Investing in First Nations cultural ecotourism

The Department of Environment and Science is supporting the development of new cultural ecotourism offerings within the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area (Queensland section).

Applications are now open for grant funding of up to $275,000 for projects that establish new culturally focused ecotourism products or visitor opportunities promoting First Nations peoples’ connection to country. Applications are encouraged that support new and unique ideas that:

  • promote awareness amongst visitors of Gondwana’s First Nations people’s strong connection and care for country
  • increase First Nations business participation and/or First Nation peoples’ employment and career pathways in the region’s tourism industry
  • expand and diversify the ecotourism experiences on offer for visitors to Gondwana by creating new culturally focused ecotourism products/offerings
  • promote the protection of Gondwana’s world heritage, biodiversity, cultural heritage values by drawing on First Nations peoples’ knowledge about country, and
  • strengthen, support, and showcase stewardship of country by First Nations people.

This grant supports the department’s commitment to work in meaningful partnership and shared leadership with First Nations people across the protected area estate and helps deliver on the opportunities identified in the Queensland First Nations Tourism Plan 2020-2025.

The key focus is to catalyse business and tourism experiences that are led by First Nations businesses or representative bodies; however, joint ventures are also eligible. This means non-First Nations tourism enterprises may apply in partnership with the relevant First Nations people, and where the terms of the joint enterprise are acceptable, equitable and supported. Evidence will need to be supplied including a formal letter from the representative body confirming support.

How to apply

*Note – the grant application will be a two-stage process. Stage 1 applications assessed as meeting the criteria contained in the guidelines (PDF, 762.0KB) , will be invited to submit a Stage 2 application.

Further information

If you have any questions about the application process or the initiative, please contact the department by emailing