Northern Territory – Strong Aboriginal Heritage to Explore
Australia’s vast Northern Territory is among the very few world’s holiday destinations packed with remarkable landscapes and strong connections to its Aboriginal heritage. This amazing region of the land down under is one sixth of Australia’s land and sea, yet its remoteness stands out in many different regions of the area.
Australia’s Multicultural Northern Territory
Australia’s Northern Territory is one of the most culturally diverse parts of the country. Its population includes inhabitants representing over one hundred different nationalities and a wide array of social, cultural and religious groups. This region enthusiastically celebrates annual cultural festivals such as the Greek Glenti, Indian festivals and Chinese New Year. Freedom of religion and mutual respect for different cultures and religious beliefs is an integral part of the Northern Territory’s makeup.
Northern Territory, and the Art and Culture of Indigenous Australian Peoples
The Northern Territory is a bastion of Australia’s incredible indigenous heritage. From ancient Aboriginal Australian rock-art sites and Dreamtime stories, to contemporary Aboriginal art workshops and galleries, the Northern Territory is a cultural experience teeming with Australian history. Art exhibitions, musical performances, and tours of the region’s natural historic sites are important cultural events in the Northern Territory. Indigenous art, from Central Australia’s dry desert to the tropical monsoon climate of Arnhem Land, is a burgeoning industry and fosters a crucial cultural connection and understanding between the region’s Aboriginal artists and non-Indigenous people.
Australia’s Darwin based Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory features displays of priceless
collections of Indigenous art. The facility also presents the annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Art Awards, one of the most esteemed art awards in all of Australia. The awards aim to showcase the best of Indigenous art from around the nation, and take into consideration a wide range of different media from bark, canvas and paper paintings to sculptures, and photography and video.
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Address: The Gardens, 19 Conacher St, Darwin Northern Territory 0820, Australia
Tel: +61 8 8999 8264
The facility’s Aboriginal art collection is one of the highlights, featuring many different works of Indigenous art such as carvings from the Tiwi Islands, bark paintings from Arnhem Land, as well as dot paintings from the desert.
The Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre in Tennant Creek is located on a sacred site of the local Warumungu people, and enables visitors to discover and learn about Indigenous life and the history of the region. Many of the Northern Territory’s remote communities feature their own art galleries, and also hold annual cultural and sporting festivals in honour of their traditional customs. The Garma, Barunga, Merrepen and Walking with Spirits Festivals are all featured on the Northern Territory’s Indigenous cultural calendar.
Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre
Address: 9 Paterson St, Tennant Creek Northern Territory 0860, Australia
Tel: +61 8 8962 2221
The Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre is the successful result of a Julalikari Council Aboriginal Corporation community development project. Julalikari Council developed this facility through a comprehensive planning process that involved participation from all Traditional Owners as well as the regional Aboriginal Community. The Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre is community owned and driven, and aims to ensure a continuation of community ownership and development of a sustainable management system. Come see the various displays of art, the performances and exhibitions, and don’t forget to check out the landscaped garden of indigenous Australian plants!
Appreciating the Northern Territory Aboriginal Culture – Where To Visit and What to Do?
Banubanu Wilderness Retreat
Northern Territory location: Bremer Island, Arnhem Land
Experience life on North East Arnhem Land’s Bremer Island in the Northern Territory, when you visit Banubanu. The exclusive eco-wilderness retreat encourages you to relax and feel at home in this pristine and remote Indigenous-owned island getaway. The retreat maintains a philosophy that tourism to the island should be sustainable, responsible and committed to the land and its traditional owners. Enjoy a day of fishing the abundant fishing grounds, and prepare your freshly caught catch for a delicious dinner. Explore the island and go bird watching, watch the sea turtles, and stroll the island’s beach along this pristine and semi secluded Australian coastline. Accommodation options at Banubanu Wilderness Retreat include five twin share tents, and the retreat features two showers and a composting toilet. You can choose the stay at the “Hideaway Cabin”, a double bedroom cooled with a fan and set against a backdrop of thick tropical vegetation. The cabin features a deck and ensuite. Alternatively “The Beach Cabin”, another fan-cooled double cabin with ensuite, is available. Banubanu Wilderness Retreat packages include all of your meals for the duration of your stay, your required permit fees, and your accommodation.
RT Tours Australia
Northern Territory locations: Uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs
Situated in Northern Territory’s Central Australia, RT Tours Australia specializes in tours to several locations such as Alice Springs and the surrounding area, Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon. This is a terrific opportunity to enjoy some great food! Savour a gourmet bush dinner with the bush dinner tour, or embark on an extended Larapinta Trek to take advantage of the delicious food, cultural and scenic opportunities with an Aboriginal guide, who is also a fully trained Chef. The owner of the tour operation is a descendant of the Arrernte people, and takes pride in sharing his wealth of knowledge of the region’s cultural values and experiences with gourmet bush food with guests. Featured tours of these Northern Territory regions include bushwalking, bird spotting, education and interpretation of Indigenous art, and sharing stories.
