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Eclipse legacy sees Jamba Nyinayi Festival return to Nyinggulu/Ningaloo

Dianne Bortoletto -

In April 2023, 62 seconds of totality drew 22,000 people to Western Australia's Coral Coast to view the rare Total Solar Eclipse.

Located perfectly under the path for a 100 per cent solar eclipse, Exmouth, in the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo region, was the epicentre of Astro excitement.

At 11:29am on Thursday 20th April the sun, moon and Earth perfectly aligned to create total darkness for 62 seconds.

The Dark Sky Festival was created to help disperse and entertain astro-tourists. More than 250 staff and performers descended into Exmouth and Onslow to organise and manage 102 activations in 13 different venues.

It was the largest logistical entertainment event that has been staged across the Shires of Exmouth and Ashburton.

Jamba Nyinayi Festival was part of the Dark Sky Festival and its success sees it return to Baiyungu Country from 11 to 13 April 2024, held at Cardabia/Gunjayindiya Station, just five minutes from Coral Bay, Western Australia.

WA Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism, Rita Saffioti said it was great to see the festival return.

"The inaugural Jamba Nyinayi Festival was held as part of the Dark Sky Festival which injected more than $16.1 million into WA's regions, so it's great that we're bringing it back for a second year in 2024," Ms Saffioti said.

Owned by the not-for-profit Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporation, the festival hosted by Traditional Owner Hazel Walgar, focusses on delivering intimate and inspirational cultural tourism activities shared by the Baiyungu people, Traditional Owners of the amazing World Heritage Nyinggulu (Ningaloo) region in WA.

Ms Walgar said Jamba Nyinayi means come sit/stay for a while.

Photo: Blue Media Exmouth Coral Bay

Blue Media Exmouth Coral Bay.

"Many tribes in the Nyinggulu region and beyond have been coming together at Murlanda (Mauds Landing) coastal area for holidays and cultural traditions for thousands of years," Ms Walgar said.

"Now, from April 11 to 13, we invite all people from all cultures to come join us and 'stay for a while' with the traditional Baiyungu people at Gunjayindiya (Cardabia Station - near Mauds Landing), to witness and experience our culture, all together as one at the Jamba Nyinayi Festival."

The Jamba Nyinayi Festival 2024 introduces a new on-country camping and experience package, aimed at those seeking authentic, intimate, and inspirational cultural experiences.

Limited two-night stays on-country that include intimate campfire performances, traditional fire pit meals and traditional workshops go on sale in late January.

Jamba Nyinayi Festival's main stage performances will take place on Friday 12 April, featuring nationally profiled indigenous performers, with a core focus on regional artists creating original works to the 2024 theme - A Gathering Place.

Shire of Carnarvon CEO, Andrea Selvey, said there was a unanimous vote to support the Jamba Nyinayi Festival 2024 in Coral Bay.

"Building on the triumph of 2023, this year's festival remains dedicated to fostering economic, social, and cultural prosperity across our Shire while spotlighting the rich Baiyungu Culture," Ms Selvey said.

"Positioned as a standout cultural tourism experience, the Jamba Nyinayi Festival contributes significantly to our region's profile."

Camping packages and festival registrations are now open, with full camping package and festival program details revealed late January 2024.


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