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Connect to Aboriginal culture in Sydney

Mangrove Boardwalk, Ku-ring-gai Chase National ParkCredit: Destination NSW

Scenic views across Cockle Creek and the Mangrove Boardwalk along the Gibberagong walking track in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

#feelnewsydney

Connect to Aboriginal culture in Sydney

Mangrove Boardwalk, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Credit: Destination NSW

Scenic views across Cockle Creek and the Mangrove Boardwalk along the Gibberagong walking track in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

#feelnewsydney

Hashtags #feelnewsydney

Learn about the world’s oldest living culture to learn all about Aboriginal traditions, history, art and native food across Sydney.

Learn about waterways

Sydney Harbour once hummed with community and activity – bays around the harbour were used for hunting, fishing and camping, and continue to be culturally significant today. Onboard vessel Mari Nawi (big canoe) with Tribal Warrior, a two-hour journey will present you with tales of the Cadigal, Guringai, Wangal, Gammeraigal and Wallumedegal; learn the Aboriginal names and meanings of significant Sydney landmarks; and step offboard to a Sydney Harbour island to encounter an Aboriginal cultural performance.

On Dreamtime Southern X’s The Rocks Aboriginal Dreaming Tour, you’ll be taken on a 90-minute walk revealing Aboriginal heritage within Sydney Harbour. As your guide shows you a number of culturally important sites, learn about the Dreamtime, the local Aboriginal people’s deep spiritual connection to the adjoining waterways and foreshores, how they used the land and water, and how they sustained themselves on seasonal foods.

Explore a new perspective on foot

Embrace a new outlook on the city as you know it with the Burrawa Aboriginal Climb Experience on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Led by a First Nations storyteller, BridgeClimb Sydney’s experience sees you ascend to the top of Sydney’s famous landmark, all while receiving incredible insight into Aboriginal stories and sites across the harbour.

Splendour Tailored Tours also offers insightful Aboriginal culture tours. On the five-hour Indigenous Culture tour, guests will embark on a two-hour walk with an Aboriginal local, and enjoy morning tea with native ingredient flavours, plus lunch. (Note that not all elements of Splendour’s Indigenous Culture tour are led by a local, some parts are facilitated by a senior Splendour host.) An additional hour can be added to tours to include a walk through Yiribana Gallery, a collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks in Naala Badu, thethe North Building of the Art Gallery of NSW. Yiribana is free to enter every day of the week, regardless whether you are on a tour or not.

While you’re there, grab a snack or drink from the North Building’s Kiosk featuring native ingredients, as curated by Indigenous Elder Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo. The kiosk is the gallery’s commitment to celebration and education about native Australian ingredients and Indigenous culture.

Out of the city, gain valuable insights into life on Country from Laurie Bimson of Guringai Aboriginal Tours, courtesy of the three-hour Basin Track Tour. Bimson leads visitors to culturally significant sites within the stunning bushland of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Discover sandstone engravings and stencil art, and learn how Aboriginal people enjoyed food, shelter, community and spirituality at the special place.

If you’d prefer a self-guided walking tour combining Aboriginal culture and art with beautiful beaches, head south to the Royal National Park to explore Jibbon headland. A 5km-return walk follows a well-marked bush track to Jibbon Beach, the traditional home of the Dharawal people. Jibbon headland features significant Aboriginal rock carvings, a midden – a collection of shells and bones that indicates a place of food gathering and consumption – dating back 3,000 years, and a campsite that was created and maintained by the Dharawal people, through careful fire and plant management.

Dreamtime Southern X, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

Group enjoying a Dreamtime Southern X tour with Marget Campbell at Balls Head, Waverton in Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

Dreamtime Southern X, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

Group enjoying a Dreamtime Southern X tour with Marget Campbell at Balls Head, Waverton in Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

BridgeClimb, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

Family enjoying the Burrawa Indigenous Experience at BridgeClimb, Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

BridgeClimb, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

Family enjoying the Burrawa Indigenous Experience at BridgeClimb, Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

Go beyond the ordinary

Learning about the oldest living culture goes beyond a tour or tasting – your immersion in Aboriginal culture can, and should, involve art, performance and new heights. A mesmerising show by world-renowned Bangarra Dance Theatre at the Sydney Opera House will leave you spell-bound. Bangarra is a company of professional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders performers, and creates ‘powerful works of theatre with dance, music, poetry and design’, with world premiere performances created and toured every year.

