Whitsunday's Indigenous Heritage

Reefstar Cruises acknowledges the expertise, wisdom, and enduring connections that have informed the guardianship of the Reef for millennia. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners as the first managers of this land, sea and Country, and value their traditional knowledge which continues to inform the current management and stewardship of the Reef for future generations.

Our History

The Whitsundays is a traditional homeland to the Ngaro and Gia Aboriginal people, with many sites of significance including rock art and stone quarries forming part of the Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail. The Ngaro people traditionally inhabited the Whitsunday Islands and coastal regions of Queensland, employing a seafaring lifestyle in an area that archaeologically shows evidence of human habitation since 9000 BP. 

The earliest archaeological evidence for habitation in the area has been found at Nara Inlet on Hook Island. Cave openings and nearby mounds, or middens, of oyster-like shells are still visible in the steep slopes of Nara Inlet.

The painting of a hashed oval shape is often presumed to be a sea turtle shell, a prominent food source for the Ngaro and Aboriginal people of the mainland. However, it may represent the fruit of the pandanus plant and its seed.


Reefstar Cruises acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. Learn more.

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