Whether you’re a visitor or you’ve lived in Australia all your life, you can’t fail to be awed and fascinated by the rich Aboriginal heritage that we’re lucky to have.
Aboriginal people have one of the world’s oldest living cultures, with numerous and diverse language, customs, groups and beliefs. If you’d like to explore and learn about the indigenous culture of Australia, here are five ways to increase your understanding.
Walkabout Cultural Adventures
If you’re heading to tropical Northern Queensland, you can learn about the Aboriginals of the Daintree Mossman area from their very own Aboriginal guide, Juan Walker.
There’s the lush scenery and diverse wildlife of the Daintree Rainforest, with activities including spear throwing. You might want to give this a miss if your aim isn’t very good, or you’re a bit nervous around spears and the like. More of a foodie? That’s fine - you’ll have the opportunity to try lots of bush tucker too.
Juan will reveal secret spots that other tourists may miss out on and teach visitors about his local bush knowledge and Aboriginal history. You’ll be fully immersed in Aboriginal culture, and get a proper feel and understanding of their history.
So, you love arts and crafts? That’s lucky. Travellers looking to add a creative element to their trip should head to Uluru in the Northern Territory where not-for-profit arts and craft organisation, Maruku, showcases traditional Aboriginal art.
You’ll learn about Aboriginal native history, and can even take part in one of the creative workshops on offer, where you can create your very own Aboriginal artwork.
Harry Nanya Tours
Everyone should experience the Outback, and to really get a feel for this awe-inspiring expanse, head to World Heritage-listed Mungo National Park where aboriginal artefacts dating back over 40,000 years have been discovered.
Owner of Harry Nanya Tours, Graham Clarke, is of Paakantyi heritage and will take visitors on a scenic tour through the Willandra Lakes region to the red sand plains of Mungo National Park and Lake Mungo. It’s much cooler from April to October, so Harry has tailored the tours for the daytime; during the warmer months of November to March, sunset tours are available.
Sand Dune Adventures
Seeing an adrenaline thrill? Would you like a splash of culture with that? Head to Sand Dune Adventures, which is just two and a half hours north of Sydney.
You’ll be able to cruise the Worimi Sand Dunes on Stockton Beach while learning about the indigenous culture of the Aboriginal Midden sites with an expert Aboriginal guide; the tours take about 90 minutes, so make sure you’re OK with finding sand in your hair and clothes for a while afterwards.
If you’ve got plans to head along the Great Ocean Road, make your way to nearby Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve for a nature walk. You’ll see an abundance of wildlife while discovering native Australian culture inside the crater of a dormant volcano.
If the heat’s getting a bit too much for you, there’s a two hour Twilight Bush and Nature Walk, which begins at dusk, and will help you properly understand Australia's nocturnal wildlife.