New Indigenous eco cruise for Sunshine Coast

A new Indigenous cruise operator has launched on the Sunshine Coast.

Operating from Mooloolaba, Saltwater Eco Tours is using a century-old historic timber sailing vessel, Spray of the Coral Coast, to showcase the Sunshine Coast’s Indigenous heritage and marine beauty.

Each tour will have an Indigenous story-teller on board to share the stories, traditions and culture of the Kabi Kabi people, who were originally known as the Saltwater People.

Saltwater Eco Tours is the brainchild of Simon Thornalley, a young Indigenous man of Torres Strait Island descent.

The vessel can cater for 35 passengers, but is restricting numbers to 20 currently, to adhere to its Covid-safety plan.

“I am honoured and proud to launch a business that encompasses my passion for culture, as well as maritime history and sailing,” said Thornalley.

“Sustainable tourism plays a crucial role in today’s society and in the year of Indigenous tourism I am excited to launch Saltwater Eco Tours on the Sunshine Coast.”