10 May 2023

Experienced tour guides happy to be on the Cape

| Matt Nicholls
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WEIPA’S newest tour guides are loving life on the Cape.

Darren Corke and partner Jane Monacella are five weeks into their stint for the tourist season and have been blown away by their welcome.

Employed by Western Cape Eco Tours, they’ve been flat chat on the small cruise boat, running three, sometimes four, tours per day.

“We’re no strangers to the Cape because we’ve travelled up this way before and even did an Eco Tour when we were here in 2016,” said Darren.

“When I did the cruise I didn’t want to leave and was almost looking for a job.”

The couple have been on the road for five years, working in the tour guide business in remote parts of Queensland.

Last year they were out west at Longreach, running cruises along the Thomson River for Outback Aussie Tours.

Before that, they were in the north-west, at Adels Grove near Lawn Hill National Park.

Having kept in contact with Dave and Lisa Hill, the owners of Western Cape Eco Tours, they decided at the start of the year to make Weipa their 2021 home.

So far, so good.

“I’m really impressed with the area and how many crocs there are in the water,” Darren told Cape York Weekly.

“The amount of wildlife; from fish to dolphins, turtles, snakes and birds … there’s something different to see with every boat trip.”

Cape York Weekly was a paying customer with the Eco Tours last week for a sunset tour.

Tourists were blown away with the quality of the trip, which cost just $60 per adult and included beer, champagne and a small cheese platter.

“It’s a quality trip and they all walk away happy. That was a high tide tour so there wasn’t as much to see but the low tide tours will blow people away,” Darren said.

“You see crocs sunbaking, plenty of birds and fish and lots of activity in the water.”

On the sunset tour, the bost went up Roberts Creek at a gentle pace before returning to the Embley River and Weipa harbour to take in the sunset, which produced stunning views.

“For a lot of tourists, the Cape is the last frontier,” Darren said.

“It’s not that remote, really. There are places in the Gulf around Doomadgee that are a lot more remote.

“But the tourists here are up for an adventure and that’s what I love. They are so eager to be in the outdoors.”

Darren and Jane will be here until October.

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