Experience conferencing in a region of world heritage significance, surrounded by natural beauty and within the grounds of the world's oldest living culture.
‘Yundu Yalada!’ Hello, and welcome to Tropical North Queensland.
Board your air-conditioned luxury coach, sit back and relax as you make your way north for four days filled with inspiring conference, innovative exhibition, and fearless exploration. Your time in this unique region is interwoven with the culture and stories of the local Kuku Yalanji, Australian bush foods and a selection of outdoor dining experiences found only where the rainforest meets the reef.
The one-hour journey to Port Douglas takes you past acres of towering sugar cane fields before turning on to the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Drive. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the imposing green mountain range and shimmering, blue Coral Sea, the drive is one of the most spectacular in Australia.
Arrive at your destination ready to embrace the laid back, working lifestyle of Port Douglas.
As you disembark, be greeted by elders from the Kuku Yalanji performing a traditional smoking ceremony. This ancient custom smoulders native plants to produce herbal smoke with cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits, ensuring your conference gets off to the most positive start!
Cool off and enjoy a frozen welcome drink featuring native Australian Davidson plum and finger lime with freshly brewed ginger beer and take the opportunity for a quick refresh in the lagoon pool before unwinding in the privacy of your villa.
Have you ever wondered why Australia's native animals are so different to those found elsewhere around the world?
Tonight's Gondwana Dreaming dinner & 'bilngkumu' spotting cruise at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures will answer your questions. Be welcomed to country by Kuku Yalanji elders before tucking into an Australian native feast featuring wattle seed rub Tableland beef, kangaroo skewers with macadamia satay and eucalyptus smoked salmon.
Learn the history of Gondwana flora and fauna through an Indigenous dance and music performance before taking a guided nocturnal walk culminating in a crocodile spotlighting cruise on Hartley's lagoon.
Early risers will enjoy the quiet of daybreak with a picture-perfect sunrise and exclusive 'jukarr' walk with an Indigenous guide learning the cultural importance of the coastal mangrove country, traditional fishing techniques, 'bulkiji manil', bush medicines and foods.
Energised, indulge in a tropical breakfast overlooking the pool before heading over to the conference for a day of education and inspiration.
Break for morning tea on the deck and revitalise with piping hot savoury muffins and banana crepes. Afternoon tea in the garden is heavenly for the sweet tooth featuring bush damper scones with tableland honey, Davison plum jam and fresh, local Mungalli cream, tropical fruit and coconut sorbet parfait and white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies.
Take the opportunity to walk through the custom trade exhibition, constructed locally and featuring interactive experiences and engaging design.
Board the coach for a short journey to the magnificent oceanfront Rex Smeal Park to satisfy your soul with a 'jalun' inspired extravaganza. This stunning setting resembles a painting lit with a myriad of colourful lights illuminating the 'jirimandi' palms and sparkling bud lights, creating an overhead canopy of stars.
An old wooden dinghy filled with freshly cooked tiger prawns, shucked oysters, bug tails and mussels form the centrepiece of your seafood journey.
Dance the night away under the bud lit canopy before retiring to your villa to prepare for tomorrow.
Enjoy an informal breakfast poolside with tropical fruit and granola yoghurt cups, freshly squeezed juices, and bacon and egg sliders.
This morning's half-day conference and exhibition will keep you busy, finishing with an informal picnic hamper lunch affording you the opportunity to take up a comfortable spot by the pool, under a palm tree or in the garden to network with colleagues in the fresh, tropical air.
'Murumaka' - Cultural Team Building Workshop
This fun and interactive afternoon of team building introduces ancient Indigenous knowledge and practices to the modern work environment to promote a more harmonious workforce and, ultimately, a stronger team.
The workshop is hands-on and teaches the art of basket weaving, storytelling techniques and Aboriginal teamwork structures. Walk away from this unique experience with a fresh approach, one which has survived over 60 thousand years.
This evening takes you to Hemingway's Brewery for sunset drinks and canapes upstairs overlooking the marina and the spiritual 'Manjal Dimbi'.
Split into groups for a themed dine around. Seafood, modern Australian or casual - tonight, you decide your gastronomic fate at one of Port Douglas' local restaurants. After dinner, wander the fairy-lit main street and take in a music session with the locals before retreating deep into the comfort of your exclusive cocktail bar to relive the day and share your dinner stories with fellow delegates.
Today, you will continue to learn the richness of the world's oldest living culture from the passionate custodians of this special place while walking through pristine 'madja', following the river's natural course in the Mossman Gorge.
Immerse yourself in a guided Dreamtime Walk with local Kuku Yalanji guides, exploring the hidden treasures of the rainforest, observing traditional bark huts and humpies, and learning the ancient history, stories, bush medicines, foods, and painting tools of this incredible culture. Learn how to make ochre paint and discover indigenous painting techniques before taking in an Aboriginal painting workshop under the guidance of acclaimed local Yalanji artist Binna, who will navigate you through painting your unique boomerang nameplate.
Continue your exploration of the rainforest, 'wawu-baja' and bush foods at a private luncheon on the riverbank of the exclusive Silky Oaks Lodge.
Enjoy Australian lamb, Tableland beef and fresh reef fish accompanied by bush tomato salsa, lemon myrtle sweet chilli, green papaya salad and steamed greens.
Take away a taste of the Daintree as you indulge in black sapote (chocolate fruit), wattle seed, mango, and coconut sorbet fresh from the rainforest orchard.
Board the coach and turn off the main highway toward the rainforest at the base of the mountain range.
As you disembark, the haunting sound of the ancient 'yidaki' beckons you further along a flame-lit path into the surrounding forest.
A magnificent, private art gallery appears, showcasing both exceptional local Kuku Yalanji artists and a selection of Indigenous artists from around Queensland. Canvases filled with traditional stories, handcrafted didgeridoo and boomerang take centre stage among the magnificent rainforest trees illuminated from below. Take the time to wander through this spectacular gallery and engage with the artists before you are escorted further into the forest.
Take your place at the table, reserved by your hand painted boomerang artwork, and feast on a sumptuous banquet of native Australian rainforest foods and local produce.
Awaken rejuvenated and ready to return home with fresh ideas, new perspectives, greater working relationships, and a positive outlook.
KUKU YALANJI LANGUAGE
Yundu Yalada - hello
Bilngkumu - crocodile
Bulkiji Manil - collecting pipi shells
Jalun - the sea
Jirimandi - coconut
Jukarr - beach/sand
Manjal Dimbi - Mt. Demi
Julay - Daintree
Wawu-baja - big river
Yundu Dakwuy - are you hungry?
Madja - rainforest
Murumaka - come together
Yidaki - didgeridoo