Cape York Enterprises incubatory business, Maaramaka Walkabout Tours and Campgrounds, is run by Gerald and Irene Hammett of Hope Vale.
The couple launched their business in 2010, naming it after a significant local landmark. “Maaramaka is the Indigenous name for the curtain fig tree,” said Irene. “There are significant stories around that tree—all Bama people have this story…”
Through their business, Gerald and Irene have an opportunity to share their intimate knowledge of the local culture, history and land. Gerald and Irene also have an intimate knowledge of the local rainforest.
As Gerald explained, “I worked with the botanist, Bernie Highland, and picked up how to identify plants… I had a really good working life in forestry and met lots of different characters. I taught a lot of university students—we had an exchange of learning. Aboriginal Elders working in the rainforest helped out. We used to sit around at night talking about trees. I knew all the botanical names.”
Recently, Maaramaka has focused on organising tours for large groups of cruise liner passengers from Cooktown. Overall, business is going well; Gerald and Irene continue to work hard.