Back to the roots3 min read . Updated: 30 Jul 2020, 03:23 PM IST
- Authentic Aboriginal experiences in Australia you can’t miss
By modern definitions, Australia is a young country. But it has a heritage that spans centuries, and a rich culture that has been preserved through art, music, rituals and above all, stories. To truly explore Australia, then, means to delve deeper and discover its history and culture beyond the colonial, and gain insights into the Aboriginal way of life. From outback experiences to immersive dining experiences, there is a wide variety to choose from. Here are some unmissable Aboriginal experiences to include in your post-covid Australian itinerary.
Australia’s big cities hold a wealth of Aboriginal history if you know where to look! Here are some great starting points in the big cities:
Cairns: For a quick introduction to Aboriginal culture, head to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park outside of Cairns. This park is one of the largest employers of Aboriginal Australians, and showcases a variety of facets of their culture. There’s a museum and a range of musical and theatrical performances that narrate Dreamtime stories, as well as a mini village where you can learn how to play a didgeridoo or throw a boomerang, try your hand at the art of dot painting and sample traditional bush fare.
Sydney: For a glimpse of Aboriginal Sydney, sign up for a tour with Dreamtime Southern X. Run by ‘Aunty’ Margret and her family of Dunghutti and Djerrinjah Nations, the tour will showcase Sydney’s iconic harbour in a new light while you learn the deep connections between the land and her people.
One with nature
The land itself is central to Australian Aboriginal beliefs, and the people hold a great reverence for mother nature and her powers. It’s fitting to spend some time forming connections with nature. The Daintree Rainforest in Tropical North Queensland is like a microcosm of the world as it used to be, and the Kuku Yalanji people have thrived in its midst for thousands of years. They are the keepers of its knowledge and resources, and you can learn a bit from them through the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk at the Mossman Gorge Centre.
Into the bush
To gain an insight into the Aboriginal way of life, venturing into the Outback and Bush is an absolute must. And there’s no better place than Northern Territory. The heart of Aboriginal Australia beats in the Red Centre, for this is where some of the most important sites in Aboriginal folklore lie – Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Countless tales have been woven around these sacred lands. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a protected region, and you can explore it in a multitude of ways, from helicopter tours to signature dining experiences. The Kakadu National Park in the Ubirr region is a must-visit too. Stunning landscapes will surround you as you explore these storied lands in the company of an Aboriginal guide.
Get a dose of adrenaline while you’re learning more about Indigenous culture with a curated experience in Queensland. Venture up north to where the rainforest and reef meet, and experience it through an Aboriginal lens with Juan Walker of Walkabout Cultural Adventures. Walkers roots lie in these lands, and he will fill you in on the stories and traditions that have been passed on from his forefathers as you look for mud crabs in the tidal flats, forage for pipis, and even learn the art of spear-throwing.
To understand a culture, you have to experience its food. Journey into the Wet Tropics rainforest outside of Cairns and feast on a seven-course banquet with a difference through Flames of the Forest’s Aboriginal Cultural Experience. As you dine on modern Australian courses infused with bush tucker ingredients, you will be regaled by a display of storytelling, music and dance traditional to the Kuku Yalanji people that call this region home.
To know more about Australia's indigenous side, click here.