Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Tour, Watarrka, Northern Territory © Archie Sartracom, Tourism Australia
Embark on guided bush tucker walks, experience sophisticated outback dining, try your hand at traditional hunting and more.
New South Wales
Bundyi Cultural Tours
The Riverina region of New South Wales holds millennia-old Aboriginal secrets, many of which are revealed on a Bundyi Cultural tour with local Wiradjuri man Mark Saddler. Experiences can last from a couple of hours to a full day – whichever one you choose, you’ll gain eye-opening insights into the Aboriginal communities who hail from the Wagga Wagga region, around a five-hour drive south-west of Sydney. Discover “scar trees” and ancient shell middens, and then glimpse sacred sites including Galore Hill Scenic Reserve and The Rock Nature Reserve – Kengal Aboriginal Place. This spiritual Dreaming and ceremonial location is believed to be where the Creator of all things, Baiame, left his dingoes before ascending to the sky. Your adventure will also give you a taste for bush tucker, whether in its raw form (try saltbush) or infused in Mark’s wattleseed damper; pick a longer tour and he’ll also prepare a delicious barbecue lunch.
Firescreek Aboriginal Storytelling and Wine Tasting Experience
From Davidson plums and lilly pilly to mountain pepper and aspen, native produce is on the menu when you sign up for the Firescreek Aboriginal Storytelling and Wine Tasting Experience. Held on the lush grounds of Firescreek Botanical Winery in Holgate, 90 kilometres north of Sydney on the New South Wales Central Coast, the tour is led by Kevin ‘Gavi’ Duncan – a Darkinjung Elder with a passion for the environment, bush tucker and music. He will mesmerise you with tunes on his didgeridoo and reveal the stories behind the Indigenous artefacts he brings along. One is a coolamon (a traditional carrying vessel) stocked with seasonal native plants that have sustained and healed Aboriginal communities for millennia. Much of this flora is grown on the Firescreek estate and is infused into the distinctive wines made here by Nadia and Francis O’Connell. You’ll also meet them and sample their drops – perhaps chilli citrus or pomegranate and apple wines.
Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness – Yuin Retreat
See some of the prettiest coastal scenery of New South Wales while gaining an insight into traditional culture, on a two-night Aboriginal experience with Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness. The two-day, two-night Yuin Retreat invites guests to come, walk and listen to a sacred Dreaming of Djirringanj country, heartland of the Yuin people. Experience ceremony and Dreaming stories that have been passed down to connect to Country with tour highlights including a traditional smoking ceremony, sunrise beach ceremony and traditional reflections yarning circle. Enjoy resort-style accommodation and Aboriginal cuisine, including local seafood with a range of native spices. This tour is based in Narooma and the neighbouring village of Tilba – about four-and-a-half hours’ drive south of Sydney. Transfers are available from Moruya, Sydney and Canberra airports.
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney – Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour and Aboriginal Harbour Heritage Tour
Discover the rich culture of the Gadigal People and their deep connection to Country on an Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour or Aboriginal Heritage Harbour Tour at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Led by a First Nations Education Officer, the tours provide a unique opportunity to learn about native flora and fauna and their significance and use by Aboriginal Peoples. On the traditional land of the Gadigal people, one of twenty-nine Aboriginal communities of the Sydney region, the Gardens were and continue to be a significant cultural site for Aboriginal people. The one-hour Aboriginal tours provide a unique opportunity to learn about the uses of native trees and plants by Australia’s First Nations People to make bushfoods, medicine, tools and technology.
Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience & Tours
The breathtaking Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon), located in Australia’s Red Centre, provides the ultimate backdrop for the one-hour Aboriginal Cultural Tour by Karrke. Learn about dot painting, tools, weapons, bush tucker and medicinal plants used by the Central Australia desert people during this hands-on experience. Be introduced to native foods such as bush tomato, discover the significance of dot painting and see how mulga wood is shaped into tools such as spears, hunting clubs and boomerangs. There is also an opportunity to ask questions about Luritja and Pertame (Southern Arrernte) language and culture, and how people have thrived in this extreme but often bountiful landscape for tens of thousands of years.
