Hikers on South Australia’s newest multi-day hike can now immerse themselves in local Aboriginal culture via an audio tour that shares the stories of the Ngarrindjeri Nation on the SA National Parks Tours mobile phone app while they walk.
The interactive app shares stories of the land as you make your way along new Wild South Coast Way walk on the Heysen Trail which runs between Cape Jervis and Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The app showcases Ramindjeri and Ngarrindjeri stories, with contributors including Ramindjeri Elder Mark Koolmatrie, Ngarrindjeri linguist and artist Kyla McHughes and grandson of the late Ramindjeri Elder Henry Rankine, Jamie Rankine.
Together, they provide a traditional welcome and farewell to Ramindjeri Ruwi country as well as reflections and meditations on traditional life.
The app also includes recordings of the Ngurunderi creation story of Kondoli: Keeper of Fire and the Wururi (huntsman spider) creation story.
National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers Paul Unsworth, Genki Kondo and Coral Marsden also feature on the tour, providing insights on the unique plants, animals and experiences along the trail.
To access the self-guided audio tour simply download the SA National Parks Tours app before departing. It is also contains the largest repository of freely accessible audio recordings of Ngarrindjeri language.
The app uses technology built into a walker’s mobile device to deliver curated content suited to the walker’s location on the trail. Walkers can opt-in to alerts for when content is available.
Options for visually or hearing impaired visitors include voiceover, audio transcripts and image descriptions. Multilingual support is also provided, with 27 languages supported.
The project was made possible by working closely with the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation (NAC) and Ramindjeri and Ngarrindjeri artists.
Kool Tours Founder Mark Koolmatrie said in the past, a lot of language, stories and knowledge has been lost or watered down.
"This project has brought some of what has been lost back to life," he said.
"It has brought our identity to the forefront. It has strengthened me and my family, and I know it will do the same for our people, because it is a celebration of who we are. I’m incredibly proud of everyone who has helped to create such a rich record of
Ramindjeri and Ngarrindjeri language and stories.
"The app allows us to honour our oral tradition of sharing stories in a way that connects with people in today’s world. It’s exciting to think of the generations of people that will hear these stories and experience language on Ramindjeri Ruwi.
"I hope that the app helps walkers engage in mi:wi kungulun (deep listening and reflecting) while on Ramindjeri Ruwi. This is the foundation for a strong connection to Ruwi, to self and to others. This is truly walking in the footsteps of our ancestors."