<em>This article is from 2018 but it's one of our favourites. We're resharing it during NAIDOC Week to highlight the importance of taking the time to understand and connect with Indigenous culture while exploring.</em>\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIf we keep our understanding of the word ‘explorer’ too narrow, it can easily conjure up images of colonial adventurers forging paths through deserts and swamps whilst wearing what basically amounted to a dinner suit and a funny hat, believing they were the first educated humans ever to have set foot in ‘wastelands’ full of ‘savages’.\r\n\r\nWhilst there are still a couple of places on Earth that remain genuinely unexplored, like deep-sea trenches and a scattering of super remote mountaintops, Australia is not one of these places. Here, as in most parts of the world, many of the landscapes we now think of as wild were historically home to healthy and thriving populations of Indigenous people. Disease and displacement brought about by European colonisation led to the decimation and often near-destruction of these ancient cultures. This has meant changes in the way the land is managed and loss of the Indigenous knowledge needed to survive in these areas, making these previously inhabited landscapes inhospitable.\r\n\r\nHere in Australia, much of what is now considered ‘wilderness’ would have been populated and cultivated land mapped by <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/songlines-indigenous-memory-code/7581788" target="_blank" rel="noopener">complex songlines</a> which detailed its every rock and rivulet. It wasn’t untouched or undiscovered. Most of this great land would have better fit the label of ‘cosy home’ than ‘'<a target="_blank" rel="noopener">terra nullius</a>’.\r\n\r\nThis disconnect with nature continues and colonisation is still happening. Indigenous people still deal with the aftermath of displacement; many continue to fight for the right to live and practice their culture on their traditional lands, whilst many modern white people are slow to break away from a culture of exploiting others and the rest of nature.\r\n\r\nIf we bear these things in mind when we’re out on adventures, we can consciously experience ourselves as a different kind of explorer.