The opportunity to connect to country is a gift every traveller in Australia is invited to unwrap, and in WA’s Margaret River Region, Josh Whiteland, owner of Koomal Dreaming, presents the perfect package. Based in Dunsborough, south-west of Perth, Koomal Dreaming welcomes visitors to experience Wadandi and Bibbulmun country through the eyes of the traditional owners. With a range of tours, guests discover everything about the region’s native foods, bush medicine, and Dreamtime stories.
After featuring Koomal Dreaming in our recent Margaret River Region editorial, we were fortunate enough to connect with Josh Whiteland, Koomal Dreaming’s founder, to dig a little deeper into how his tours amplify every visitors’ experience to the Margaret River Region.
Here’s what Josh shared.
Tell Us a Little About Koomal Dreaming
“Koomal Dreaming offers cultural tours and experiences out of Dunsborough, in south-west WA. I lead Indigenous tours around the Cape to Cape Warren Blackwood region; I’m Noongar Wadandi (Saltwater People), and Koomal is my traditional Aboriginal name. I created Koomal Dreaming to share my deep knowledge of the Wadandi and Bibbulmun cultures and communicate my profound connection to the land with visitors to WA.
Koomal Dreaming tours offer guests the opportunity to taste native foods, learn about bush medicine, and meet the animals, plants, and Dreaming Spirits that have enriched the lives of my people for centuries. All of our tours can be booked as Private Tours and customised to create unique experiences connecting to country.”
How Can Travellers Reach Koomal Dreaming?
“Dunsborough is an easy 3-hour drive south-west of Perth in the Margaret River Region. Dunsborough is a stunning coastal town, though our tours also take us to the Cape to Cape region where the famous Cape to Cape Walk Track is located.”
What does the new Jetstar Direct Flight from Melbourne to Busselton Mean for the Region?
“The arrival of Jetstar’s Melbourne to Busselton flight is a significant win for our area. Especially as Busselton is only a 25-minute drive from us, making it effortless to enjoy our services, even on a short stay. It is a great opportunity for interstate and local visitors to travel and experience new places and catch up with family and friends without having the 3-hour drive from Perth.
Jetstar’s new route also encourages people to explore our little pocket of the world. Being able to fly direct puts us on the map with travellers who may never have considered a tour out our way.”
What Can People Expect on a Koomal Dreaming Tour?
“I offer five tours that allow our guests to handpick the experience that best suits their travel goals. On our tours, people can expect one of my warm Welcome to Country experiences (I’ve been proudly doing these for over 10 years). Along with local stories, native foods, didgeridoo music sessions, and more.
Here’s what I offer:
- Ngilgi Cave Cultural Tour Koomal Dreaming’s most popular tour is a 2.5-hour journey into the stunning Ngilgi Cave. It includes storytelling and traditional fire-making, followed by a live didgeridoo performance amplified by the cave’s acoustics.
- Didgeridoo Cave Tour This popular 90-minute tour offers a heart-opening introduction to the Noongar culture, with a short guided bushwalk, followed by Dreamtime stories and healing didgeridoo performance.
- Twilight Didgeridoo Cave Tour If you’d like to enjoy a less public experience, book Koomal Dreaming’s twilight tour. It’s guided as above; however, it starts at 5pm when the cave closes to the public. In summer, a private tour can also be arranged before the 8am Ngilgi Cave opening time.
- Aboriginal Culture, Cave, and Didge Tour As a proud Wadandi custodian, I offer this 3-hour guided expedition to awaken all senses. Forage for native bush foods and medicines, listen to me play the didgeridoo in the cave, learn how to start a fire with two sticks, and enjoy a gourmet BBQ lunch around the fire sampling traditional hunting fare.
- Kaya Cape Experience Discover the Wadandi people’s connection to the Cape to Cape region on this wheelchair accessible 90-minute tour. Begin with a Welcome to Country, followed by a trip around Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, and an interactive experience with an Aboriginal artefact interpretation and didgeridoo music session.
As you can see, my tours centre around sharing our ancient traditions in a way that expands horizons and changes perspectives of any of the guests who join me long after they return home.”
How Does a Koomal Dreaming Experience Help Open People’s Eyes and Minds?
“Travelling expands people’s minds and makes them appreciate a place; when it’s coupled with the ancient heritage of the area, they gain clarity about the world’s diversity. In my experience, the tours we offer also deepen each visitors’ connection to the land and each other.
My goal is always to communicate at least part of my connection with the land and my people. It’s an honour to do that with visitors from around Australia and the world.”
What Would You Like to Say to Our Community of Travel Advisors?
“We live in one of the most amazing and diverse regions in the world. Explore your backyard, encourage others to do the same, support local, and learn how to inspire others to make sure it’s appreciated and cared for in the future.
We are responsible for sharing our heritage and legacies – no matter where they come from – and it’s a significant driving force as to why I’m so passionate about connecting WA visitors to the Wadandi culture.”
How Can Agents Find Out More about Koomal Dreaming?
Discover more about Koomal Dreaming here. To get in touch with Josh to book private tours, email email@example.com.
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