LARC to open walking track
LARC to open walking track Contributed

Let’s go walking with the 1770 Larc

JUST a stones throw away from Bundaberg will be a new unique walking track which will immerse participants in indigenous culture.

Goolimbil Walkabout is the first of its kind in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region and will be part of the 1770 LARC tour.

The Goolimbil Walkabout will have an indigenous tour guide and a hunter and gatherer experience taking guests on an expedition through coastal bushland.

Owner operator Neil Mergard said after 14 months of planning and getting the right permits, the walk will have a soft launch this Friday and again Tuesday before the official launch on July 3.

"1770 LARC Tours have successfully obtained all necessary approvals to create a walking track within the Eurimbula National Park," Mr Mergard said.

"In conjunction with prominent elder of the local Gooreng Gooreng people, Merv Johnson, a tour plan has been conceived to educate a worldwide market on the local history pre (Captain) Cook and the aboriginal indigenous history."

Mr Mergard said he didn't know of any other product which would give the same experience between Brisbane and Townsville.

"Through Merv's connection (we) have now employed a local indigenous guide and descendent of the Gooreng Gooreng people, Conrad Ingra, to perform the role of hunter, gatherer and LARC tour guide," Mr Mergard said.

"Conrad is a member of the Gooreng Gooreng dancers that perform at various festivals including the annual Captain Cook 1770 Festival. He has a history of working in the Gladstone region with indigenous youth, employment, recruitment and mentoring.

Mr Ingra said as a member of the Gooreng Gooreng people his motivation was to make the whole community aware of the local aboriginal people and create pathways and opportunities for indigenous youth in the tourism industry.

Mr Mergard said they were proud to deliver world class tourism experiences and were excited to continue to expand their product offerings even after 21 years of operating to include an indigenous tourism product.

"This tour is unique to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and we hope it will increase demand to visit Agnes Water and The Town of 1770," he said.

"We realise 9% of all visitors to Australia want to have the indigenous component to their holidays and now we can offer that.

"This will be a draw card for the area and we think it's great to support indigenous cultures."

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