Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness, Callala Bay, New South Wales © Tourism Australia
Visit a different Country (in Australia!) with The Wiggles
Are you ready to journey through First Nations Australia with The Wiggles? Let’s go!
Did you know that there are hundreds of different language groups of First Nations People in Australia? They have a special connection to the place of their people and their ancestors, which they often refer to as their Country. If you’re in Australia, you’re in one right now! How cool is that?
Together, let’s see which Country your next family holiday will take you to!
Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, is home to the Gadigal people and has been for over 60,000 years! But they aren’t alone. There are a total of 29 Indigenous language groups, sometimes called “clans,” that still exist in Sydney today. Together, they form the Eora Nation, which means “here” or “from this place.” And, while their history goes back a long way, it’s only a short walk from the Sydney Opera House to The Rocks where you can join First Nations Elders for a guided tour of the land.
Some of us may know Victoria’s amazing sandstone mountains as The Grampians, but First Nations People have always known this place as Gariwerd. This is a very spiritual place for First Nations People, especially the Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali people, who have kept their sacred stories alive in the form of Aboriginal rock art. There are five sites to discover when you visit, can you find them all? Here’s a free map to help guide your adventure!
Emma Wiggle's Top Tip:
Gariwerd is home to over 90% of all Aboriginal rock art in Victoria!
Welcome to Ngunnawal Country! Or, as some people call it today, Canberra: Australia’s capital. For over 20,000 years, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people have had a special relationship with the plants and animals of this region, making them experts of the land! Do you want to learn how to share Country too? Journey to the top of Mount Majura with a local guide to discover ancient artifacts and delicious bush tucker treats.
A family holiday to Cairns will take you deep in the heart of Gimuy-walubara Yidinji Country. Many thousands of years ago, the First Nations People lived in both the rainforest and by the sea, using their knowledge of their lands and waters to gather food, clothing and tools for their group. Today, they also welcome kids and families to explore the Great Barrier Reef with them on a Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel adventure. Are you ready to make a splash?
What some call the Gold Coast today has been home to the Yugambeh Clans for thousands of years. The Yugambeh Clans have a deep respect for the land. They understand the land, honour the land and have traditional names for their sacred places, which have inspired many of the current place names in the Gold Coast like the coastal town of Coombabah, which means “Home of the turtles” and Pimpama, which comes from the Aboriginal word “Peempeema,” meaning place of the Pee Wee bird. Spend the day exploring Jellurgal, also known as Burleigh Heads, on a guided walk to learn even more about the Yugambeh Clans and their Dreaming stories passed down through generations!
Simon Wiggle says:
To greet the First Nations People during your stay, you can say “Jingeri”, which means “hello friend” or “g’day mate!”
Just a short and fun ferry ride from Perth in Western Australia is Rottnest Island, or Wadjemup as it’s known to the Traditional Owners: the Noongar people. Here, you’ll be greeted by a whole bunch of furry friends called quokkas. They’re always smiling and love to take photos with kids like you! Beyond the shores lies thousands of years of Noongar history that you can explore on a guided tour of the island. It even includes a traditional sand ceremony. Wow!
Europeans may have reached Tasmania, or lutruwita, in 1642, but the palawa people had been there for over 40,000 years! Hobart, Tasmania’s capital city, is known as nipaluna (pronounced nip-ah-loo-nuh) Country and is home to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery where you’ll find an awesome Aboriginal exhibition called ningina tunapri, which means “to give knowledge and understanding.” It’s amazing how much you can learn about the different Aboriginal cultures in Tasmania by listening to their stories!
Anthony Wiggle says:
Did you know Tasmania wasn’t always an island? First Nations People used to move back and forth between Victoria and Tasmania until the rising sea levels formed the Bass Strait. Incredible!
The capital city of South Australia, Adelaide, is located on the traditional Country of the Kaurna people. The Kaurna people and their language have a strong spiritual attachment to the plants, trees and animals of the land. As you explore Adelaide and Kaurna land, you can find the traditional names for the areas you visit. For example, Victoria Square is known as “Tarntanyangga” in Kaurna language. It means “red kangaroo dreaming”!
Kakadu is more than just a national park, it’s a living cultural landscape! The Kakadu region belongs to the Bininj and Mungguy people, who now teach visitors of their fascinating way of life while continuing to care for Country. To protect their land from wildfires, the Bininj/Mungguy light small fires all-year-round, especially during “yegge” (May-June) and “wurrgeng” (June to August). This ancient ritual is also known as “back-burning” and is used by firefighters all across Australia to protect us from bushfires. Amazing!
Lachy Wiggle says:
Although it is not always common to say ‘hello’ for Bininj and Mungguy people, it is polite to say goodbye when leaving. Their word for goodbye is ‘bobo’ (pronounced bor bor).
Wherever you travel in Australia, you’ll always find yourself on the lands and waters of Australia’s First Nations People. You can keep track of every different Country that you visit on your journey, including the one you are on right now, by checking out the Map of Indigenous Australia. What Country are you on? Better yet — what Country are you going to visit on your next family holiday?
Holiday The Wiggly Way
Looking for more ways to Holiday The Wiggly Way? Join Emma, Anthony, Simon and Lachy as they journey across Australia in their Big Red Car. There’s even a fun game for you to play!