News

LAUNCH OFF: New tourism venture promotes local culture

SPLASH: Grab your mates and enjoy a day on the water while learning about the Gumbaynggirr culture with WYAT in Coffs Harbour.
SPLASH: Grab your mates and enjoy a day on the water while learning about the Gumbaynggirr culture with WYAT in Coffs Harbour. Rob Cleary / Seen Australia

AN EXCITING new Aboriginal-owned tourism venture has recently been launched on the Coffs Coast that combines a sense of adventure with cultural learning.

Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours (WYAT) was officially launched in January 2017 as a way to promote Gumbaynggirr culture and contribute to the wellbeing of the local community.

The launch of WYAT was six years in the making, and owner-operator Clark Webb ensured extensive research and due diligence was undertaken before the launch.

Although recent research suggests the demand for Aboriginal cultural experiences has been overstated, Mr Webb didn't let this revelation deter him from continuing to build his dream business.

"We just needed to find a 'hook' as a way to get people to participate in our tours and then share culture with them along the way,” he said. That 'hook' is stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking, two of the world's fastest growing watersports.

"Stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking are actually cultural activities and as the oldest continuous cultures in the world, paddleboarding was developed here,” Mr Webb said.

"So people on SUPs and kayaks are doing a cultural activity, most just don't realise it.”

So what makes WYAT unique?

"Participants of our tours get to paddle with the direct descendants of the world's first paddlers, feel a sense of adventure in unspoilt marine park waterways and connect, feel and taste the soul of our country,” Mr Webb said.

Learn about the Gumbaynggirr culture while having a fun day out with friends.
Learn about the Gumbaynggirr culture while having a fun day out with friends. Rob Cleary / Seen Australia

During the six years of research Mr Webb developed a way to build WYAT as a social enterprise.

WYAT reinvests 20% of its profits into Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC), a not-for-profit Mr Webb established that facilitates after school learning centres, cultural camps and Gumbaynggirr language revitalisation activities.

"Although I am a Gumbaynggirr person I felt uncomfortable with individually profiting from a knowledge and culture that I don't own individually,” he said.

"We therefore reinvest into BMNAC so that we are encouraging our community to be strong in both culture and education and then create an employment pathway as tour guides, language teachers, artists and performers.”

Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours conduct its activities in three of the Coffs Coast's marine park waterways: Coffs Creek, Moonee and Red Rock.

Participants of WYAT's tours also gain the knowledge that, through their participation, they are directly contributing to the wellbeing of the local Gumbaynggirr community.

"We say 'yilaami!' Come with us and paddle with a purpose,” Mr Webb said.

Get in touch with Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours on their website www.wyat.com.au, on their Facebook page and on Instagram @WajaanaYaam.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ballina brewery getting ready to serve cold ones

Seven Mile Brewing Company development underway near Ballina Airport.

New brewery will delight locals, owner says

Councillors to debate 4WD access at Ballina beach

OPEN THE GATE: Northern Beaches Users Club president, Denis Magnay, and other 4WD owners want council to open the track at Angels Beach.

Read the hot topics for Ballina Shire Council meeting today

Skatepark bounces between sites

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Aerial view of the suggested location of the skate park at the sports fields.

Young skateboarders forgiven for thinking there was a tennis match

Local Partners

Celebrity recipes help bring flavour and joy

COOKING for celebrities is no easy feat but Chef Kate McAloon has served up her dishes to some of Hollywood's best known.

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

A musical audience with the king of Egypt

ON STAGE: The Pharaoh (played by Matthew Wood) and dancers in Ballina Players' upcoming production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat..

Ballina Player's new production opens this weekend

Schapelle Corby's Bali boyfriend 'lonely' now she's free

SCHAPELLE Corby’s boyfriend Ben Panangian has spoken of his loneliness for the first time since his lover of 11 years was deported from Bali.

‘One of the most ludicrous films ever made’

Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Last Knight.

Transformers: The Last Knight has been shredded by critics.

Transformers movie bombs to horror opening week

Optimus Prime in a scene from, "Transformers: The Last Knight."

Transformers 5 had the worst opening in the franchise’s history

How 9/11 helped make Waleed Aly a household name

Waleed Aly and Susan Carland at the 2016 Logie Awards

“It feels like there was a script written for me,” he said.

Pixar weighs in on viral Toy Story theory

Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

DID Andy’s dad tragically die just before the story took place?

VIRAL VIDEO: Campaign to bring beloved nanny to Maryborough

** ADVANCE FOR MONDAY, OCT. 16 **FILE**This promotional photo provided by Disney Home Entertainment shows actors Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke as Bert in a scene from the 40th anniversary edition of the Disney DVD. P. L. Travers, author of the "Mary Poppins" books, approved of Andrews as Poppins but considered Van Dyke "all wrong" and objected to mixing animated characters with live actors. (AP Photo/Disney Home Entertainment)

Can we get Dame Julie Andrews to come to our festival?

Ocean views up for sale at Bargara Rise

LAND RELEASE: Rob Sergiacomi on site at the Bargara Rise development off Watsons Road Bargara.

More ocean-view land comes on the market at Bargara

Blueberries help property market boom

RURAL MARKET: Elders sale agent Terry Deefholts, Norman Arkan and rural sales agent Angus McDonald.

Growth in the rural property market

Gateway to $3 billion, 4800 home new Coast city opens

The start of Peter Crosby Way at Sippy Downs, the northern access into the Harmony master-planned community at Palmview.

Palmview's $3b master-planned community of Harmony

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!