Connect with the country’s first inhabitants, the world’s oldest living culture. In the midst of visiting incredible beaches, lush rainforests and seeing wildlife, make time to engage in Australian indigenous experiences.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- Artistic inspiration – from galleries to rock paintings and books, ancient maps and documentaries, discover the meaning behind Aboriginal artwork and understand the cultural symbolism of Australia’s first people. Discover indigenous culture through traditional song and dance performances as well as bark painting, jewellery making and basket weaving. If you’re looking to purchase authentic Aboriginal artwork, be sure that you buy from members of the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia, the Australian Commercial Galleries Association or the Indigenous Art Code.
- Camground visits and walks – With a local Aboriginal guide, visit a campground like the Flinders Ranges or Mossman Gorge and learn how to find bush food and medicines from various plants. Prior to the start of your tour, partake in a ‘Highlight’ (known as a cleansing ceremony) where your guide will use smoke to cleanse one from any bad spirits as the belief goes.
- The flavours of delicious cuisine – Enjoy various outback dining styles – such as dining under the stars overlooking Uluru/Ayers Rock – and sample foods infused with the unique flavours of the Australian bush for a delicious and immersive experience. Various Aboriginal bush-food trails include learning about food gathering and bush tucker preparation. See ancient hunting weapons too and learn how flora was used for medicinal purposes in addition to culinary art.
- Land and sea adventures – Aboriginals have a symbiotic relationship with nature and the lands they have ancestral roots to. Go on a small, personalized walkabout tour with the presence of a storyteller and visit ancestral sites of significance and various opportunities to view wildlife and stunning and untouched scenery.
- Check out a festival – a great way to experience the planet’s oldest culture is through song and dance, celebrations and through community events. The Laura Dance festival, just north of Cairns for instance, is one of the largest and oldest Aboriginal cultural festivals in the country. Over 20 communities gather together and perform cultural ceremonies and sing ancient rhythms (many of which have been sung or performed for millennia!).
Visiting Australia is a ‘trip of a life time’ and as such this involves making your holiday worthwhile through immersive cultural experiences while also ticking off many bucket-list items too!
Written by: Nikki (Destination Specialist)