Blue Mountains Aboriginal Culture

Steeped with ancient folklore and legend and rich with important cultural sites, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area was the traditional homelands of six groups of indigenous people – Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri, Wanaruah, Darkinjung and Tharawal. Exploring this vast and sacred Country with local Aboriginal guides not only provides an insight into the world’s oldest living culture, but also reveals ancient secrets about connection to the land and how to care for it.

Cascades, Pool of Siloam, Lyrebird Dell Walking Track Blue Mountains National Park

Ancient art and hidden caves

Discover an art gallery layered with handprints and stencil, thought to have been painted between 500 and 1,600 year ago at Red Hands Cave in Glenbrook; while nearby at Campfire Creek, marvel at axe-grinding grooves on the water’s edge.

The Lyrebird Dell Walking Track from Leura leads through spectacular gorges to a huge sandstone cave, which was used as an Aboriginal shelter dating back more than 12,000 years. Walls Cave in Blackheath was another important shelter, which can be visited on a guided tour with an Aboriginal ranger from National Parks & Wildlife Service, out of the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre.

Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout in Katoomba, Blue Mountains

Local insights

The Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout is an immersion in indigenous culture. Winding through a beautiful and secluded rainforest gully, along the trail of an original Songline, this full-day tour is a moving and inspirational experience that includes body painting, bush food and storytelling.

At Echo Point, take a close look at the new Gathering Place, built in consultation with Darug and Gundungurra elders. Used as a stage for cultural presentations, the amphitheatre overlooking the Three Sisters is etched with a ‘Map of Country’ representing the waterways in the region; while LED lights mirror four constellations in the night sky.