Discover Sydney on an Aboriginal Tours

By Jay Chabon

One of the best ways to get started discovering more about Sydneys rich Aboriginal heritage is to participate in a dedicated Aboriginal tour.

As Australia’s first peoples are the oldest living culture on earth, the Australian history visitors to Sydney learn extends far beyond the history of European settlement.

By learning about indigenous Australians connection to the land, sea and sky, it’s an opportunity to see the city in entirely new ways.

Here are four Aboriginal-led experiences we recommend immersing yourself in.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Gallery (Yiribana Gallery)

Calling Art Gallery NSW home, Yiribana Gallery features jewels from Art Gallery NSWs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection.

The art work, which is from across the country, is an amalgam of many mediums including paint, photography, sculpture and carvings. It is also an amalgam of diverse themes central to Aboriginal life — including dreaming, ceremony and family.

There are many special events at Yiribana, including guided tours, artists talks and even the TV recording of Aboriginal art game show Faboriginal this August (you can book a free ticket through Art Gallery NSW to be part of the studio audience).

Note: Due to the TV recording of Faboriginal, there will be either limited or no general access to the Yiribana Gallery between 26-29 August 2019.

The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming Tour

On this tour, your guide will highlight the palpability of Aboriginal Dreamtime cultural heritage in Sydneys natural landscape and seasons.

The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming Tour invites its guests to enjoy a low-key walkabout around The Rocks as its guides inform them about the history of the Aboriginal communities saltwater heritage within Sydney Harbour.

Your itinerary includes various well-known Sydney spots including Cadmans Cottage, Cumberland Walk and Campbells Cove. But you’ll see these locales in a new light as your guide unpacks their meaningfulness through teachings on everything from the true meaning of the colours on the Aboriginal flag to the relationship between seasonal flora and the identity of the Australian Dreamtime.

Blak Markets

Social enterprise Blak Markets is the setting for talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and craftspeople to sell market products and share their stories with visitors to the market.

The market, which operates in the La Perouse area of the Kamay Botany Bay National Park up to eight times per year, enables Indigenous businesses to maximise economic development opportunities. It also trains and employs the young Aboriginal people who work in the pop-up coffee, food and retail stalls to develop skills to continue careers in barista, retail, food preparation and supervision.

It’s also aimed at visitors who want to participate in authentic and immersive indigenous cultural experiences. Expect to get to know the stall holders and learn the stories behind the array of arts, crafts, market food and events on offer.

Aboriginal Heritage Tour

This tour in Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a perfect one to learn about the Cadigal people, traditional owners of the City of Sydney land.

As you tow your guide, expect lessons about the way the Cadigal people use the plants in the Garden.

The tour is also renowned for providing its guests with Australian bush foods to eat straight from the Garden — depending on whats in season — as they walk and talk.

This is a great tour to develop a deeper appreciation of Aboriginal culture through the world of the Garden.

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