Across Australia, there are many incredibly informative, moving, and valuable cultural tours led by local Aboriginal people – from short nature walks and bush tucker tours to multi day hikes and camping experiences on sacred country.

 

Whether you want to spend your entire holiday immersed in Aboriginal culture, or to add in a local tour to your adventure, there’s an educational and exciting experience to suit. 

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best Aboriginal-led cultural tours across Australia and chatted to a bunch of the tour operators about the importance of learning about the local Aboriginal culture while on country.

 

Photo thanks to Tourism Australia

Why Should I Include an Aboriginal Cultural Tour on my Next Holiday?

Understanding the context and history of the land you’re exploring is important no matter where you are. What happened on the land before you arrived changes how you interact with it and enhances your experience of exploring it.

‘It’s important for people to understand the cultural significance of the place that they’re visiting,’ Kamla Webb from Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours told me. 

When people come on our culture Gumbaynggirr experience we hope that they leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of not only the Gumbaynggirr culture but also First Nations people in general,’ she said. 

Before COVID-19, many Aboriginal tour operators found their biggest market in international tourists. However, as Juan Walker from Walkabout Cultural Adventures told me, he’s had to make an enormous shift towards Australians travelling domestically instead.

‘We have been very successful and are enjoying sharing our tours, our knowledge and our culture with the domestic travellers,’ Juan said.  

‘[Cultural tours] Provide a deeper insight and understanding to the area and the people they are visiting. For example, on a visit to the rainforest many [people] see various shades of greens and a variety of plants, but on tour with us, we explain the foods and resources that the plants provide for our people,’ Juan said.

There are Aboriginal led and owned cultural tours in every state and territory across the country, so you’ll always be able to add in a cultural experience on your adventures. This list is non-exhaustive and we’ll be adding to it over time!

Aboriginal Cultural Tours Around Australia

 

New South Wales

1. Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness – Narooma/Tilba

Yuin Retreat – 2 nights | 2-8 pax 

 

 

 

2. Bundyi Cultural Tours – Wagga Wagga 

  • Aboriginal Special Places Tour – 4 hours
  • Aboriginal Cultural Tours – Taste of Wiradjuri – 6 hours
  • Aboriginal Walkabout Tour – 2 hours 
  • Wiradjuri Culture & Winery Private Tour – 1 day
  • Wiradjuri Culture & Winery Bus Tour – 1 day
  • Corporate Cultural Awareness Programs – 3 hours
  • Motorcycle Tag a Long Tours – 3 hours

 

3. Explore Byron Bay Guided Aboriginal Tours – Byron Bay/Northern Rivers 

  • Bangalow Bush Tucker Tour – Every Thursday 4pm-5:30pm
  • Cape Byron Aboriginal Tour – Thursday & Wednesday 4pm-5:30pm & Saturday 2pm-3:30pm
  • Broken Head Aboriginal Tour – Every Friday 4pm-5:30pm

 

4. Sand Dune Adventures – Port Stephens 

Aboriginal culture, sand boarding & quad bike tour – 1.5 hours

5. Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout – Blue Mountains

3.5km hike through rainforest – Daily 10:50am-4:10pm 

 

6. Minga Cultural Experiences – South Coast 

Bingie Dreaming Track Tour – 2 hours | 6-16 pax

Basket Weaving Workshop – 2 hours | 6-20 pax

 

 

7. Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours – Coffs Harbour

  • Paddle adventures (SUP or kayak) around either Coffs Creek, Moonee Creek, or Red Rock – 2.5 hours

Queensland

8. Mossman Gorge Centre Voyages – Cairns

Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk – 1.5 hours starting at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm

Read more: Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk

 

 

9. Walkabout Cultural Adventures – Cairns 

  • Northern Daintree Rainforest Guided Tour – Full day  or half day
  • Southern Daintree Rainforest Guided Tour – Full day or half day
  • Daintree Rainforest Private Tour – Full day or half day | 1-6 people
  • Corporate Tours, Groups, & Workshops – From 20 minutes to full day

 

Photo thanks to Walkabout Cultural Adventures

 

10. Adventure North Australia – Cairns

  • Daintree Dreaming Traditional Aboriginal Fishing – Full day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
  • Daintree Dreaming Aboriginal Art & Culture – Full day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday

 

11. Dreamtime Dive and Cruise – Cairns

  • Tour of the Great Barrier Reef – Full day 

Only cultural reef experience

 

Photo thanks to Tourism Australia

Victoria

12. Worn Gundij at Tower Hill – Warrnambool/Port Fairy 

Bush and nature walking tours – Depart Monday to Friday, 10am & 1pm

Read more: Tower Hill Reserve

 

ACT

13. Thunderstone Aboriginal Cultural Services – Canberra 

  • 2 hour tours – Mount Majura, Mount Taylor, Black Mountain 
  • Half day tours – Driving tour around Canberra to visit areas of Aboriginal occupation 
  • Full day tours – 4WD tours to Flea Creek, Namadgi National Park, or Scottsdale Reserve

Western Australia

14. Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Adventures – Shark Bay 

  • Didgeridoo Dreaming Night Tour – 2 hours
  • Kayak and Wildlife Adventure – Full day
  • 4WD Tours – Full day
  • SUP Tours – Full day or sunset tour
  • Cultural Youth Camps

15. Koomal Dreaming Cape Cultural Experiences – South West Coast

  • Ngilgi Cave Cultural Tour – 2.5 hours
  • Didgeridoo Cave Tour – 1.5 hours
  • Twilight Didgeridoo Cave Tour – 1.5 hours
  • Aboriginal Food, Cave, and Didge Tour – 3 hours
  • Kaya Cape Experience – 1.5 hours

 

16. Ngurrangga Tours – Pilbara 

  • Rock Art Tour – Nganjarli or Yaburrara  – 2 hours
  • Rock Art & Bush Tucker Tour – 4 hours
  • Cossack Walking Tour – 1 hour
  • Night Time Tour – 4 hours
  • 4WD Tag-along Tour – 10 hours
  • 4WD Overnight Tag-along Tour – Available on request

Northern Territory

17. Nitmiluk Tours –  Nitmiluk Gorge

  • Nit Nit Dreaming Two Gorge Tour – 2 hours
  • Footsteps of Our Ancestors Culture Tour – 2.5 or 5 hours

 

Photo thanks to Tourism Australia

 

19. Animal Tracks Safari

  • Safari Day Tour – 7 hours

 

Tasmania

20. wukalina Walk – East Coast

  • 4 day guided trek 
  • Max 10 pax
  • Walk departs from Launceston each Sunday at 8am from late Sept/early Oct to Easter
  • larapuna (Bay of Fires) and wukalina (Mt William NP)

 

Photo thanks to wukalina Walk

South Australia

21. Wilpena Pound Resort – Flinders Ranges 

  • Guided tour of Wilpena Creek – 2 hours
  • Yura Malka Sacred Canyon Tour – 2 hours
  • Akarroo Adnya Adnyamathanha Rock Art Tour – 3 hours

Read more: Flinders Ranges – A Long Weekend Exploring SA’s Outback

 

Photo thanks to Tourism Australia

 

Feature photo thanks to James Fisher/Tourism Australia