Aboriginal Culture

In NSW you’ll find the country’s largest population of Aboriginal Australians, with many opportunities to learn about the distinct cultural groups or nations, each as diverse as the landscape itself. Immerse yourself in an Aboriginal-guided tour to gain an understanding of culture, language and laws, and see how it all ties to “Connection to Country”. Be prepared: It will reshape your view of the world.

Tourists learning the local knowledge of the Gumbaynggirr people on an Unkya Cultural Eco Tour at Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) National Park, Scotts Head

Traditional ceremonies

You can experience a smoking ceremony with aboriginal guides on Unkya Local Aboriginal Land Council Cultural Eco Tours on the Mid North Coast. Or follow ancient Songlines on self-guided walking tracks like the Bingi Dreaming trackin Eurobodalla. Take a tour with Explore Byron Bay to learn about traditional story telling.

Mutawintji National Park - Aboriginal rock art

Rock art

Ancient Aboriginal rock art – including paintings, drawings and engravings – can be found in many of the state’s national parks. Discover handprints and stencils in Red Hands Cave in the Blue Mountains or learn more with an Aboriginal guide from Blue Mountains Walkabout. Follow an easy walk to Ngiyampaa rock art at Mount Grenfell Historic Site near Cobar. Mutawintji Heritage Tours offers half- and full-day tours to the restricted Mutawintji Historic Site.

Aboriginal artwork painted on the Macquarie Regional Library in Dubbo

Arts & crafts

Visit a regional art gallery such as the Wollongong Art Gallery, the Lake Macquarie City Art Galleryand the Bank Art Museum Moreeto see the extraordinary beauty of Aboriginal art. In Outback NSW you’ll find artworks from some of Australia’s most respected artists at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery.

Browse authentic arts and crafts in indigenous-owned galleries and cultural centres across NSW. The Yarrawarra Aboriginal Centre in Coffs Harbour has an excellent art gallery and a delicious bush tucker cafe.

Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk in West Albury, Murray, Country NSW

Follow the Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk along the banks of the mighty Murray River in Albury. Or see how a didgeridoo is made in Narrandera at Sandhills Artefacts. In nearby Wagga Wagga watch a demonstration in the art of traditional tool making with Bundyi Cultural Tours.

Festivals

Attend an Aboriginal music festival and you will gain an understanding of how ancient song and dance rituals continues to influence contemporary Aboriginal life. Enjoy the beats of established and emerging musicians at the Boomerang Festival, held as part of the annual Byron Bay Bluesfest.

Males from the Barkindji nation dancing besides the Darling River, Wilcannia, Outback NSW

Head to Tamworth for music, dance and story telling at the Aboriginal Cultural Showcase, held across six days as part of the Tamworth Music Festival. NAIDOC Week takes place each July with events across the state to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.