GemLife

Exploring culture – A guide to indigenous Australian locations and experiences

Exploring culture - A guide to indigenous Australian locations and experiences

Until you have explored the rich and diverse culture of indigenous Australians, you have not truly experienced Australia.

As one of the world’s oldest living cultures, there is no better way to connect with Australia’s vast natural landscape than to experience it through the eyes of its traditional owners who have used their knowledge of the land for thousands of years.

With everything from striking art and ancient pilgrimages to modern culinary journeys, next time you plan to hit the road in an Explore by GemLife motorhome, be inspired by some key destinations for the country’s must-see indigenous Australian locations and experiences.

NATURE

Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel, Queensland

Experience one of Australia’s crown jewels, The Great Barrier Reef, like never before with Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel. Steered by a small team of local experts with unmatched knowledge of the reef, this Australian-owned company is a unique educational and commemorative Great Barrier Reef experience, incorporating the world’s oldest living culture and the stories of traditional owners passed down over tens of thousands of years. Spend your day scuba diving and snorkelling as Indigenous rangers recount the Dreamtime stories of the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji, Gunggandji, Mandingalbay and Yirrganydji people to help you gain a deeper cultural understanding of this diverse ecosystem.

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

The remote beauty of Kakadu has stories to share that will take your breath away. In Australia’s biggest national park, you’ll find ancient landscapes with thundering waterfalls, lush rainforests, wandering wetlands, exotic wildlife, and ancient rock art. Covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres, Kakadu National Park is a World Heritage listing, containing more than 5000 Aboriginal rock art sites, to which the Bininj/Mungguy people have called home for some 65,000 years. Here, learn about their ancient culture and the regions’ dramatic seasons.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Uluru (formerly called Ayers Rock), the immense monolith that is Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park requires no introduction. Featuring spectacular geological formations that dominate the vast and red sandy plain of central Australia, the traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta are the Anagu Aboriginal people. Sightseers from across the world come to visit this World Heritage listed park, marvelling at its geological wonder and cultural significance.

Purnululu National Park, Western Australia Located in the Kimberly region, the beehive striped Purnululu National Park is a fascinating and enduring indigenous Australian story. It has been around for 350 million years and revered by its Aboriginal custodians for 40,000 years. To this day, this maze of orange and black striped karst sandstone domes remains one of the most beloved attractions in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

Tower Hill, Victoria

Cementing a vital place in local Aboriginal history and teeming with wildlife, Tower Hill is one of the most fascinating geological formations in Victoria. An enormous volcanic crater, its inside and surrounding island-hills now serve as a wildlife reserve, housing substantial populations of native birds, koalas, kangaroos, emus, and much more. With Worn Gundidj, an enterprise providing economic opportunities to Indigenous people, you can stand inside the sleeping volcano alongside a traditional owner.

CULTURAL

Laura Quinkan Dance Festival

Laura Quinkan Dance Festival

The Garma Festival of Traditional Cultures, Northern Territory

As Australia’s largest indigenous cultural gathering, the Garma Festival takes place over four days every August in northeast Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. A celebration of the cultural, artistic, and ceremonial traditions of the Yolnguj people, this vibrant festival celebrates ancient storytelling and traditional song, dances and artworks.

The Laura Quinkan Dance Festival, Cape York

The Laura Quinkan Dance Festival is an exciting biennial gathering on the Cape York Peninsula, celebrating the diverse communities, languages, songs, dances, and stories of Aboriginal people. Here you can witness the passing on of culture across the generations, showcasing the strength, pride, and individuality of Indigenous Australians.

CULINARY

Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience

Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience

Flames of the Forest

Experience food for the soul in the most authentic way ever. Australia’s only rainforest dining experience, tucked away in a pocket of natural beauty, Flames of the Forest is a world away from your everyday reality. In this intimate, natural experience set within the candle-lit rainforest under a black silk canopy, Flames of the Forest serves up a tropics-inspired menu – a seven-course feast that is filled with locally-sourced Australian produce – as you listen to the music and storytelling of the local Kuku Yalanji people.

Spirits of the Red Sand Cultural Theatre Show and Dinner, Queensland

Brush up on your Aboriginal history with this immersive and emotional performance at Spirits of the Red Sand Cultural Theatre Show and Dinner in Brisbane. After you have been schooled, you will get to pile your plate high at a bush tucker-inspired barbecue feast including piping hot damper with dripping oils, wild finger lime and macadamia nut bush dukkah, chargrilled skewers with your meat of choice; kangaroo, emu, or even crocodile (it tastes just like chicken!).

Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience & Tours, Northern Territory

Located in Australia’s Red Centre, the breathtaking Kings Canyon provides the ultimate backdrop for the one-hour Aboriginal Cultural Tour by Karrke. In this hands-on experience, you’ll learn about traditional dot painting, tools, weapons, bush tucker and medicinal plants used by the Central Australia desert people.

Back to list