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New Camping with Custodians campground in Dampier Peninsular

Dianne Bortoletto -

Lombadina’s new Camping with Custodians campground has officially opened on Bard Country in the Dampier Peninsula in the north west of Western Australia.

Operated by local Indigenous people, the high-quality campground will generate jobs, provide income and training opportunities for local communities.  

Accessible by the fully-sealed Cape Leveque Road about 200km north of Broome, the campground offers 27 campsites and brand new facilities, including a camp kitchen, hot showers and guest laundry for travellers.

Lombadina has secluded white sandy beaches lapped by pristine turquoise waters teeming with sea life.

Travellers can experience the colours of the Kimberley along with thrilling fishing tours, whale watching, and mud crab catching, booked by the operators. Kayak tours are timed to take full advantage of the king tides to minimise exertion.

Bard man Darrell Sibosado, Tourism Manager and Director of Lombadina Aboriginal Corporation said it is great to be part of the Camping with Custodians network.

“It’s another step in the direction for self-sufficiency. It provides jobs for people, but it goes both ways, because it gives people the opportunity to mix, to engage with culture, as well as to maintain our own culture,” Mr Sibosado said.

“We are possibly only campground in WA, maybe Australia, where you camp in the community, camping alongside residents – but don’t worry, there’s only about 40 people who live here which expands to about 100 when the kids are back from boarding school.

“And we are probably the only people on the peninsula offering fishing charter tours because we have a boat, we are Salt Water People.”

Mr Sibosado said that Lomadina started offering basic accommodation about 30 years ago, when the road wasn’t sealed and the trip from Broome took over three hours.

WA Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti said Camping with Custodians enables visitors to experience the unique Aboriginal culture in a personal, authentic setting.

“We know there’s demand for authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences, and there’s definitely opportunity for growth in this area,” the Minister said.

“The Lombadina Campground on the stunning Dampier Peninsula now joins the other six Camping with Custodians sites in the network, offering Aboriginal tourism experiences and tours that are unique to each location and hosted by Traditional Owners and local operators.”

Lombadina is the second Camping with Custodians campground to open on the Dampier Peninsula, just five kilometres from the Djarindjin campground which opened in 2022.

Other Camping with Custodian sites are located at Imintji, Mimbi, Doon Doon, Violet Valley and Peedamulla, with planning underway for additional sites in the future.

The program is one of the key outcomes of WA Government’s Jina: WA Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2021-2025, which aims to make Western Australia the nation’s premier destination for Aboriginal Tourism.

Aboriginal tourism is also a key goal area outlined in the recently released WA Visitor Economy Strategy 2033, which sets out a 10-year vision to foster the growth of tourism in the state.

For more information, visit lombadina.com.

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