You don’t have to wait till you get to the outback to begin learning about Australian Indigenous culture. Sydney has plenty of indigenous tours and sites that will give you the opportunity to learn more about Australia’s Aboriginal heritage.
Art Gallery of NSW
Yiribana Gallery – Free collection tours
NSW Art Gallery has an excellent collection of Aboriginal works including bark paintings, sculptures, traditional and contemporary painting, weaving and multimedia.
Free tours of the collection are run daily at 1 pm.
View details about Aboriginal focussed tours
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Aboriginal Heritage Tours and self-guided walks
Learn about the heritage of the land and original peoples of Sydney in these tours offered by the Aboriginal Education Officers at the Royal Botanic Gardens on Sydney Harbour. The tours explore plant use, culture, artefacts and explore the Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters Garden.
There is usually the opportunity to taste some of the bush foods too. Tours are held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and bookings are essential (Ph. 9231 8134).
You can also do a self-guided tour following the plan on the Gardens website and download the free Aboriginal Tour Map. This garden is home to some gorgeous grass trees and old man Banksia’s that are among my favourite native trees.
Learn more on the Royal Botanic Gardens Indigenous pages.
Watch a Didgeridoo Performance
The Australian Museum houses an extensive collection of Aboriginal artefacts and images. Along with the collection, they host two free, 1-hour shows (after museum entry) every Wednesday.
Aboriginal Exhibitions and Tours – The current exhibition is called Garrigarrang: Sea Country exhibition.
If time permits and you can head a little further from town try one of these
Jibbon Head Aboriginal Discover Tour at Bundeena
Join the Aboriginal Heritage Officer from the Royal National Park on an easy walking tour to explore the engravings and learn about the culture of the local Aboriginal people. Phone 02 – 9542 0649 for more details and to check dates for tours.
Take a visit to La Perouse
Learn to throw a boomerang at La Perouse
Every Sunday head out to La Perouse between 9am-3pm and learn how to throw a boomerang. You can also buy an authentic boomerang for an affordable price.
The tours run by Tim Ella depart from Watson’s Bay or La Perouse. Tim is a La Perouse local and his ancestors have lived on this land since well before white settlement. His 2-3 hour tours are a great introduction to Aboriginal culture and cover Dreamtime, lifestyle, bush food and medicine.
Check out the suggestions on these pages
If you want to learn more before your visit this website by Sydney City Council’s called Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City is a great starting point.