Things to Do in the Gold Coast, Australia

todo-1Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

todo-2Gold Coast Theme Parks

todo-3Gold Coast Beaches

EXPERIENCE ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIA

Find out how you can connect with the world’s oldest living culture.

Connect to the world’s oldest living culture the same way Aboriginal Australians have passed it down for at least 50,000 years – through art, dance, myths, music and the land itself. See Aboriginal art and contemporary dance in the cities. Or head to the outback and listen to Dreamtime myths of creation by the campfire. Bushwalk and snorkel, share bush-tucker or learn to craft spears and catch fish in the traditional way. Let Aboriginal Australians help you understand this ancient land and its spirituality and wonder.

6 special places you can connect to Aboriginal Australia

todo12Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, NT

  1. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory

Visit Uluru and you’ll see why the rock and surrounding land have such huge spiritual significance for the Anangu Aboriginal people. According to their creation myths, ancestral spirits formed Uluru, which lies in Australia’s red centre like an enormous, moody heart. Aboriginal guides will share these ancient tales as you walk around the rock’s base. Just 26 miles (32 kilometres) away is another sacred site – Kata Tjuta. You’ll be awestruck by these steep, rounded, russet domes over 8,600 miles (3,500 hectares).

  1. Kimberley, Western Australia

Featuring vast horizons and ancient gorges, the Kimberley region  is one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. See Wandjina figures painted in caves and the mysterious Gwion Gwion paintings. Ride a camel on Broome’s breathtaking  Cable Beach and 4WD the red-dirt road along the Dampier Peninsula. Learn the legend of the orange and black beehive domes of  Bungle Bungles  and fly over vast Lake Argyle in Kununurra.

todo-5Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa, The Daintree, QLD

  1. The Daintree, Queensland

More than 135 million years old, our stunning Daintree Rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world. Traverse this canopy of green with traditional owners the Wujal Wujal people. Learn about bush tucker and fish for barramundi. See fresh-water crocodiles sunning themselves on the mangrove-lined river banks and rare tropical birds and animals, many of which are not found anywhere else on earth.

  1. Coorong, South Australia

Become one with nature as you kayak along the lagoons and waterways of the Coorong. Your Ngarrindjeri guide will tell you about bush tucker, traditional medicines and the incredible local birdlife. As night falls, you can listen to stories unfold and smell the mouth-watering aroma of fresh damper (outback bread) as it is pulled from the embers of a campfire.

todo-6Wilson’s Promontory, Gippsland, VIC

  1. Gippsland, Victoria

Discover a rich Aboriginal history along Gippsland’s rugged coastline. Wander the fern gullies, sandy beaches and eucalypt forests of the sacred land now known as Wilsons Promontory National Park. Trace Aboriginal trading routes up to 18,000 years old. Watch local Aboriginal people make baskets, spears, shields and canoes in the traditional way at Bairnsdale. Or learn where the Dreamtime touched the rugged gorges, rainforest and gullies of Woolshed Creek.

 

  1. Sydney cultural tours, New South Wales

Get a glimpse into the lives of Sydney’s original inhabitants on a harbour cruise or walking tour. You can learn the Aboriginal names and meanings of significant Sydney landmarks as you cruise the harbour with Aboriginal guides. Visit rock-carvings and old Aboriginal settlements and stop off for a traditional Aboriginal welcome on Clark Island. Off the boat, you can taste bush food and learn about Aboriginal use of plants on a walking tour through Sydney’s lush harbourside Botanical Gardens.

The Tiwi Islands are known as ‘the islands of smiles’

The Tiwi Islands are located 62 miles (100 kilometres) north of Darwin, where the Arafura Sea joins the Timor Sea.

The Tiwi Islands comprise Bathurst and Melville Island, and nine smaller uninhabited islands: Buchanan, Harris, Seagull, Karslake, Irritutu, Clift, Turiturina, Matingalia and Nodlaw. Melville Island is Australia’s second largest island after Tasmania.

Almost 90% of the people living in the Tiwi Islands are of Aboriginal descent. They have occupied the Tiwi Islands for around 7,000 years.

todo-7Tiwi Islands, NT

The Tiwi Islands can only be visited on a pre-arranged tour with an Aboriginal guide and you will need a permit to visit. In this truly unique and remote part of Australia you’ll experience the cultural differences between the Polynesian-influenced Tiwi people and the indigenous people of Arnhem Land just across the water. Most of the Tiwi Islands population live in the settlements of Wurrumiyanga; Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) and Milikapiti (Snake Bay) on Melville Island.

The Tiwi Islands have few tourist facilities. There is no car hire and very few places to stay with the exception of a couple of remote fishing lodges. The Tiwi Islands are renowned for their excellent fishing. You can stay at one of the fishing lodges or join a deep-sea fishing expedition.

todo-8Tiwi Islands, NT

Take the opportunity to buy unique Tiwi Island arts and crafts which include batik and silk-screened clothing, woven bangles, painted shells, wood carvings and pottery of high quality. Many of the wood carvings by the Tiwi people depict birds from Tiwi mythology, which have sacred meanings. Some excellent examples are displayed in the Mission Heritage Gallery on Bathurst Island. At Tiwi Designs art centre local artists create, showcase and sell their works.

One of the Tiwi Islands most famous crafts are ‘pukamanis’, which are richly decorated burial poles that tower up to three metres high. Burial sites marked with pukamani poles are dotted across the islands, adding splashes of colour to the landscape. At the Patakijiyali Museum in Wurrumiyanga you can learn about the history of the Tiwi Islands and its people.

Along the coastline of the islands you’ll find rainforests, sandy deserted beaches and secluded waterfalls and rock pools. The remote location of the islands has created a home for plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The islands are home to the world’s largest breeding colony of Crested Terns as well as a large population of endangered Olive Ridley turtles. The seas and estuaries around the islands are also home to saltwater crocodiles.

The Tiwi people describe three distinct seasons in the islands. The wet season from November to April brings storms and the highest rainfall in the Northern Territory.

todo-9Tiwi Island Grand Final, Tiwi Islands, NT

Australian Rules Football  was introduced to the Tiwi Islands in the 1940s by missionaries and is very popular. The Tiwi Islands Football League Grand Final held in March each year attracts up to 3,000 spectators.

The Tiwi Islands are a short flight by light aircraft from Darwin. A ferry also connects Darwin with Bathurst Island three times a week.

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todo-11= Tiwi Islands