7 Magnificent Aboriginal Cultural Tours
Experience some of Western Australia’s most amazing natural attractions, with the custodians who’ve cared for them for more than 50,000 years.
Learn About Perth’s Ancient Cultural Heritage
Perth has been home to the Nyungar people since the Dreamtime, and sacred sites still exist amid the hustle and bustle and glistening skyscrapers of the city. Join Nyungar elder Walter McGuire on a Go Cultural Aboriginal tour of Elizabeth Quay and beyond to hear Nyungar hunting and celebratory songs, learn about the six seasons and the Nyungar’s spiritual connection to this land, and try out ochre paints and traditional tools. The city will never look quite the same again.
Experience an Ancient Healing Technique
Generations of mubarrn (medicine or law men) have used the waters around Denmark, in WA’s Great Southern region, to perform healing ceremonies, and Aboriginal elder Joey Williams is keeping the tradition alive. Venture to a water site in Koreng country on a Vibrational Healing & Water Nurture Tour with Poornarti Aboriginal Tours for a unique experience. “This technique is as old as my people,” says Joey, who believes he is the only person still practising this type of healing. “It’s for everybody. It’s about keeping your journey on the right path.”
Joey is an award winning artist and you may have the opportunity to see him paint a landscape that you can take home with you.
Catch a Feed at Cape Leveque
Up in the far north-west of Australia you’ll find Cape Leveque, a pristine environment of blue ocean, white sands and red rocks. The Bardi Jawi people own and run Kooljaman at Cape Leveque , where accommodation ranges from campsites to deluxe safari tents, and Raugi’s Restaurant does incredible things with local bush food. Ways of connecting with country and culture include Brian Lee’s Tagalong Tour, in which you’ll catch your own lunch in the traditional style – through spearfishing and mudcrabbing – before cooking it up under a shady tree or on the beach.
Explore an Oasis in the Pilbara
In the heart of the Pilbara, Millstream Chichester National Park is an oasis of deep gorges and rock pools amid the surrounding rugged landscape. It’s a significant place for the Yindjibarndi people, and can be explored as part of the 2480-kilometre self-drive Warlu Way, or on a daytrip with Ngurrangga Tours. The tour led by local Clinton Walker, includes visits to sacred sites such as Nhanggangunha, or Deep Reach, a pool that’s said to be home to the Warlu, or creation serpent, which created Millstream during Ngurra-nyunjunggamu (“when the world was soft”).
Listen to a Cave Concert with Koomal Dreaming
The Wadandi and Bibbulman culture is very much alive in the Margaret River region thanks to people like Wadandi man Josh “Koomal” Whiteland, who runs Koomal Dreaming. Join Josh on a full-day cultural tour around Dunsborough and Yallingup to hear Dreaming stories and a spine-tingling live didgeridoo performance amplified by the walls of Ngilgi Cave. You’ll also eat some seriously good traditional food, which might include anything from kangaroo to quandong (a native fruit).
Stay in an Eco Safari Tent in the Kimberley
Any trip to the Kimberley is memorable, but seeing this great wilderness through Aboriginal eyes is something you’ll never forget. Up on the Fitzroy River, the Oongkalkada Wilderness Camp offers eco-tent accommodation in a pristine landscape surrounded by natural springs. Stay on a two-night, three-day experience in which your Nyikina host Neville Poelina will tailor cultural and wildlife experiences to suit you. “You want to fish, see birds, learn about my culture… whatever you ask for, I will deliver,” says Neville.
Kayak the Sacred Waters of Shark Bay
Gutharraguda, otherwise known as Shark Bay, is a site of great spiritual importance to the Nhanda and Malgana people. It’s also one of the world’s great marine wildernesses, so hop aboard a kayak with Darren “Capes” Capewell of Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures and experience this ancient culture and World Heritage-listed location all in one go. “Wula Gura Nyinda” means “you come this way”; and Capes invites you to share traditional wisdom while spotting dolphins and dugongs, having a snorkel, and even finishing with a soak in a hot tub.
Interested in more memorable experiences? Check out these top 10 Aboriginal experiences.