People often speak of undiscovered parts of the world. But Arnhem Land, a vast region in the north-west of the Northern Territory, is the real thing: 97,000 square kilometres (37,450 square miles) of barely touched wilderness, equal parts beautiful, daunting and mysterious. The Yolŋu people have been custodians of this land for millennia and, on a tour with Lirrwi Tourism, visitors are immersed in an authentic encounter with this ancient culture. Single and multi-day tours explore aspects of Yolŋu life, from song and dance to art and the yidaki (didgeridoo) – all against the backdrop of the wondrous parallel world that is East Arnhem Land. Here, the calendar is divided into six seasons, and songlines – or Dreaming tracks – run through the landscape.
Three hours south-east of Darwin lies a network of 13 towering gorges, through which snakes the Katherine River. This is Nitmiluk National Park: home to the Jawoyn people and a riot of rugged beauty. Nitmiluk Tours, a 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned company, lets you enjoy the best of Jawoyn country and culture via its smorgasbord of cruises, hikes, cave tours, swims, canoeing trips and scenic helicopter flights – not to mention its accommodation offerings, which include everything from a camping ground and cabins, through to the luxurious Cicada Lodge. Be sure to walk to the first gorge lookout point for sunset or sunrise – or, if you find yourself closer to Katherine, join one of Nitmiluk Tours’ guided walks through the fascinating Cutta Cutta Caves.
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia – Ayers Rock Resort
In the sand dunes beside Uluṟu rests Ayers Rock Resort, an accommodation and cultural experience collective comprising five different stays and more than 65 tours. The resort offers a restful base from which to explore the awe-inspiring Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park and its famous monoliths (both 348-metre /1,141-foot high Uluru and the lofty domes of Kata Tjuta), as well as to connect you more fervently with the rich Aboriginal culture and landscape of the Red Centre. Take a camel ride into the sunset; meander through the lush greenery at Uluru’s base – viewing rock art that illustrates the site’s Creation stories as you walk; or dine under a canopy of stars at a Sounds of Silence dinner, an atmosphere-laden evening of food, culture and astronomy held amid sand dunes and silent surrounds. Experience fine dining on a private dune with Tali Wiru, or take a guided tour of the new Gallery of Central Australia (GoCA) which provides a platform for the Indigenous community to share their stories and their culture.
Adventure North Australia – Daintree Dreaming Tour
Adventure North Australia offers close to a dozen experiences departing from Cairns and Port Douglas, from day trips to three-day journeys that take you to hard-to-access areas of Cape Tribulation. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to spear fish, catch a crab or fossick for bush tucker, here is your chance. After learning these techniques with guidance from Kubirri-Warra brothers Linc or Brandon Walker, you’ll cook up your haul and enjoy it with damper, a traditional bread. Go off-road in 4WDs to access some of the most important sights Tropical North Queensland has to offer, including excursions to far-flung corners of the state. The Walkers share their knowledge of the environment and traditional foods while following in the footsteps of their ancestors. Full-day and multi-day trips take you through the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, to sacred Aboriginal beaches and ancient rock formations.
Far North Queensland is a spectacular amalgam of rainforest, reef, beach and outback, and Culture Connect, a tour company based in Cairns, offers visitors wonderful ways to connect with ancient Indigenous culture in the region. At Normanby Station, a vast cattle property outside Cooktown, Traditional Owners the Harrigan brothers introduce guests to their way of life as cattlemen and as guardians of extraordinary galleries of Aboriginal rock art. Back on the coast, another pair of brothers, Linc and Brandon Walker, invite visitors to join them on Cooya Beach, traditional Kuku Yalanji fishing grounds, to learn everything from how to throw a spear to search for plants used to create medicine.
