Director of National Parks
Booderee National Park offers the best Indigenous tourism experience in Australia
27 February 2010
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It's official! Booderee National Park offers the best Indigenous tourism experience in Australia.
The park last night took out the top prize in the Indigenous tourism experience category at the National 2009 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Hobart. The judges also highly commended the park in the best tourism attraction category.
The prestigious awards recognises the park's commitment to offering visitors the best of Jervis Bay - stunning white sands, a rich wildlife, crystal clear waters and a chance to engage with the cultural history of the region.
The park achieves all this through successful joint management between its traditional owners, the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community and the Australian Government.
Traditional owner and botanic gardens curator Bernie McLeod accepted the award on behalf of the Wreck Bay community and the park.
"This is just so exciting - I think the community is really going to benefit from this," he said.
"Winning awards like this is a great achievement. Everyone has been involved - the Wreck Bay community, our families and park staff, everyone worked towards this.
"These awards help us show Australia what we have here at Booderee, what a special place this is and how important it is to us. A lot of people still don't know how special this place is.
"It tells the story of everyone who has looked after this country like our elders past and present - and it tells our future generations how important they are to become involved in looking after our country."
More than half of Booderee's staff are Indigenous. They manage Australia's only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens and work in every area of the park, from park rangers to visitor guides.
Tourism offerings range from self-guided walking tours and special sessions on the park's Indigenous history, bush tucker and medicine.
More than 400,000 people visited the park in 2009, taking advantage of its family friendly atmosphere, camping, bushwalking, bird and whale watching.
For more information visit booderee.gov.au
Media Contact: To talk to Bernie McLeod ring Miranda Schooneveldt on 0428 630 910