A tourism website capturing the “deep time history and natural wonders” of the Great Southern region has been launched sharing the stories of Noongar elders and conservationists at the touch of a button. Through articles, podcasts, videos and photography the Heartland Journeys website brings together ancient Noongar culture and ecotourism into one website. The Gondwana Link-led project, which included the Genestreams sculpture in Porongurup, was delivered with $115,000 in State Government grants and voluntary support from the community. Visitors can use an interactive map to discover the cultural history and ecological features of sites across the Great Southern, and find tourism drive routes to best discover the natural wonders of the regions from those who know it best. Gondwana Link chief executive Keith Bradby said discussions for the website first started nearly nine years ago with more than 60 individuals and community groups volunteering their time and local knowledge to bring it to life. “I think we live in a spectacular part of the world with ecological richness the equivalent of the Amazon and tropical rainforests,” he said. “We have a community that has done quite stunning stuff to look after the environment here and we should be boasting about it more. “To be able to drive along Woogenellup Road and to listen to local farmers and local landcarers talk about what they have done in that part of the world to improve it and look after it, it’s a rare opportunity which I think people are going to make good use of.” Mr Bradby said he hoped the website connected tourists with the community groups working on the ground to help conserve the landscape, as well as the stories of the Noongar community who have protected the land for centuries. “We are wanting to take visitors beyond the Great Southern as scenery and help them dive deeper into all the great things that are happening here and to understand why it is such an important part of the world,” he said. “And the additional element is to have them respond, less as tourists who are just here to have a look but more as visitors who are here to exchange with the local groups, to talk with local people, to meet people and to help their various efforts out. “An important part of the Great Southern story is that really rich Noongar culture and heritage we have here and being able to share that with the wider world is a real privilege. The generosity with which the Noongar elders have shared their stories is very gracious of them.” Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said she looked forward to seeing visitation to the Great Southern increase as a result of the “outstanding work” of the community to deliver the website. “The outstanding natural and cultural assets of the Great Southern deserve to be celebrated,” she said. “We support the work of individuals and community groups to preserve, restore and promote these assets. “The Heartland Journeys website is an important opportunity to feature the stories and achievements of individuals and groups in natural and cultural preservation in this region.” Visit heartlandjourneys.com.au.