Eco tourist project to show Hedland’s hidden secrets

Synarah MurphyNorth West Telegraph
Tabba Tabba Eco tourism project to go ahead this new year
Camera IconTabba Tabba Eco tourism project to go ahead this new year Credit: Picture: Synarah Murphy

Some of Port Hedland’s hidden secrets are set to be showcased this year when a new eco-tourism initiative is launched.

Mining companies Rio Tinto Dampier Salt and Tabba Tabba have teamed up to introduce the Tabba Tabba Eco Tour project, giving locals and visitors insight into the salt-making process at the mines and some of the Pilbara’s environment.

The first official tours will begin in April.

Tabba Tabba operations manager Phil Smeeton said this has been a major accomplishment for Ngarla traditional owner Jeffrey Brown and his family, the project would be a platform for the Ngarla people and visitors to access the biodiverse ecosystem.

“The key ingredient to a sound relationship, is a willingness that both parties communicate and understand each other’s issues and to constructively develop strategies to create a solid partnership,” he said.

Mr Smeeton acknowledges the significance of the area for the Ngarla people and is thrilled for the upcoming tourist season.

“The tour will be run by myself and Jeffrey Brown, which begins at Ridley River, Tabba Tabba Creek and Lake Mirage, 35km from Port Hedland,” he said.

“I really look forward to be a part of this project and it is a great opportunity for the Port Hedland community to grow.”

The area covers wetlands where more than 60 species of migratory birds reside.

Visitors will see some of the region’s largest fish that live in the salt lakes including barramundis.

RTDS general manager Brendon Brodie-Hall said the company would build on the tourism initiative for the benefit of the community and industry.

“This agreement is a combination of many years of hard work and it’s cementing that relationship with Rio Tinto and the traditional land owners,” he said.

“This will be a foundation that we will continue to work on together and hope to see the success of this project in the coming tourist season.”

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