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Aboriginal experiences in South Australia

15th November 2007 Print
South Australia (SA) is rich in Aboriginal culture and heritage, with a wealth of important sites throughout the State. Read on to find out more on how to embark on your own Aboriginal experience . . .


ABORIGINAL OUTBACK ART TOURS - Departing William Creek, Wrights Air’s light aircraft tours go to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands, some of the most remote and inaccessible Aboriginal settlements in South Australia, visiting local art galleries. The Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjara people have a strong tradition in contemporary art practices as is evident in the three major art centres visited – Amata, Fregon and Ernbella. Artworks produced and sold through these centres include batiks, works on paper, paintings, natural dying, spinning and weaving and leatherwork.

ABORIGINAL CULTURAL TOURS – ADJAHDURA LAND - Half-day up to five-day tours with Narungga guides whose knowledge of the cultural stories and heritage bring to life 40,000 years of Aboriginal dreaming, culture and heritage. Walk the country, talk with the people and experience their culture.

ARABUNNA TOURS - Regg Dodd, an Arabunna elder, hosts and shares his knowledge about the plants, animals seasons, climate and his people’s continuing relationship to the landscapes in this vast desert interior.

AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL CULTURES GALLERY - The South Australian Museum, in central Adelaide, is home to the largest collection of Aboriginal artefacts in the southern hemisphere. The museum offers tours with accredited Aboriginal guides.

BOOKABEE TOURS AUSTRALIA - All-inclusive 4WD tours with Aboriginal interpretations of the Australian landscape, taking in significant Aboriginal and early Australian pioneer heritage sites.

CEDUNA ABORIGINAL ARTS & CULTURAL CENTRE - An authentic Aboriginal art experience with a wide range of original paintings, pottery, ceramics, didjeridoos, boomerangs, souvenirs and gifts; created and supplied by local, urban and traditional Aboriginal artists.

COORONG WILDERNESS LODGE - An Aboriginal-owned and operated lodge with restaurant and accommodation facilities, communal kitchen and lounge area, camping and caravan sites. Specialised guided walks and tours give visitors a greater understanding of the Ngarrindjeri culture.

IGA WARTA - A cultural and eco-tourism experience in the northern Flinders Ranges providing tours and facilities for travellers either passing through or wanting to stay for a day or two.

NGAUT NGAUT ABORIGINAL SITE - This historic and cultural interpretation of Aboriginal association with the Murray River and its environment is the perfect place to experience ancient campsites, rock art and scarred red river gums.

POMBERUK ABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE - Pomberuk displays Aboriginal artefacts recently returned by the South Australian Museum to the Ngarrindjeri people.

TANDANYA NATIONAL ABORIGINAL CULTURAL INSTITUTE - Australia’s first and oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts centre.

WARRIPARINGA: LIVING KAURNA CULTURAL CENTRE - Warriparinga is a traditional Kaurna Aboriginal winter campsite and houses the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre.

Be a responsible traveller
• Respect land in the same way you would respect someone’s home
• Check whether permits are required and arrange them in advance
• Wait until you are invited to approach homes or groups of people
• Show extra sensitivity at private times such as funerals and cultural ceremonies

Respect restrictions
• Do not enter areas you are asked to stay away from
• In some places it is culturally inappropriate to swim or fish
• Respect protocols – some places can only be visited by men or women
• When in doubt, ask first
• Possession or consumption of alcohol is restricted in some Aboriginal communities

Talking to Aboriginal people
• Remember English may be their 2nd or 3rd language
• Avoid direct questions about sensitive matters
• Dress etiquette may apply in some communities – avoid inappropriate clothing such as short skirts/shorts, revealing outfits

Taking photographs and video
• Always ask before filming or taking photos
• Respect restrictions on filming or taking photos

Taking home mementos
• Never remove rocks or other objects from Aboriginal land or waters without permission it is against Australian law
• Buying through respected Aboriginal outlets helps create economic support for communities
• Look for a label of cultural authenticity

For further information on South Australia, visit