Indigenous tours and activities in Sydney
- 1. Burrawa BridgeClimb, The Rocks
The Burrawa Climb experience is BridgeClimb’s celebration of Sydney’s fascinating Indigenous culture and history. Conceptualised by Artistic Director Wesley Enoch, Burrawa invites families and friends to step through history with stories that span thousands of years to the present day. Guided by Aboriginal storytellers, you will be encouraged to look out to sea through Aboriginal eyes; look down on the shores where Patyegarang taught William Dawes the language of Sydney; and learn the origins of the familiar place names that circle the water’s edge, Bennelong Point and Barangaroo. The three hour Indigenous guided tour will see you joining in with an eel dance at the summit of the Bridge and you also have the option to wear a traditional clay pipe paint, a ceremonious symbol to represent that the climb group belong together and are one tribe.
This unique Indigenous climb runs on the last Saturday of each month with climb times departing twice a day at 9-10am and 2-3pm. Burrawa runs on the Summit Climb Route and a $10 donation per climb goes to the Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation.
- 2. Tribal Warrior’s Cruises, Sydney Harbour
Tribal Warriors offer a morning cruise within the Sydney Harbour aboard the Mari Nawi (Big Canoe), you’ll enjoy the friendly company of your Aboriginal hosts and crew whilst learning more about the Cadigal, Guringai, Wangal, Gammeraigal and Wallumedegal people of Sydney Harbour and the surrounds. You will also learn the Aboriginal names and meanings of significant Sydney landmarks within Aboriginal culture.
The tour will see you step ashore onto Be-lang-le-wool (Clark island, National Park) - whilst on the island you’ll learn more about Indigenous traditional fishing methods and food gathering techniques, before you watch an exciting Aboriginal cultural performance.
- 3. Aboriginal Walking Tours, Bondi
If you want to combine one of the best coastal walks in the world with a fascinating insight into Aboriginal culture, we suggest joining Aboriginal artist, teacher and performer Walangari Karntawarra on his unique Bondi Aboriginal Walking Tours in Sydney. Walangari is an Aboriginal elder and local Bondi resident, who loves to share his culture and knowledge. He is originally from Alice Springs and is also a gifted musician and international award winning painter who tells the traditional Aboriginal Dreaming Stories of the world’s oldest living culture through art.
On this Indigenous walking tour you’ll discover ancient Aboriginal rock carvings, learn about traditional Aboriginal bush foods and medicines still growing wild in this postcard perfect location. You’ll also do a deep dive on the history of Bondi including its prehistoric geological formations and how Aboriginal communities harnessed its bountiful resources to its place today as one of the world’s most iconic beaches. The tour is rounded off at Bondi pavilion with a didgeridoo performance.
- 4. Lilypad, Glebe
If you fancy tasting some traditional Indigenous cooking whilst soaking in the laid-back vibes of Far North Queensland, you need to check out The Lilypad in Glebe. This unique Indigenous cafe is run by a husband and wife team Laszio and Nyoka, Nyoka Hrabinsky is a proud Yidinji woman from the Indigenous community of Yarrabah (53 km from Cairns in Far North Queensland).
The Lilypad caters for everyone and has a wide variety of gluten free and vegan options as well as Indigenous dishes - Nyoka and Laszio worked with local elders to incorporate Indigenous flavours into the menu - we highly recommend the Aunty Suella, featuring bacon, eggs and unbeatable hash browns with a delicious plum infused drizzle!
- 5. Aboriginal Heritage Tour, Botanical Gardens
Join an Aboriginal tour guide to learn about the Cadigal people, the traditional custodians of the Botanical Gardens - these tours run every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday from 10 – 11.30am within the Royal Botanic Garden. You’ll get to uncover the diverse history and culture of the Aboriginal people in the heart of the city as well as learn all about the Royal Botanic Garden's rich Aboriginal heritage by exploring plant uses, culture, artefacts and tasting some bush tucker.
- 6. Blak Markets, La Perouse
The 100% Aboriginal owned Blak Markets in Sydney’s South East is a monthly market featuring authentic Aboriginal products and entertainment. You can spend the morning browsing market stalls which sell a range of authentic Aboriginal clothing, jewellery, artwork and skin care and have a chat to the friendly stall owners as you go. Blak Markets also host workshops which range from spearmaking to shell work, cooking lessons and an all-day weaving workshop making these markets a great family friendly day out. There are heaps of Indigenous cultural activities to soak in throughout the markets including didgeridoo and smoking ceremonies, along with an acoustic sound stage and delicious bush tucker foods to sample.
- DreamTime Walking Tours, The Rocks
This award winning walkabout around historical Rocks precinct uncovers the fascinating history of the Aboriginal people’s saltwater heritage within Sydney Harbour, their land and water use and their spiritual connection to the adjoining waterways and foreshores.
On a Dreamtime Walking Tour Aboriginal tour guides will talk about the history of Sydney and how you can still find Aboriginal society right in the heart of cosmopolitan Sydney today. The Aborignal culture tour points out stops such as Hicksons Reserve which overlooks the harbour and explains how the Eora Clans reacted to strange visitors landing in Wocconmagulli - now known as Bennelong Point and Circular Quay.
8.The Argyle Gallery, The Rocks
Once you’ve taken part in an Aborginal walking tour through The Rocks and discovered more about the oldest civilization in the world, it's time to take some art home with you. The Argyle Gallery has a large collection of unique Aboriginal art and fine crafts, sourced directly from Aboriginal communities and the artists themselves. This 20 year old gallery houses an impressive collection of Aboriginal art which is available to buy and features dreamtime stories which tell the tales of Indigenous bloodlines and languages.