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Camping with Custodians is an exciting, Australian-first initiative that builds campgrounds on Aboriginal lands which are open to the public and operated by the community. 

Visitors get the chance to stay on Aboriginal lands and to meet and mix with Aboriginal people with the fees they pay for their accommodation staying in the community.  For the participant communities, Camping with Custodians creates income, employment, training opportunities and the chance to showcase local lifestyle and culture.

The Tourism WA project commenced in the Kimberley in 2013 when an independent assessment identified 12 prospective Camping with Custodian development sites across the region, with Imintji and Mimbi the priorities.

Imintji Campground was the first site to be completed and started welcoming visitors in 2016 while the Jarlarloo Riwi Mimbi Campground opened in 2017. View a video of the Imintji and Mimbi launches (credit Marc Finn, Finn Motion Media).

Tourism WA extended the project to the Pilbara with a camp ground at Peedamulla Station, 70km outside of Onslow, which opened in 2018. This campground will help to create a platform for tourism enterprises in the region. 

Land assembly work is underway at Violet Valley 30km south of Warmun, and this will be the third of the Camping with Custodians developments in the Kimberley.

Tourism WA coordinates the land assembly and campground planning initiatives for the projects including assessments of Native Title and heritage, studies of flora, fauna, hydrology and soils, and the  planning and building approvals from local Government. The WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council is engaged to provide marketing, business development support and training for the campground operators, many of which are new to tourism. 

In May 2017 Imintji community and Tourism WA won a Planning Institute Australia national planning award for community engagement and consultation, for the Camping with Custodians project at Imintji.

Imintji campground 

Imintji Campground is the Camping with Custodian program's pilot project.

Mimbi campground 

The Jarlarloo Riwi Mimbi Campground is the second Camping with Custodians project and was completed in 2017.

Peedamulla campground 

Peedamulla Station is the third Camping with Custodians project and the first for the Pilbara region.

Tourism WA’s role 

Tourism WA is responsible for identifying Camping with Custodians opportunities and helping selected communities deliver their campgrounds.

Last Reviewed: 2018-04-18