A special 3D hologram attraction that will give visitors an immersive experience of KuKu Yalanji country and culture from the comfort of a new theatre has been officially opened at the Daintree Discovery Centre.
Daintree Discovery Centre manager Abi Ralph said her team was greatly excited about this new addition to the award-winning centre – a unique tourism experience blending immersive technology with firsthand storytelling by a traditional owner.
“We believe we are the only tourism attraction in Australia offering this kind of experience,” Ms Ralph said. “We’ve been working hard to perfect it – and also working hard to keep it under wraps until our opening this month.”
The technology was developed in Queensland by AXIOM Holographics.
Going on country or ‘walkabout’ with KuKu Yalanji man Juan Walker of Walkabout Cultural Adventures provides an insight into the culture and country of these First Nations people.
He explains how traditionally their estate provided for all their needs – it was a medicine chest, tool shed, hardware store, supermarket and church, all in one.
Juan introduces in language and English, the different animals, mostly noctural, and their significance, from the culinary to the mystical, as hologram versions appear almost as if you could reach out and touch them.
He warns of the need to be careful around estuaries and waterways – cue a large saltwater crocodile that swims by, complete with splashing water sound.
Ms Ralph said a former caretaker’s cottage had been repurposed for the new theatre to provide a comfortable setting for the engaging hologram experience. A fully accessible ramp has also been completed to allow access to what is anticipated to be a popular visitor point.
Daintree Discovery Centre incorporates an interpretive centre and a series of boardwalks and aerial walkways, topped off by a canopy tower. These are designed to give visitors the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the rainforest at different strata levels while removing the impact of traffic on the forest itself.
The theatre opening will be accompanied by the opening of new interpretive cassowary circuit signage. The upper boardwalk runs through a natural Cassowary Corridor where many of this majestic and ancient creature’s favourite fruits are found.
The signs provide an insight into unique plant species along the boardwalk and the compelling story of how the Cassowary survives in this ancient environment.
Brian Arnold, group general manager of the Gulf Regional Economic Aboriginal Trust (GREAT), which owns Daintree Discovery Centre, said continued investment helped to keep the product experience fresh and maintained the Centre’s position as a must-do activity for visitors crossing the Daintree River.
“Daintree Discovery Centre is recognised as a leader in ecotourism and environmental conservation and maintaining that role is a keen focus of our investment activity,” Mr Arnold said.
For Daintree Discovery Centre opening times, visit www.discoverthedaintree.com.
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