Top Six Places to Connect With Australia’s Aboriginal Culture
By Jim Navary 2010
In addition to kangaroos, koalas, and the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, visitors to Australia may also enjoy connecting with the original inhabitants of the land “down under” – the Aboriginal people. For those who are so inclined, here are the top six places to interact with Aboriginal Australia.
1. The Daintree, Queensland
Upwards of 135 million years of age, the stunning Daintree Rain forest is the world’s oldest rain forest. Experience this green canopy with the original custodians, the Wujal Wujal people. Discover bush tucker and fish for barramundi. See fresh-water crocodiles sunning themselves on the mangrove-lined river banks and unusual tropical birds and animals, most of which are not known anywhere else in the world.
2. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
Visit Uluru and you’ll certainly understand exactly why the rock and it’s environs have such great spiritual importance for the Anangu Aboriginal culture. According to their creation myths, ancient spirits created Uluru, which is located in Australia’s red centre like an enormous, moody heart. Aboriginal hosts will share these age-old stories as you walk around the rock’s foundation. Just 32 kilometres distant is another sacred place – Kata Tjuta. You will be amazed by these steep, rounded, russet domes spread over 3,500 hectares.
3. Kimberley, Western Australia
Offering broad horizons and ancient canyons, the Kimberley region is one of the world’s last great wilderness locations. Come across Wandjina figures painted in caves and the inexplicable Gwion Gwion paintings. Hitch a ride on a camel on Broome’s breathtaking Cable Beach and explore the red-dirt road along the Dampier Peninsula. Discover the tale of the orange and black beehive domes of the Bungle Bungles and fly over vast Lake Argyle in Kununurra.
4. Coorong, South Australia
Become one with mother nature herself as you kayak along the lagoons and streams of the Coorong. Your Ngarrindjeri guide will explain about bush tucker, traditional medicines and the remarkable local birdlife. As the evening begins, you can listen to stories unfold and smell the delightful aroma of fresh damper (outback bread) as it is pulled from the embers of any campfire.
5. Gippsland, Victoria
Learn about the unique Aboriginal history along Gippsland’s rugged shoreline. Wander the fern gullies, sandy shores and eucalyptus forests of the sacred area now known as Wilson’s Promontory National Park. Find Aboriginal trade routes nearly 18,000 years old. Observe local Aboriginal people make spears, shields, baskets and small boats in the traditional way at Bairnsdale. Or learn where the Dreamtime touched the rocky gorges, rainforest and vales of Woolshed Creek.
6. Sydney cultural tours, New South Wales
Get a glimpse into the lives of Sydney’s original inhabitants on a harbor cruise or walking tour. You will likely discover the Aboriginal names and meanings of essential Sydney landmarks as you cruise the harbor with Aboriginal guides. View rock-carvings and old Aboriginal settlements and then take a break for a traditional Aboriginal welcome on Clark Island. Off the boat, you can enjoy the flavor of bush food and discover the Aboriginal use of native flora on a walking tour through Sydney’s remarkable harborside Botanical Gardens.
Jim Navary has been a freelance writer and researcher for over thirty years covering a wide range of topics. He has also been enamored with international travel for forty years. You’re invited to check out his website, Australia Travel Deals [http://australia.traveldealsbase.com].
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