspired by her gorgeous wild country and its rainforest inhabitants. Look out for her designs and artworks in the gift shop in coming months.
Visitors to Mossman Gorge have a number of options to get the most out of the experience. I’d highly recommend you allow a couple of hours and participate in one of the guided walks that follow traditional hunting trails of the Kuku Yalangi people through the rainforest. Walks last for either 1.5 or 2.5 hours along well maintained paths, ending with billy tea and damper in the forest with your guide before hopping aboard the electric shuttle bus and returning to the visitor centre.
If you’d prefer to do your own thing, you could hop aboard any of the shuttle services (for a small fee) and wander along a section of trails independently or take a dip in the gin-clear water of the Mossman River. If that all sounds a little too exhausting, pop into the alfresco cafe for a divine lunch or snack. The salt and pepper squid salad is highly recommended!
Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre is open 7 days and is located approximately 70km north of Cairns, 20km from Port Douglas and 2km from the town of Mossman. Self drive or organised tours offer the best access to the centre.
Short URL: http://travelboatinglifestyle.com/?p=3962