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Aboriginal adventures on the South Coast

Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness, NaroomaCREDIT: Destination NSW

Aboriginal guide Dwayne Bannon-Harrison performing a smoking ceremony during a traditional welcome on a Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness tour.

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Aboriginal adventures
on the South Coast

Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness, Narooma CREDIT: Destination NSW

Aboriginal guide Dwayne Bannon-Harrison performing a smoking ceremony during a traditional welcome on a Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness tour.

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Home to the Yuin Aboriginal people for at least 20,000 years, the New South Wales South Coast is a top spot to discover Australia’s First Peoples’ deep spiritual connection to the land. Here’s where you can experience traditional ceremonies, Dreaming trails and sacred sites with the area’s Traditional Custodians.

Bugiya Naway Buradja Walk 

For a fascinating immersive experience, book a coastal walk with Bugiya Naway Buradja tours, about 40 minutes’ drive from Nowra, or three hours south of Sydney. Acclaimed guide and Aboriginal Discovery Ranger Deidre Martin, a Walbanga woman of the Yuin Nation, will lead you through some of Jervis Bay National Park’s most spectacular areas, pointing out the seasonal bush tucker and medicinal plants, and revealing how they’ve been used for thousands of years. During the tour you’ll sample damper (bush bread) and wash it down with a cup of bush tea (made from plants found during your walk), and you can also try your hand at weaving.  

Yuin Retreat 

Looking for a transformative on-country adventure led by passionate locals? It doesn’t get much more immersive than the three-day Yuin Retreat with Aboriginal-owned and operated tour company Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness. Throughout this adventure you’ll explore important sites around Central Tilba, Narooma and beyond, including the spectacular Gulaga (Mt Dromedary), an extinct volcano revered by the Yuin People as the place of their ancestral origin. You’ll also learn about the Djirringanj Dreaming, experience a traditional smoking ceremony and sit in a yarning circle to hear sacred stories. When you’re ready to get hands-on, there are also healing workshops, dance and didgeridoo demonstrations, and you’ll feast on indigenous tucker throughout the tour.

Bowen Island and Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay CREDIT: Filippo Rivetti

Sunset over Bowen Island and Murrays Beach in Jervis Bay.

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Bowen Island and Murrays Beach, Jervis Bay CREDIT: Filippo Rivetti

Sunset over Bowen Island and Murrays Beach in Jervis Bay.

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Wagonga Inlet, Narooma CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sun rising over Wagonga Head and Wagonga Inlet, Narooma.

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Wagonga Inlet, Narooma CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sun rising over Wagonga Head and Wagonga Inlet, Narooma.

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The Bundian Way  

The series of trails known as the Bundian Way is part of an ancient walking route that connected the people of the Sapphire Coast to the Kosciuszko alpine region. It begins between Pambula and Eden (a six-hour drive south of Sydney) at the Monaroo Bobberrer Keeping Place, where an Aboriginal-guided experience showcases the site’s artefacts and teaches you everything from how to identify bush tucker to boomerang-throwing skills. Afterwards, check out the Bundian Way Story Trail, for an interpretive 1.8km walk between Quarantine Bay and Cocora Beach, and the Whale Dreaming Trail, where an accessible 600m walk to the Turemulerrer (Twofold Bay) lookout reveals the Katungal People’s intriguing relationship with killer whales.  

Bingi Dreaming Track 

A Dreaming Track is also known as a Songline, because countless generations of Aboriginal people have used songs as navigational aids, with the words to the songs helping them memorise landmarks and preferred routes across less familiar terrain. The 13.5km Bingi Dreaming Track follows the same path the Brinja-Yuin People have trod for thousands of years, hugging the coast between Congo and Tuross Head in Eurobodalla National Park to weave through coastal heathland, forests and wetlands. It’s a scenic, moderate walk that reveals the area’s rich Aboriginal history, with stone quarry sites, shell middens and ancient campsites to be discovered.

Cocora Beach, Eden CREDIT: Davey Rogers

Scenic views of Cocora Beach, Eden along the Bundian Way ancient pathway.

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Cocora Beach, Eden CREDIT: Davey Rogers

Scenic views of Cocora Beach, Eden along the Bundian Way ancient pathway.

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Bingi Dreaming Track, Eurobodalla National Park CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy scenic coastal views along the Bingi Dreaming Track in Eurobodalla National Park.

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Bingi Dreaming Track, Eurobodalla National Park CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy scenic coastal views along the Bingi Dreaming Track in Eurobodalla National Park.

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