Discover the local Aboriginal ways in the friendly and relaxed company of your Butchulla guide on the Milbi Sunset tour in Hervey Bay.
Cruise the spectacular great Sandy Straits aboard the Milbi ( Butchulla for Sea Turtle) while enjoying fresh local king prawns, canapés, and a glass of champagne.
Hear the legendary tales of the Butchulla people of K’Gari ( Fraser Island ) and surrounds. Discover the Butchulla names and meanings of significant local landmarks, before stepping ashore on Weenandin ( Round Island ).
The picturesque Marine Park is home to abundant marine life such as turtles, dolphins, dugongs, and seabirds. Snorkelling is offered on the Turtle Discovery tour, come face to face with fish habitat, and soft and hard corals.
As the sun sinks beneath the horizon, take a walk in the footsteps of the Butchulla people. Experience the unique coastal lifestyle, uncover the traditional fishing methods and food gathering techniques, while listening to the enchanting sounds of the didgeridoo.
Departs Great Sandy Straits Marina at 5.00pm during Summer and 4.30pm during Winter and lasts for 4 hours.
Our Vessel: The MilbiOur vessel is proudly named the “Milbi’ which carries the Butchulla meaning ‘sea turtle.’ The Milbi is the only glass bottom boat in Hervey Bay and is one of the largest in Australia. She is eco-friendly with a very low carbon impact. The vessel is custom designed with large glass panels allowing a clear view of the coral gardens and marine life below. The Milbi is 12 metres in length, stable, and offers comfortable seating while being gentle on the water. Onboard facilities include: bathroom, merchandising, drinks and snacks. The boarding platform allows the convenience of direct beach landings. Easy onboard access is offered for physically challenged passengers. As the sun goes down, the Milbi illuminates with its underwater viewing lights. Viewing the marine life and coral reef through the Milbi's beautifully lit moon pool is certainly a wonderful experience.
Local CultureThe Butchulla People are the traditional custodians of the area surrounding beautiful Hervey Bay and K'Gari (Fraser Island). Our vessel is proudly named "Milbi" which is Butchulla for sea turtle.
After a long and unwavering fight to gain recognition of native title, Friday 24 October 2014 marked the successful resolution of the Butchulla People’s claim over Fraser Island. Their Island home, K'gari, was placed back in the hands of its traditional custodians.
Our gratitude is deep for all Butchulla People past and present, with particular appreciation to Elder, Aunty Joyce Smith.
We embrace the spirit and have deep respect for the culture of our traditional land and sea custodians - for they are the beginning of time.
What is good for the land comes firstHunters, aware that animals found on the island could die out if hunted excessively, only took what was necessary for food. Even today, scarce resources are protected, often using the totem system which forbids their use. Monitoring soil, plants and animals provided clues to Aboriginal people on how to best manage their land. Boorangoora (meaning 'waters of wisdom' and also known as Lake McKenzie) was a place for decision-making. The wise ones would meet here to listen for messages on the breezes sent from the spirits. Butchulla people camped near freshwater sources such as Boorangoora to eat and drink. They did not swim in these waterholes, taking care not to dirty their source of drinking water. If the land grew tired, they moved camp to allow rain, sun and wind to cleanse the site.
Do not take or touch anything that does not belong to youRespect for the rights of others was, and remains, integral to Butchulla way of life. Women and men kept their business separate. Each group guarded their knowledge and sacred sites. This respect extended to the plants and animals that provided of the people. Butchulla people did not cut down trees, but gathered branches for shelters, bark for canoes, piccabeen palm fronds for useful baskets, and vines for nets. This ensured continued growth of plants for future use.
If you have plenty, you must shareTourism is not new to K'gari (Fraser Island). Each winter, as certain fish, tailor and mullet arrived in waters around the island, Aboriginal people from other language groups trod established pathways looking to share this bounty. They sought permission from elders or were invited by them, to cross Great Sandy Strait and enter Butchulla land on the western side of the island. Numbers would swell from around 400 people to a couple of thousand throughout the season. Visitors were always made welcome, as sharing was a way of life. With summer's return, seasonal seafood moved on, as did these visitors. It was everyone's responsibility to live the 'proper way' according to lore.
Hervey Bay Eco Marine ToursWe the Hikuwai family would like to share the beauty of the Great Sandy Marine Park with you, whilst embracing the spirit and culture of our traditional land and sea custodians.
Hervey Bay Eco Marine Tours is a family owned and operated business. It’s our wish to share our knowledge of the region in the most environmentally friendly and engaging way, whilst offering sustainable practices.
We are continually learning and discovering more about the marine life and ecology of the Great Sandy Straits as we conduct our own research, whilst operating our daily eco marine tours.
We are pleased to offer you a range of tours from early morning through to sunset, and intend to fulfil your expectations with an unforgettable marine experience.
The Milbi is the only glass bottom boat in Hervey Bay and one of the largest in Australia.
Our eco-friendly, custom designed vessel has large glass panels, affording a clear view of the coral gardens and marine life both by day and by night.
She is comfortable and steady, ensuring you the ultimate experience on the calm waters of Hervey Bay. The Milbi offers a minimal carbon footprint and is gentle on the water.
We look forward to welcoming you onboard!
Wil and Jacqui Hikuwai.