DISCOVER DIVERSITY

Written by root. Posted in FEATURES

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Published on March 10, 2017 with No Comments

Connect with the aborigines Down Under for a redefined travel experience.

Words & ImagesTOURISM AUSTRALIA

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The amazing views of Tower Hill Lake. Credit(s): Visions of Victoria

 

There are many magical and unique experiences to enjoy in Australia. But for a holiday that really is the best of both worlds, you simply can’t go past having a knowledgeable aboriginal guide showing you a side of Australia you wouldn’t otherwise see. In fact, in some cases you’ll literally be given access to areas that remain closed to regular tourists. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, cultural enthusiast, foody or nature lover, you’ll benefit from the knowledge and insights an aboriginal guide can provide.

If you’re in the city of Melbourne but short on time, you can enjoy a guided cultural interpretive walk around the Royal Botanic Gardens just a few minutes from the city centre. Here you’ll discover the plant lore of traditional foods, medicine and tools on a site that was once a traditional camping and meeting place for the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people.

For day tours, you can travel further afield for plenty of amazing places to discover. The diverse aboriginal heritage of the Great Ocean Road, one of southern Australia’s great touring routes, is easily accessible from Melbourne. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve near Warrnambool is the site of a dormant volcano crater where aboriginal people lived until it erupted, more than 30,000 years ago.

Head over to the Gariwerd Grampians National Park where you can join in a range of aboriginal cultural activities including painting and boomerang throwing lessons, didgeridoo workshops, native food tastings, viewing some of the 180 rock art sites or getting up close to the local wildlife. Other cultural attractions include the remains of a permanent Aboriginal village in heritage-listed Lake Condah and Geelong’s Aboriginal Centre and nearby cultural trail.

Australia’s vast open spaces, endless horizons, blazing starscapes and ever changing landscapes makes it perfect for anyone to have a unique outback experience. In what for many seems an arduous and challenging environment, aboriginal people excelled. The outback covers more than two thirds of Australia and in remote pockets, such as the central deserts, aboriginal cultural traditions remain strong, readily blending with modern ways. In selected places there are opportunities to gain an insight into traditional and contemporary aboriginal lifestyles as you see the land through their eyes.

Much of the outback is a stronghold for the diverse and powerful art movement that has captured world attention. In many instances you can visit thriving community art centres and meet the artist and see their works first hand. In Central Australia, Alice Springs is the focal point for some of Australia’s quintessential outback experiences. Deep in the heart of the Western Desert, Uluru (Ayres Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) are two of the more well-known sites where aboriginal Australians’ cultural identity remains strong and intact.

While you’re in Alice Springs you can not only visit some of the local galleries and community art centres famous for bringing the aboriginal dot painting art movement to the world, but even join in an art workshop yourself. You can also get a literal taste of the local life with a bush tucker experience (traditional aboriginal food) with aboriginal guides, learn the mission history at Hermannsburg and marvel at the spectacular, multi-coloured sand pinnacles at Rainbow Valley, the ancient rock peckings at Ewaninga or the colour and diversity of the MacDonnell Ranges captured so eloquently by the famous aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira.

Aboriginal food adventures also await those eager to immerse themselves in a unique mix of modern insight and the traditional culture that make up the aboriginal life. This includes everything from nuts, seeds and fruits to wild game and fish including emu, kangaroo and other unique Aussie flavours. With so many ingredients to choose from, aboriginal people were masters at hunting and gathering their food from their ‘bush food supermarket’ – the natural environment.

Today, more and more people are enjoying learning about these traditional foods and how to prepare them for meals that are as unique as they are tasty. For the truly adventurous, there are expeditions over land or sea to catch fish and mud crab, share stories around the crackling fire and camp on the beach under the abundant canopy of stars.

There are many Aboriginal owned and operated enterprises across Australia that offer authentic and intimate cultural experience to travellers. This unique niche in the tourism industry goes beyond the typical tourist encounters of face-painted tribal dancing and didgeridoo playing. To find the right adventure for you, go to www.tourism.australia.com.

 

 

Royal Brunei flies Melbourne daily. Discover things to do in Melbourne on www.muhibah.com.bn

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