As you may or may not know, I (Maria) am an Aussie Specialist, and I’m one of three hundred travel agents from North America, Europe, and New Zealand invited by Tourism Australia and Tourism South Australia to attend Corroboree West 2019 – a 10 day conference and familiarization trip where I was able to participate in extraordinary travel experiences and meet with top tour operators from across Australia.
We spent our first full day in Perth visiting the city of Mandurah and participating in Mandurah Cruises Wild Seafood Experience. It’s a 3-hour adventure into the Indian Ocean to pull baited crayfish pots, learn more about Western Australia’s crayfish conservation efforts, and of course, eat the day’s fresh catch! (And yes, you can still participate if you have a seafood/shell fish allergy – just let them know in advance.)
After an afternoon on the water, we made our way to Kings Park and Botanical Gardens, where we met Walter and Meg of Go Cultural Aboriginal Tour and Experiences. Walter, our aboriginal Noongar guide, began with a traditional Whadjuk welcome “Kaya noonooka yaarkin niche ngullaka Boodja Whadjuk Boodja.” (Hello, welcome to my country…Whadjuk Country.) Following the welcome, they took us around the park and taught us about the Whadjuk people and their traditions as well as the how they used all of their natural resources.
We finished our first night with a reception at Sandalford Winery where we first met with the other travel agents, vendors, and representatives of Tourism Australia. It was quite the welcome!
After a day of exploring and discovering the beautiful parts of Western Australia, it is now time to roll up the sleeves and let the workshops begin! Days that start at 6:30 a.m. and end by 9:00 pm might not be for the faint of heart, but armed with a good pair of comfortable shoes, a notebook, and a big smile, can get the job done.
Over the next three days, I met with 109 of the top travel companies in Australia from luxury resorts, tours and safaris to cruise lines. I am even more confident in selling Australia as I now know people on the ground, all over the country.
Interested to traveling to Australia, let’s talk!