The Blowholes are a natural phenomenon and world class tourist site located 75 kilometres north of Carnarvon. Situated along the Quobba Coastline, powerful ocean swells push water through sea caves and out of narrow holes in the rocks, forcing jets of water to erupt into the air. The Blowholes area is an important place for Baiyungu and Yinggarda people. 

The Gascoyne Development Commission understands the need to recognise the important cultural history of the Blowholes for both Traditional Owners and the Carnarvon Aboriginal community, who have a long history associated with the site. In August 2020, the Commission confirmed that it will work with Traditional Owners and Carnarvon Aboriginal community members to achieve this goal. It was agreed that a day-use shelter with interpretive signage will provide a place for Aboriginal people, tourists, and residents of Carnarvon and surrounding areas, a central point to visit and connect. A shelter will also provide a place to learn about the area and rich Aboriginal cultural history, while wayfaring signage will educate people about the lands on which they visit.

Quobba Blowholes

Quobba Blowholes, image courtesy of Tourism WA

The Commission is the lead agency, partnering with the Shire of Carnarvon and Rio Tinto to fund and deliver the Blowholes Aboriginal Recognition project. Upon completion, the resulting day-use shelter and associated assets will be owned, managed, and maintained by the Shire. 

A working group has been formed to oversee and drive the project from initial consultation through to construction. The Group consists of representatives from the Gascoyne Development Commission, Shire of Carnarvon, National Indigenous Australians Agency, Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporation, Yinggarda Aboriginal Corporation and the Carnarvon community. The working group will also share relevant experience and learnings, which will ensure the project achieves its objective and purpose.

Endorsed location of Day-use Shelter

The construction contract has been awarded to Trac Building Service and the artwork contract has been awarded to Mr. Raymond Edney. The project is expected to be delivered by NAIDOC Week in July 2023.