The first Dreamtime Cruise took place in July 2017 and was created for NAIDOC week with the intention of offering an authentic event celebrating and sharing the rich aboriginal history and culture in our region, but in true Mandurah style, cruising our amazing waterways.
Well known elder, George Walley, recently commenced Mandjoogoordap Dreaming and was approached to gauge interest in collaborating on such a tour. Our team sat down with George and a map of our waterways to draft a potential cruise route. George graciously detailed significant sites along the route and shared the stories and the aboriginal people’s connection to these amazing waterways, which Mandurah is so well-known for.
Creating an authentic Aboriginal experience and providing people with a real taste for the culture rather than just standard commentary was really important to us. So, Mandjoogoordap Dreaming offered to incorporate a morning tea catered by George’s wife, Lee-Anne, as part of the cruise consisting of traditional damper, lemon myrtle cake, choc river mint cake and traditional bush dips with vegetables & crackers. Further adding to the interactive tour experience, George plays his digeridoo and some of his own music on board, while teaching the local Noongar language and connecting with everyone on board.
An amazing story teller, George has many interesting stories to tell and coupled with his casual, warm nature, his presence truly creates a unique and meaningful experience.
Mandurah Cruises has welcomed a great diversity of people go on this cruise, from children to the older generations, locals seeking to better understand the culture and see Mandurah from a different perspective, to international guests wanting to learn about our country’s first people. Appealing to all ages and all walks of life and backgrounds, is part of what makes this cruise so special.
The Dreamtime Cruise is initially scheduled to run once a month and continues to grow in popularity.
As well as general public departures, local schools, teachers, international tour groups, community groups, conference groups and other businesses wanting to better understand our aboriginal culture, we have also booked private cruises with Tourism Western Australia featuring Dreamtime Cruises as one of the main events in WA during NAIDOC week earlier this year.
Over the past 12 months we have promoted this unique and authentic experience locally, nationally and internationally including featuring it being featured at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) where agencies look for unique Australian products to offer to people visiting Australia.
we are very proud that if you ask any of our crew what their favourite cruise is, they will say the Dreamtime Cruise. Our team have such respect for George and all argue over who gets to crew on his tours because they just love working with him and learning something new about our region. We provide live commentary on all of our cruises and our tour guides are now sharing the language, stories and more cultural information and history on our Dolphin Cruises, Seafood Experiences & other cruise offerings.
This article was first published in the Peel Magazine, Spring/Summer 2018 – vol 4.2 – to read and download the full magazine, click here.