The Quandamooka people, an Australian Aboriginal group that primarily live on North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and the greater Moreton Bay region are the custodians of land and sea and take great pride in caring for country and its unique flora and fauna. Quandamooka Elders, Songmen and storytellers, together with a Land and Sea ranger will guide the Yalingbila Tour experience, sharing their people’s ancient connection to humpback whales, marine life and the land.

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello said it was a globally sought-after experience to witness whales at play and learn Indigenous culture. “This will be a truly memorable trip with storytellers of the world’s oldest living culture telling their story of the whales, while guiding guests out to see them,” he said.

Quandamooka Songman Buangan(Joshua Walker), the grandson of renowned poet and activist Oodgeroo (Kath Walker), is among the guides. He said whales, known as Yalingbila, were one of the Quandamooka people’s two ancestral kinship groups. “There is a strong bond between our people and the whales,” he said. “We have been watching the whales go past Minjerribah for more than 20,000 years. Come and join us.” An estimated 28,000 humpbacks pass within 10km of the coast off Minjerribah during their migration from June to November. Its waters have been dubbed the humpback highway.

Information collected on the tours will also contribute to global whale conservation, research and education in a partnership with the University of Queensland. From mid-July to October, QYAC will operate a 24-metre, 120-person capacity SeaLink Rocket catamaran twice weekly from Brisbane’s South Bank for the full-day tours.

While travelling along the Brisbane River and into Moreton Bay’s waters, guests will have the chance to participate in cultural activities such as weaving and hear the indigenous history of the Brisbane and Moreton Bay regions. There is also the opportunity to see dolphins at play, turtles, manta ray, stingrays and, if lucky, a dugong.

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