10 May 2023

Burgeoning rock art tours boast biggest tourist season

| Samuel Davis
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Kuku Yalanji man Johnny Murison started Jarramali Rock Art Tours in 2017.

A BATTLING Cape York tourism business has bounced back to enjoy its best peak season to date.

Jarramali Tours combines off-road adventures, ancient Indigenous rock art and hearty bush tucker.

Started in 2017, the Laura-based business struggled early before enjoying a breakout 2022.

“It’s been transformational,” founder Johnny Murison said.

“You look at our reviews and you can see the impression it leaves on people.

“It’s been back-to-back (tours) throughout June and July.

“The flow of tourists coming from Victoria, NSW and even the United States has been constant.”

A proud Kuku Yalanji man, Mr Murison said around 400 visitors had toured Quinkan country with him since May.

During their tour, guests trek along sandstone escarpments that served as a canvas for thousands of years.

“People are so engaged,” Mr Murison said of the rock art.

“They want to soak it all in at once. The first few years you’re just covering your expenses, you’re pumping everything back into the business.

“But you believe in what you’re doing and keep going and it’s starting to take off.

Support from Queensland Tourism and television programs like Weekender have helped the business grow, Mr Murison said.

“It’s always a massive risk starting something like this but it’s finally starting to show.”

Jarramali tours will start again after the wet season.

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