Find out how you can connect with the world’s oldest living culture.
Discover it the same way Aboriginal Australians have passed it down for at least 50,000 years – through art, dance, myths, music and the land itself. See Aboriginal art and contemporary dance in the cities. Or head to the outback and listen to Dreamtime myths of creation by the campfire. Bushwalk and snorkel, share bush-tucker or learn to craft spears and catch fish in the traditional way. Let Aboriginal Australians help you understand this ancient land and its spirituality and wonder.
1. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
Visit Uluru and you’ll see why the rock and surrounding land have such huge spiritual significance for the Anangu Aboriginal people. According to their creation myths, ancestral spirits formed Uluru, which lies in Australia’s red centre like an enormous, moody heart. Aboriginal guides will share these ancient tales as you walk around the rock’s base. Just 32 kilometers away is another sacred site – Kata Tjuta. You’ll be awestruck by these steep, rounded, russet domes over 3,500 hectares.
2. Kimberley, Western Australia
Featuring vast horizons and ancient gorges, the Kimberley region is one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. See Wandjina figures painted in caves and the mysterious Gwion Gwion paintings. Ride a camel on Broome’s breathtaking Cable Beach and 4WD the red-dirt road along the Dampier Peninsula. Learn the legend of the orange and black beehive domes of the Bungle Bungles and fly over vast Lake Argyle in Kununurra.
3. The Daintree, Queensland
More than 135 million years old, our stunning Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world. Traverse this canopy of green with traditional owners the Wujal Wujal people. Learn about bush tucker and fish for barramundi. See fresh-water crocodiles sunning themselves on the mangrove-lined river banks and rare tropical birds and animals, many of which are not found anywhere else on earth.
4. Coorong, South Australia
Become one with nature as you kayak along the lagoons and waterways of the Coorong. Your Ngarrindjeri guide will tell you about bush tucker, traditional medicines and the incredible local birdlife. As night falls, you can listen to stories unfold and smell the mouth-watering aroma of fresh damper (outback bread) as it is pulled from the embers of a campfire.
Discover a rich Aboriginal history along Gippsland’s rugged coastline. Wander the fern gullies, sandy beaches and eucalypt forests of the sacred land now known as Wilsons Promontory National Park. Trace Aboriginal trading routes up to 18,000 years old. Watch local Aboriginal people make baskets, spears, shields and canoes in the traditional way at Bairnsdale. Or learn where the Dreamtime touched the rugged gorges, rainforest and gullies of Woolshed Creek.
6. Sydney cultural tours, New South Wales
Get a glimpse into the lives of Sydney’s original inhabitants on a harbor cruise or walking tour. You can learn the Aboriginal names and meanings of significant Sydney landmarks as you cruise the harbor with Aboriginal guides. Visit rock-carvings and old Aboriginal settlements and stop off for a traditional Aboriginal welcome on Clark Island. Off the boat, you can taste bush food and learn about Aboriginal use of plants on a walking tour through Sydney’s lush harbourside Botanical Gardens.
7. Bangarra Dance Company, National
You can’t miss a performance by one of Australia’s oldest, youngest and most innovative dance companies. Bangarra blends a living tradition stretching back 50,000 years with contemporary dance influences from across the world. See this truly Australian dance language in its home theatre in Sydney or on stages in cities across the nation.