Yura! David Thelander of Straddie Kingfisher Tours tells us this is one of his favourite Indigenous words. It means welcome, and it originates from the local community of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island). Welcome is exactly how Dave (commonly known as Barefoot Dave by the locals) aims for all of his guests to feel when they step foot onto the beautiful, culturally rich and nature abundant island of Minjerribah. Straddie Kingfisher Tours is an Indigenous-owned company that has set out to not only showcase the copious amounts of wildlife residing on the island but also to provide a uniquely authentic Indigenous immersive experience.
Operating in such a nature-focused location, Straddie Kingfisher Tours place a great importance on highlighting how all of the people inhabiting the Moreton Bay region understood the vital relationship between themselves and their environment. The Indigenous people who inhabited Minjerribah lived a nomadic life, having a deep understanding of their unique environment. All aspects of this are evident in the integration of the surroundings into sacred sites, dreaming tracks, song lines and the spiritual significance of the natural features of the islands.
From the use of the didgeridoo to welcome guests to introducing guests to bush tucker, the time spent on Minjerribah land with Straddie Kingfisher tours is immersive and allows visitors a chance to learn from the land. Local Indigenous guides interpret the names of native landmarks and flora and fauna to highlight the beauty of local Indigenous language while contributing to its preservation and conservation. Dave tells us it is important to use native language so that guests get to feel the spirit of the language. We think this is another great example of people doing wonderful work to use ecotourism to help preserve Indigenous language and cultures.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Straddie Kingfisher Tours!
Have you read the other articles in this series?