Case Study: Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours

An award-winning Aboriginal-owned and operated touring business with stand-up paddling and an adventure through dreamtime stories.


August 28, 2023

Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours

Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours (WYAT) is an award-winning Aboriginal-owned and -operated touring business in Coffs Harbour, located six hours’ drive or a one-hour flight north of Sydney. Aboriginal guides take guests stand-up paddling in the Solitary Islands Marine Park on a journey through the rich Gumbaynggirr culture to hear the local traditional dreaming stories, smell and taste the seasonal bush tucker and see the stunning landscape.

This two-and-a-half-hour experience also teaches the Gumbaynggirr language and how it is being revitalised in the Coffs Harbour area. WYAT also offers cultural walking tours that take guests on an easy walk to experience local dreaming stories.

Quick facts

Product Type: Tour

Focus: Aboriginal culture, adventure & nature

Location: Coffs Harbour, North Coast Destination

Network: Destination North Coast

How did the NSW First workshops help your business?

The NSW First workshops were vital to the growth of our business. They allowed us to be very clear in our future vision and supported us to develop our business plans and product offerings. The workshops contributed to where the business is now, which is a strong position for our future.

Which international markets do you target?

Our target markets are the United States and Europe, in particular Germany.

Has your product changed to appeal to inbound visitors?

We are very new to the export-ready market. From the response so far, the value we have added to our products has been great. Agents are excited to see something different and know that we are up to date with business processes.

What’s one thing you’ve learnt about your target market from experience?

We found selecting our target markets very difficult. Many inbound tour operators are just starting to send their client base to regional NSW, so we needed to market our destination. We have learnt to tweak our products to suit our different target segments to make them more enjoyable.

How did the Destination NSW New Product Workshop assist your business?

The New Product Workshop was vital in becoming export ready. Refining our products and processes and being able to practice our presentation was immensely helpful and took away a lot of nerves.

What types of trade partners are you working with?

We found that we have made a lot of connections with online travel agents. We have also connected with several travel agents and are working with them directly to offer something to their clients on a private basis.

What is the secret to hosting a successful trade famil?

Tips for a successful famil include being on time and giving the guest a little something extra. Make sure you show them what you say you offer.

What are the benefits of working with online travel agents?

Working with online travel agents has helped us to efficiently grow our business and benchmark it against other successful tourism businesses.

What are your top tips for businesses looking to become export ready?
  • Do the work on your trade fact sheets and change them as many times as needed.
  • Don’t assume, always ask.
What are the benefits of working with inbound tour operators?

Inbound tour operators (ITOs) give us a lot of insight into what different markets are looking for. They allow us to tailor products that are needed by their clients. The business that will come from ITOs is vital in the financial growth of our business.