The film, called Dreaming Mountain, stunningly highlights one of the Gold Coast’s most culturally significant places, the Traditional Custodians, their storytelling, the experiences of their families and connection to country.
Produced in partnership with the Yugambeh Region Aboriginal Corporation Alliance (YRACA), the film showcases an alternative to the famous glitter strip’s sun, sand and selfie opportunities.
The film focuses on Jellurgal, the Indigenous name for Burleigh Headland, which is steeped in Aboriginal culture and holds deep significance for the Kombumerri people of the Yugambeh language region of south-east Queensland.
The headland national park is one of the most photographed locations on the Gold Coast, so much so that Department of Environment and Science park rangers have threatened on-the-spot fines of more than $400 for tourists risking their safety and wandering off track in search of the perfect, shareable selfie atop some of the headland’s rocky outcrops.
Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said Dreaming Mountain was a celebration of Burleigh Headland and the Gold Coast’s First nations culture.
“We know people love learning from the world’s oldest ancient culture and this short film provides a platform to share the stories of the Yugambeh people to enrich the cultural equity of the region,” O’Callaghan said.
“As a destination with a strong Indigenous foundation, our tourism sector and community can continue to learn from our First Nations peoples who proudly practice and preserve their rich heritage.
“We recognise the importance of cultural tourism and Destination Gold Coast is committed to supporting the enhancement of Indigenous tourism experiences for the region.”
O’Callaghan said cultural tourism was high on the list for traveller demands as borders re-opened and visitors started flooding back into traditionally hot tourism markets like the Gold Coast, looking for new experiences.
The Gold Coast is in the middle of a school holiday boom, with hotel occupancy rates shooting to 85 per cent and the airport operating at 10 per cent above pre-COVID levels.
New figures from Tourism Research Australia also show Queensland sitting as the top tourism destination in Australia, with the Gold Coast high on traveller lists.
The report shows Queensland welcomed 20.8 million visitors in the 12 months to March and tourists stayed longer and spent more money in Queensland than in any other state.
During that time, around 9.4 million people visited the Gold Coast, including more than 3.2 million overnight visitors and almost 6.2 million day-trippers.
O’Callaghan said cultural tourism was significant not just for the Gold Coast, but for Australia.
She said in the five years leading to 2019, before the pandemic routed tourism arrivals and statistics, the number of domestic visitors nationally who enjoyed Indigenous visual and/or performances or community interaction grew at a rate of 15 per cent.
In the last week’s budget, the State Government also allocated $4 million over two years to First Nations Tourism as part of its $66.4 million over three years response to the Tourism Industry Reference Panel’s Towards 2032 – Action Plan for Tourism Recovery.
Launching Dreaming Mountain on the Gold Coast, YRACA Chairman, Uncle John Graham, said he welcomed the partnership with Destination Gold Coast.
“Jellurgal is a significant and special place for us as Traditional Custodians which is visited and enjoyed by so many people from near and far. It is vital that we all take care of it for future generations,” he said.