Venture North Australia
Northern Territory locations: Darwin, Cobourg Peninsula, Arnhem Land, Kakadu National Park
Take an Australian tour that highlights Aboriginal art and culture, as you visit the rock art sites of Arnhem Land and learn about the Indigenous culture of various regions in the Northern Territory. Venture North Australia brings tourists from Darwin to multiple places throughout the Northern Territory, promoting the education and conservation of these areas. Photograph one-of-a-kind animal and marine species along the remote Cobourg Peninsula. Visit rock art sites of Arnhem Land to see ancient rock paintings, and garner first hand understanding of the art and traditions the world’s oldest living culture. Travel to the awe-inspiring waterfalls of the Kakadu National Park, and see the various waterways and wetlands of the Northern Territory: home to a variety of Australian wildlife such as crocodiles, wild banteng cattle, wild boar, water buffalo, goanna monitor lizards, dingoes and hundreds of different species of birds – perfect for bird watching! Learn about the Aboriginal history of these areas, and experience each region’s culture.
Lord’s Kakadu and Arnhemland Safaris
Northern Territory locations: Darwin, Arnhem Land, Kakadu National Park
In the mood for a luxurious Northern Territory tour? The tours offered by Lord’s Kakadu and Arnhemland Safaris bring you private luxury touring opportunities from Darwin to Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park. See the impressive red escarpments, enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, and marvel at the powerful waterfalls, billabongs and giant exposed rocky outcrops of this amazing region. Join your Aboriginal guide on a hike up Injalak Hill, and take in the sweeping views while you visit ancient rock art sites. The award winning tours are family owned and operated, and ensure small tailor-made and flexible personalized safaris for one to three days or longer. Each tour is guided by friendly and informative tour leaders who are knowledgeable of the various flora, fauna in the area and the cultural heritage of each region you visit.
Pudakul Aboriginal Culture
Northern Territory locations: Limlingan, Wulna
The Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tour brings its guests along for two-hour interpretive excursions about the regions of Limlingan and Wulna, located forty-five minutes from Darwin. Become educated about the traditional uses of plants that grow locally, and engage with the local Aboriginal people while you enjoy damper (bush bread) and billy tea, served warm straight from the fire. Personalized itineraries can be created to suit the needs of groups and specific touring requests. The bush tucker walk begins with a traditional Welcome to Country – a ceremony where an Aboriginal custodian or elder from the local region welcomes people to their land. This may be performed through speech, song, dance or other type of ceremony. The tour takes great care to showcases the rich local culture and amazing landscape their region has to offer. You can participate in demonstrations of traditional music, the didgeridoo, clapsticks, crafts such as basket weaving and traditional dilly bag making.
Northern Territory locations: Nitmiluk National Park
Truly a phenomenal Northern Territory natural adventure, the Nitmiluk Tour will take you through the extraordinary Nitmiluk National park. Whether you cruise, canoe, hike, walk, swim or fly in a scenic helicopter flight, Nitmiluk tour operators ensure that you get your fix of Northern Territory natural wonders. You can camp or stay in a number of accommodations through the tour, and experience the culture of the Indigenous people of the majestic Nitmiluk National Park. The sensational Nitmiluk Gorge features some of the most stunning gorge scenery available to travelers in the Northern Territory, and its powerful waterfalls in the wet season will amaze you. An abundance of wildlife is waiting for the aspiring nature photographer, and breathtaking vistas of the Jawoyn country will move you. The natural wonder that is Nitmiluk Gorge meanders along twelve kilometers of sheer rock greater than seventy metres high. Home to thirteen separate gorges, the Nitmiluk Gorge area is a fascinating labyrinthian network of waterways carved into the sandstone over countless lifetimes by the Katherine River.
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia – Ayers Rock Resort
Northern Territory location: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Experience for yourself the exhilaration of touring the Northern Territory’s Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in a variety of exciting ways. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is the location of the world-renowned sandstone monolith, which stands an impressive 348 metres in height and bears many inscriptions made by ancestral indigenous peoples. No matter whether you choose to sleep in the comfort of a hotel bed or the wide open spaces of the Ayers Rock Resort campsite, you will be immersed into and connected with the culture of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park through it’s natural beauty. Take a base walk of Uluru (Ayers Rock), ride a camel across the desert dunes, or get on a Harley – it’s your choice! This tour operation provides guests with a choice of accommodation options, ranging from the 5 star Sails in the Desert Hotel or the cozy Desert Gardens Hotel, to the interesting community of self-contained Emu Walk Apartments, or the authentic Outback Pioneer Hotel and Ayers Rock Resort Campground. Uluru and Kata Tjuta are owned by Aboriginal peoples, and leased back to Parks Australia to be jointly managed as a national park.
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