Trips typically involve a range of local aboriginal guides – each with connection to particular land or river areas, and with their own special knowledge, expertise and information. Various guides will come for different sections of a trip, providing you with a range places and interests during your trip.
A typical wetland eco tour will include the following (all optional) activities:
- Ancient story place interpretation with Elder(s). This includes hearing the ancient story of particular places which are visited, told by the custodial elder. These are often creation stories, or tales used to convey the importance of place or animals
- Art and carving demonstrations. The carvings used in dance ceremonies have a special place in Wik and Wik Way culture, and are highly sought after by art collectors around the world. A visit to the Aurukun Art Center can be arranged, and demonstration may be organised on board the MV Pikkuw.
- Basket weaving demonstrations. Some of our guides are expert weavers, who can demonstrate and teach the techniques to turn pandanus leaves into intricate works of art.
- Bush tucker and bush medicine collection and tasting. Collecting "sugar bag honey", fruit, berries and leaves, and other items depending on the season, is part of every excursion with your Aurukun guides and hosts. A "kup muri" or "earth oven" is often prepared on the banks of a river.
- Spear making and throwing. Specific trees are used for making spears and woomeras. These are used for hunting fish in the shallows of the rivers.
- "Fire Stick" demonstrations. Special wood is used to create friction by rubbing two sticks together to making fire, with kindling. This is demonstrated by the guides when preparing for a camp fire.
- Swimming at croc free swimming hole.
- Bird watching. An extensive list of birds has been identified by spotters on previous trips (refer list attached)
- Croc spotting. After dark a short excursion in the tenders with some spotlights will give you a glimpse of the wetland night-life. Up close – but not too close.
- Fishing for dinner. If you want to catch your own dinner or breakfast a line will be provided. It may be the best chance you have of catching a fish – bar none.
We can customize tours to suit particular interests, on request.
What to Bring
Don't forget to bring your hat (one which stays on whilst boating!), sunglasses (polarized best), sandshoes / walking sandals, plus sun screen and insect repellent.
Cameras are a matter of personal choice. The Pikkuw has a good quality laptop computer on board, so bring any download cords and re- charge cables for digital cameras. Photos can be burnt onto either CD or DVD and played back right there on our large flat-screen TV.
A 16 kg per person baggage weight restriction applies for light aircraft flights. The cabins have storage space below the bunks. These are best suited to soft travel bags rather than hard cases.
Part of any experience to this area is the food. Our experienced cook will work hard to give clients memorable meals.
Supplies come via a barge from Cairns and fresh produce (including special need items) can be flown in weekdays with the regular Skytrans service. A selection of fish will form a large part of the diet onboard and delicious mud-crabs are a proposition for those who savor these delicious crustaceans, if available.
Any special dietary requirements should be indicated early to provide adequate time to get items in stock.
Aurukun, including the surrounding land and water-ways, is an alcohol restricted area. Customers are advised NOT TO CARRY ALCOHOL into Aurukun with them as significant penalties apply. For more information, please visit www.alcoholimits.qld.gov.au.
The liquor license for Aurukun Fishing Charters only operates between 5pm and 10 pm and is restricted to mid-strength beer and "wine-with-meal" only. If you have a specific request for beer or wine please let us know early (at least 4 weeks prior to departure) so that it can be freighted to Aurukun in advance.
Due to this operation’s proximity to the community of Aurukun, visitors will be expected to be responsible and abide by certain cultural protocols. All the surrounding land is Aurukun Shire land and is home to the Wik and Wik Way peoples (famous for their breakthrough Native Title land claim in the High Court).
Many of the areas which the Pikkuw will be operating need express permission of the Traditional Owners. Your guides will ensure that these are organised prior to your trip.
Encounter Cape York
Encounter Cape York is a combination of some of the most experiential tourism products on the Western Cape. Combining the Cape York Turtle Rescue, Aurukun Wetland Charters and the Western Cape Cultural Centre, this 7 day / 6 night package will offer you an unsurpassed experience into one of the last frontiers of Australia. Visit www.encountercapeyork.com.au for more information.