Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel, Cairns, Queensland © Tourism Tropical North Queensland
Incredible Indigenous experiences for families in Australia
Connect with the world’s oldest living culture while having fun with your family on these immersive, awe-inspiring days out.
By Leah Dobihal
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander travel experiences are fantastic for families. They create a wonderful opportunity for kids big and small to learn about an ancient (and thriving!) culture, and the rich Indigenous tradition of storytelling makes for brilliant entertainment. Here are nine memorable tours to add to your family holiday.
Create your own dot painting
Aboriginal culture and storytelling can be shared in many forms – dance, performance, art and more. At Maruku Arts in the heart of the Red Centre, these stories come alive through dot painting. During an intimate dot painting workshop, you’ll learn about the culture of the local Anangu people, and each family member can create their own story through art. What’s better than your own handmade souvenir?
Snorkel the reef with Indigenous rangers
A visit to the Great Barrier Reef should be on every kid’s bucket list. With Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel, your family can combine the thrill of the reef with the knowledge of the Indigenous owners of the land and sea. In addition to snorkelling over colourful coral, Indigenous Sea Rangers offer live demonstrations of traditional dances and the didgeridoo. It’s an incredible learning experience for all ages.
Go on a sand dune adventure
Ocean activities, dolphins, whales and hikes – a holiday to Port Stephens is a no-brainer for families seeking fun and adventure. Stockton Beach is where the thrills really begin. Join Sand Dune Adventures on an adrenaline-inducing quad biking tour to explore the land which has been home to the Worimi people for thousands of years. Those aged over 16 can drive their own bike while younger kids can cruise carefree with a parent.
Spot crocs on a sunset cruise
It’s not just wild saltwater crocodiles that make the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park a unique family destination. Kakadu – home to the Biniji/Mungguy people – is a mesmerising landscape brimming with culture, native plants and wildlife – not to mention an abundance of rock art up to 20,000 years old. Book a cruise with Kakadu Tourism, where the whole family can spot crocodiles floating through the billabong, buffalos grazing and more birds than you can count.
Discover a landscape 800 million years old
Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park is – in a word – jaw-dropping. Families will no doubt be awed by the 800-million-year-old landscape, but to delve into its ancient history, you’ll need the help of a Yura guide. Book in at Wilpena Pound Resort to take an informative stroll past magnificent river red gums and learn about nature and biodiversity from the perspective of the Adnyamathanha people. It’s as fascinating as it is beautiful.
Listen to stories from a Noongar guide
Wadjemup – the Aboriginal name for Rottnest Island – is a natural playground of beaches, ocean and some cute furry residents called quokkas. On a Go Cultural tour, your family will learn about the significance of this island from a local Noongar guide. The tour begins with a traditional sand ceremony, and during a one-hour walk, you’ll hear cultural stories, songs and Noongar language.
Explore the world’s oldest rainforest
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tours are meaningful and educational, but don’t forget, they’re also simply fun – and a tour with Walkabout Cultural Adventures is just that. Head through the forest to the beaches of Queensland’s ancient Daintree Rainforest with your Kuku Yalanji guide to collect shellfish, throw a boomerang and taste some bush tucker. If you’re lucky, your family could even catch a mud crab using traditional hunting practices.
Find connection on the wukalina walk
The wukalina walk is a four-day mindful walk on Tasmania’s beautiful northwestern coast. Perfect for older families, the wukalina walk brings together storytelling, connection and perspective. The white sand and blue skies are sure to inspire you, but what will truly move you is the opportunity to walk with your palawa guide on the land their people have called home for thousands of years. The comfortable accommodation and exquisite meals are a bonus.
See Sydney from a new perspective
With icons like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Sydney is an exciting family destination. Join a Dreamtime Southern X walking tour and you’ll learn about Sydney’s heritage long before the city became the bustling destination it is today. Your guide will share the area’s authentic history and uncover the spiritual connection that Aboriginal peoples have with the land and waterways. Your kids will learn valuable lessons about how we all belong to Country (the land and water).