Looking to see the real Australia? BBMLive’s Gemma Glover has found the best Aboriginal Tours to experience whilst in Australia.
Before the arrival of British colonies in 1788, indigenous peoples; the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders inhabited Australia. With a continuous history spanning more than 50,000 years this makes them one the world’s most ancient living cultures today.
Aboriginal Australia is a living legacy of custodianship of land, spiritual knowledge, culture and people. The connectivity edness of all things shared is demonstrated through rituals, art, dance, music, secret stories and journeys created in the Dreamtime – the time when ancestral spirits created the landforms and all life.
By gaining an insight into the Aboriginal history of Australia your surroundings will be brought to life and you will gain a much deeper appreciation of the landscapes you traverse. With over 500 different clan groups or ‘nations’ once living across the continent, many distinctive cultures, beliefs and languages were developed, some of which still survive and are accessible today.
With the utmost respect for the traditional custodians of the lands and in seeking to share just a fraction of this captivating history and culture with you, we have sought out a selection of honest aboriginal experiences. We hope these experiences will help to go a little way in explaining the true history of Aboriginal Australia and its people.
Sand Dune Adventures, NSW
Located in Port Stephens and run by the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (WLALC), Sand Dune Adventures is wholly operated by local Aboriginal people. They seek to give you a ‘hands on and interactive’ insight into the rich Aboriginal culture whilst providing you with an exhilarating quad biking experience among the unique coastal sand dunes of Stockton Bight. During your experience you will ride from bush to beach with an expert Aboriginal guide, dig for fresh water, see one of the many Aboriginal hidden sites, and take in glorious views of the sweeping coastline. Back at the Murrock Cultural Centre you will gain further insight into the Aboriginal culture and heritage of the lands. With “exclusive” access to the largest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere this is possibly the most adrenaline-charged, authentic cultural experience around!
Kakadu Cultural Tours, NT
Owned and managed by the traditional owners of the clan estates it visits, this is an exceptional Aboriginal cultural and heritage experience into Arnhem Land and Northern Kakadu. Experiences include the Guluyambi Cultural Cruise, Guluyambi Wet Season Cultural Cruise, Magela Creek System and Arnhemlander Cultural and Heritage Tour.
Aboriginal guides provide an insight into local mythology, the river’s abundant food chain, traditional uses for many plants and animals as well as bush survival skills. While on your NT Aboriginal experience enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep at the Hawk Dreaming Wilderness Lodge situated in the heart of Kakadu.
Ingan Tours, QLD
Experience the sacred values and time-honoured ancestral knowledge of the Jirrbal Rainforest Aboriginal people. Take a walking or kayaking tour through awe-inspiring rainforest in the World Heritage Listed Tropical North Queensland. Elder, Ernie Grant and his family offer walking tours through the pristine rainforest following along crystal clear waters to the beautiful Echo Creek Falls. Their kayak tour is also a great way to experience the Cassowary Coast Region. Relax and breathe in the beauty of the Bulgan Creek in Tully and paddle your way down stream and see the environment through Indigenous eyes. Jirrbal guides offer interpretative information on the flora and fauna giving a unique understanding of how the rainforest sustains life.
Aboriginal Cultural Tours, SA
Aboriginal Cultural Tours deliver authentic Aboriginal experiences led by knowledgeable Aboriginal guides, who care about their country and live on their land. Their tours take travellers on a journey through archaeological sites, spectacular coastal areas and ancient lands where giant ‘Megafauna’ once roamed! With Aboriginal Cultural Tours you will discover the Aboriginal communities of regions including Clare Valley, Burra, Mid North, Southern Flinders Ranges and Yorke Peninsula. Walk together in the footsteps of Aboriginal ancestors. Immerse yourself in the past. Share in Dreaming stories that bring the landscape to life and connect with nature and the environment.
Ownership of Brambuk is shared between five Aboriginal communities with historic links to the Gariwerd-Grampians ranges and the surrounding plains. Featuring its own hostel, cultural centre and Dreaming Theatre it is the perfect location to discover the wonders of the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung and aboriginal communities of southwestern Victoria. With many different ways of understanding the ancient landscapes of Australia this region in particular defines itself by six distinct weather periods termed as the Geriwerd seasonal cycle. Learn about the season of the honey bees, wildflowers, nesting birds, butterflies, eels and cockatoos, enabling you to connect deeply with the flora and fauna of this ancient landscape.
Kooljamin at Cape Leveque, WA
Kooljaman, the Bardi Aboriginal name for Cape Leveque, has been established for 20 years and is jointly owned by the two surrounding Indigenous communities of Djarindjin and Ardyaloon. Located 220km North of Broome, Kooljamin offers a unique wilderness camp, which is surrounded by a diversity of natural wonders. The amazing wildlife, vast array of marine life and stunning coastline, makes this a truly inspiring experience. You can undertake a range of exceptional cultural experiences including; mangrove and mud crabbing tours, fishing, bush tucker, and whale watching all conducted by the local people who share a deep affinity with the region. This is the perfect getaway for any traveller with an adventurous spirit and a desire to get off the beaten track. “Gorna arralala jardor Booroo”, ‘Look after our country’.
Experience Sydney’s Aboriginal Past and save 20% on Sydney Outback Tours
By Gemma Glover