The best way to take the pulse of the world’s oldest civilisation is on a multi-day tour with Aboriginal guides. Sign up for the two-night Yuin Retreat on the South Coast with Ngaran Ngaran Cultural Awareness for a journey of discovery that starts with a traditional Welcome to Country Ceremony and yarning circle, and then takes you on a deep dive into Aboriginal culture with a sunrise ceremony, bush tucker meals, healing workshops, dance and a two-hour ascent of sacred Gulaga Mountain. Be prepared – this is a life-changing experience.
Embark on a wilderness paddling adventure with a difference on a tour with Alpine River Adventures Starting near the small village of Delegate in the NSW Snowy Mountains, the Byadbo Wilderness Expedition will see you paddle and camp along spectacular alpine river systems for five or six days with an Aboriginal guide. Along the way, you’ll visit significant cultural sites, spot wildlife including platypus and kangaroos, relax on untouched river beaches, and learn Aboriginal stories connected to the unspoiled landscape.
Join a summer weaving circle or create rain-making sticks at the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre, just north of Coffs Harbour. And then at Sandhills Artefacts in Narrandera, witness traditional boomerangs, didgeridoos, clap sticks and more being made.
Stand-up paddleboarding on Coffs or Moonee Creeks with Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours is an eye-opening experience in its own right. But your Aboriginal guide will take this Coffs Harbour adventure to the next level by regaling you with Dreamtime stories while you glide; you’ll also learn a few words of the local Aboriginal language.
Dreaming stories are also brought to life on Mark Saddler’s Bundyi Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge tours around Wagga Wagga. This part of the state is home to numerous sacred sites, and Mark will tell you the creation stories behind them – and then dish up seriously delicious homemade wattleseed damper.
On the North Coast of NSW near Port Stephens, an Aboriginal guide from Sand Dune Adventures will take you on a 1.5 hour cultural quad bike tour of the largest moving coastal dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. You’ll ride past ancient midden sites, dig for fresh water and then get a taste for seasonal bush tucker – the native plants that have sustained Aboriginal communities for millennia. If you prefer two feet to four wheels, join a Cape Byron Aboriginal tour with Explore Byron Bay, where you’ll learn about bush food and natural medicines and get to sample plants that most people normally walk straight past.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.