Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation has introduced a Visitors Pass program to support the management of the group’s unique heritage country in the Kimberley coastal region of Western Australia.
The well-documented network of historical rock art sites and breathtaking scenery has become a popular tourist trail for visitors in ships, launches and sailing craft following the coast line from Broome to the Western Australian Territory border.
The sea route includes three important marine parks populated with humpback wales, dugongs, dolphins, turtles and other sea fauna. DAC has established a team of rangers to oversee the protection of a broad range of flora and fauna.
DAC country includes the famous Horizontal Falls – a remarkable tidal zone – north of Derby.
The region was once described by renowned natural historian David Attenborough as one of the natural wonders of the world.
As traditional custodians, Dambimangari people have a cultural obligation to care for country, including the security of important sites, the welfare of its plant and animal species.
This is reflected in the region’s inclusion on the National Heritage list.
Visiting Dambimangari Country
From this year, visitors will pay $90 per person to tour Dambimangari visitor sites. The Dambimangari Visitors Pass allows people to access approved localities for 30 consecutive days of travel.
At some sites of special significance – where valuable archaeological and environmental treasures are at risk – people will be required to engage accredited guides.
During the past two years Dambimangari Rangers have been establishing depots and short stay bases along the coast to facilitate regular trips and security patrols to an area which is inaccessible from the land.
Fees generated by the Dambimangari Visitors Pass will fund the rangers’ further development of these bases to allow longer patrols and to establish visitor site management..
This Dambimangari website includes a map of 41 of the most popular sites for visitors. A Visitors Pass is required for access to all of the sites. However, for cultural or environmental reasons some locations have been removed from the schedule to protect the heritage-listed features of the sites.
Visitors are not permitted to access the sites which no longer appear on the Visitor Location Schedule.
The table also lists areas on Aboriginal Reserves, requiring visitor permits from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. This requirement is in addition to the requirement to a Dambimangari Visitors Pass.