Local Solutions

DreamTime Tuka takes bush foods to the world

Dreamtime Tuka founder standing with flight crew, holding some Dreamtime Tuka food, in front of a plane


When Wiradjuri man Herb Smith founded Dreamtime Tuka he wanted to raise awareness of Australian native foods. Now thanks to Qantas, his products are being eaten and loved by Qantas passengers around the world.

From Wellington, 360 kilometres west of Sydney, Herb wanted to create recognition of the nutritional value of native foods to people around the world.

“Native foods are not only delicious but are in an important part of Indigenous culture,” Herb said.

“This is the heart of Dreamtime Tuka; sharing the benefits of an ancient culture with modern cuisine.”

Offering foods like roasted wattleseed & apple crumble muffins, Bush Plum Crumble Slices, natural spring water and Dreamtime coffee, Dreamtime Tuka quickly attracted corporate clients eager to try something different.

But Dreamtime Tuka really took off when Herb signed a deal to provide inflight snacks to Qantas, becoming the first 100 per cent stand-alone Indigenous company to be offered a contract in Qantas’s Food & Beverage area.

Dreamtime Tuka’s initial order from Qantas was for 150,000 coconut lemon myrtle slices and, thanks to the positive response from Qantas passengers, the airline placed an order for 350,000 bush plum crumble slices.

“Feedback has been fantastic,” Herb said. 

“By including Australian bush flavours, such as lemon myrtle, cinnamon myrtle, and wattle seed in our slices and biscuits we’re giving people a distinctive Australian experience.”

The range of products Dreamtime Tuka produce continues to grow with savoury products such as chicken and quandong pie, and lamb and river mint pie planned.

Now that Herb has helped to increase awareness of the cultural value of bush food, he is looking to help in other ways as well.

“The long-term goal for Dreamtime Tuka is business expansion which will create an industry where I am able to employ local Indigenous people.”