Flames of the Forest – Aboriginal Cultural Experience
Flames of the Forest’s Aboriginal Cultural Experience involves heading into the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest, near Cairns, for a seven-dish banquet dinner served under a silk canopy illuminated by hand-made crystal chandeliers. Cultural experiences are interwoven with the dinner, as your Kuku Yalanji hosts share music, ceremony and storytelling, as well as inviting guests to spend some time sitting quietly, listening to the sounds of the rainforest at night. The food is modern Australian, locally sourced where possible, and features plenty of bush tucker ingredients accompanied by a selection of premium Australian wines.
Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience at Rainforestation Nature Park
Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience at Rainforestation Nature Park offers unique experiences in the beautiful World Heritage rainforest in Kuranda, just 30 minutes from Cairns. Watch dance performances by the Pamagirri Dancers, and take a Dreamtime Walk to learn and master the skills of boomerang and spear throwing. The Pamagirri Indigenous Guides come from different language groups across Queensland, but all share a strong connection to culture. Other experiences include the Pamagirri Mini-Mob and the Pamagirri Art Experience.
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia – Mossman Gorge Centre
Aboriginal-owned Mossman Gorge Centre is located 20 minutes’ drive north of Port Douglas in the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, where the Kuku Yalanji people have lived for centuries. It is also the starting point for their multi-award-winning signature experience, the Ngadiku Indigenous Guided Dreamtime Walks. Ngadiku means ‘stories and legends from long ago’ in local Kuku Yalanji language, and that’s exactly what you can expect on this memorable rainforest exploration. Learn about bush foods and bush medicine, pick up skills such as how to make ‘bush soap’, and experience a traditional smoking ceremony. The guided experience ends with bush tea and damper.
Walkabout Cultural Adventures
Discover where two World Heritage sites meet – the Wet Tropics Rainforest (home of World Heritage-listed Daintree) and the Great Barrier Reef – and learn about the environment and wildlife from an Aboriginal perspective with Juan Walker or one of his knowledgeable team at Walkabout Cultural Adventures. On these deeply personal, intimate tours, guests will cruise mangroves scanning for mud crabs in tidal flats, forage for pipis in the shallows and learn how to throw a spear to catch their next meal. Take a guided rainforest walk at Mossman Gorge and visit several culturally significant locations around Port Douglas and the Daintree area. Half-day, full-day and private journeys are all available.
This four-day/three-night fully accommodated Aboriginal owned and guided hiking and cultural experience takes place within the magnificent landscape of wukalina (Mt William National Park) and larapuna (Bay of Fires) in North-East lutruwita (Tasmania). Enjoy innovative world-class accommodation, traditional foods, and cultural interpretation as you walk palawa Country. wukalina Walk involves two main days of hiking and a day dedicated to sharing some of the cultural practices that connect First Nations peoples to their Ancestors, such as shell-stringing and clapstick making. You will be well fed and will sleep in comfort. First, at the purpose-built coastal standing camp called krakani lumi (resting place) in timber pavilions. The last night is spent in a beautifully renovated lightkeepers cottage.
Borrgoron Coast to Creek Tours
Bardi man Terry Hunter of Borrgoron Coast to Creek Tours enjoyed a unique bush childhood on Australia’s oldest continuously operating pearl farm – and you’ll learn all about this, and much more, on his captivating two-hour walking tour on Western Australia’s Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome. Blazing red dirt meets bone-hued sand and turquoise seas in this ruggedly beautiful corner of the Kimberley region, which is lapped by the world’s largest tropical tides. Discover how the Bardi Jawi people have lived to the rhythm of the tides for tens of thousands of years as you explore the dramatic landscape surrounding Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm. Terry’s Coast to Creek tour is highly interactive – you’ll forage for bush foods, learn how to find fresh water on salty tidal flats, seek out medicinal plants and hear extraordinary stories. Cooking oysters while they’re still stuck onto the rocks is a particular highlight – just one of many bush secrets the charismatic Custodian will share with you. For those seeking a slower pace, join Terry’s one-hour Culture and History tour where you’ll hear the stories that shaped the pearling industry.