Just outside of Sydney, take in the magnificent sights of the Blue Mountains on Scenic World’s Buunyal tour. The tour is an authentic Indigenous experience on Gundungurra Country, the only of its kind in the Blue Mountains, and was developed by Uncle David King, a Gundungurra Custodian. Learn about local lore, native animals and plants as you ride on the world’s steepest train, the Scenic Railway, into the valley where you’ll walk beneath the rainforest canopy with your guide. From here you’ll traverse up the escarpment on the Scenic Cableway, then hear a dreamtime story about the formation of the Jamison Valley on the Scenic Skyway.

Sample native bush foods

From the caviar-like popping pearls of native finger lime to the powerful aroma of eucalyptus, the breadth and flavours of native Australian ingredients make for essential tasting.

Housed underneath Australia's most iconic building, the Sydney Opera House, Midden by Mark Olive is a restaurant by Bundjalung man and ambassador chef, Mark Olive, and places native ingredients at the forefront. Olive draws on his heritage to plate up dishes such as damper infused with native herbs and served with eucalyptus whipped butter; and braised wallaby shank.

Nearby is a bakery by Native Foodways, a First Nations-owned and -led social enterprise. Here you can find pastries, sausage rolls, pies, muffins and more made with native ingredients spanning aniseed myrtle, wattleseed, saltbush, kangaroo, native ginger and macadamia.

Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

Bangarra Dance Theatre performance, Sydney. For media use only in Australian markets to promote NSW.

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Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Credit: Destination NSW

Bangarra Dance Theatre performance, Sydney. For media use only in Australian markets to promote NSW.

#feelnewsydney

Sydney Adventure Tours, Katoomba Credit: Destination NSW

Sydney Adventure Tours offers private tours to the Blue Mountains. With an experienced tour guide, take a bushwalk through nature and experience the rainforests.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Sydney Adventure Tours, Katoomba Credit: Destination NSW

Sydney Adventure Tours offers private tours to the Blue Mountains. With an experienced tour guide, take a bushwalk through nature and experience the rainforests.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Learn about native flora

Sydney’s harbour once flourished and thrived with plant life and flora, an integral part of life in the Eora Nation. Join a Barangaroo Aboriginal Cultural Tour to discover how Traditional Owners flourished on the harbour’s once-pristine shores. Daily tours are led by a team of Aboriginal educators and take in the abundant flora of the six-hectare headland of Barangaroo Reserve – it’s home to some 75,000 Australian native trees and shrubs.

North of the city, Trip Slow offers an Aboriginal Bush Tucker and Salty Air tour, in collaboration with Bush to Bowl, a 100% Aboriginal-owned social enterprise. On the seven-hour excursion guests will wander through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to Barrenjoey Lighthouse; enjoy lunch at Whale Beach; and go on an immersive walk in Narrabeen with a Bush to Bowl guide, exploring bush tucker and the medicinal uses of the local flora and fauna in the Northern Beaches.

You can also become more educated about native plants on the Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Led by a First Nations guide, you will wander through the Cadi Jam Ora garden and learn about how the bush foods were traditionally used and adapted to the modern plate and palate. On the tour you’ll have the opportunity to try some of the goods yourself, and afterwards you can browse the selection of native bush foods at the Garden Shop.

Aboriginal Cultural Tours, Barangaroo Credit: Destination NSW

Aboriginal educator Tim Gray leading guests on an Aboriginal Cultural Tour in Barangaroo, Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

Aboriginal Cultural Tours, Barangaroo Credit: Destination NSW

Aboriginal educator Tim Gray leading guests on an Aboriginal Cultural Tour in Barangaroo, Sydney.

#feelnewsydney

Tweed Escapes, Tweed Heads Credit: Destination NSW

Tweed Escapes located in Tweed Heads. Take a journey through time and learn about the Traditional Custodians of this area.Now considered to be one of Australia’s most beautiful National Parks, take a stroll along the Tweed River, cutting through bushland and mangroves to discover the flora, fauna, bush tucker and culture of the Minjungbal people.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Tweed Escapes, Tweed Heads Credit: Destination NSW

Tweed Escapes located in Tweed Heads. Take a journey through time and learn about the Traditional Custodians of this area.Now considered to be one of Australia’s most beautiful National Parks, take a stroll along the Tweed River, cutting through bushland and mangroves to discover the flora, fauna, bush tucker and culture of the Minjungbal people.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

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