Dale Tilbrook Experiences
With Dale Tilbrook, a Wardandi Bibbulmun woman, enjoy a captivating dive into Aboriginal food, medicine, culture and art with an emphasis on bush tucker as a food and medicine. During Dale’s two signature bush food experiences enjoy tasting a huge range of bush tucker like quandongs, Kakadu plum, native finger limes, muntries, salty grapes, native spinach, saltbush and other herbs and spices. Bush herbs are added to kangaroo and emu to provide extra flavour. In the ‘Aboriginal Art and Dreamtime Stories’ experience, the history of Aboriginal art and dot painting is explored, and participants create their own piece to take home. Dale’s storytelling skills come to the fore when she delves into ‘Local History and Culture’. Meet in the Swan Valley at Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery or Dale can meet you at your location. Bush Tucker Talk and Tasting is also available at Mandoon Estate Winery.
Wadandi man and guide Josh Whiteland adds another dimension to Margaret River’s winemaking appeal by connecting you to its Noongar culture. Expect your skin to tingle as Josh plays the didgeridoo in Ngilgi Cave’s natural amphitheatre. He may share his knowledge of bush foods and medicine, show you how to make Aboriginal tools and fire, take you on a short walk on the Cape to Cape Track or to the top of Cape Naturaliste lighthouse for stunning ocean views. He could cook you a barbecue lunch where you can savour meats such as kangaroo seared by flames, with tangy native herbs in a tranquil bush setting. A day with Koomal Dreaming is unlike any other.
Owner of Ngurrangga Tours, Clinton Walker, is a descendant of the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people, Traditional Owners of the West Pilbara in the north of Western Australia. And there are no better tour guides to this vast swathe of red dirt than Walker and his team, who hold deep knowledge of their country – ngurra – passed down from Elders and are passionate about bringing visitors to the Pilbara in general, but to the Birrup Peninsula in particular. The peninsula is virtually unknown yet is home to an estimated million Aboriginal rock carvings, some dating back as far as 40,000 years. Walker is also armed with lightning-quick humour: on Ngurrangga’s Instagram feed, he describes a goanna scurrying away from the sound of his boots as “fast food”.
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts & Tours
An artist dances in the afternoon light, telling a story with his movements through the red-dust landscape. The Aboriginal Elder has led a group to Thegoowiyeng, a hilltop lookout in Western Australia’s Kimberley region that’s also a Dreaming site and a vessel of cultural history. Afterwards, he’ll reveal surreal rock formations that tell stories of his childhood. This is just one of the immersive experiences offered by Waringarri Aboriginal Arts & Tours. More than 100 artists come to this community-owned art centre to create; some lead interactive tours of the centre, while others guide adventures into traditional lands, sharing the rich culture of the Miriwoong people. Guests experience a traditional welcome, taste Aboriginal bread and pick bush fruits. They learn the connection between land and identity, and see how it emerges in paintings, carvings, ceramics and textiles. They feel the heartbeat of the world’s oldest living culture, still pulsing after more than 60,000 years.
Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures
Learn about the deep spiritual connection that the local Nhanda and Malgana people have with Gutharraguda, the traditional Aboriginal name for Western Australia’s Shark Bay, which translates to “two waters”. Wula Gura Nyinda’s guides will teach you how to understand “the way Country talks to you” and give an insider’s view of local Aboriginal culture through animal tracking, tasting bush tucker and traditionally caught seafood, and identifying the uses of various medicine plants, as well as didgeridoo lessons and Dreamtime stories. A range of active adventures are on offer, from a tour of Little Lagoon on stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), 4WD bush tucker tours or kayak adventures and fully catered overnight or multi-night exclusive escapes on secluded beaches that provide an experience unlike anywhere on Earth.