Aboriginal culture in Sydney

Highlights

Experience authentic Aboriginal culture at the First Hand Workshops and Markets at Bare Island, La Perouse.  The island, accessible by footbridge, is transformed into an Aboriginal arts festival on the first Sunday of every month. Learn how to weave a traditional basket, create shell art or make a spear and take carefully crafted Indigenous art home with you from the market.

In Sydney you'll find plenty of opportunities to explore authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences, from tours and attractions to performances and events. Tthe world's oldest continuous culture is alive and dynamic in the 21st century. 

A great place to start uncovering this rich living culture is on a Tribal Warrior cruise on Sydney Harbour.  You'll hear stories of the Eora, Cadigal, Guringai, Wangal, Gammeraigal and Wallumedegal people who were the original inhabitants of Sydney's harbour foreshore. 

Join the Rocks Dreaming Tour to uncover Sydney's fascinating history. The Nura Diya Aboriginal Discovery Tour, at Taronga Zoo, looks at the powerful link between Aboriginal people and Australia's native wildlife. Kadoo Tours operate cultural tours at Watsons Bay in Sydney Harbour National Park, as well at La Perouse in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Tours are guided by local Indigenous identity, Tim Ella of the Yuin-Dharawal Nation shares some of his personal history and stories. 

Guringai Tours offer 3.5 hour cultural tours in the beautiful Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, taking you to sites of Aboriginal cultural significance. Learn about Aboriginal culture, art, the Dreamtime, bush foods and bush medicine.

Another way to experience Aboriginal culture is by visiting one of Sydney's fine public museums. At the Australian Museum, the Indigenous Australian Gallery traces Aboriginal culture from 40,000 years ago to the present through rare cultural artefacts such as boomerangs, didgeridoos, baskets and ceremonial pieces.

The Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour is home to a permanent exhibition, EORA First People; bark paintings, sculptures and artefacts represent the strong connection Aboriginal communities have to the sea. At the Museum of Sydney, exhibits, films and modern technology are used to tell stories of Aboriginal culture.

The inspiring and beautiful work by past and present Aboriginal artists is on show at Yiribana Aboriginal and Torres Strait Art Gallery in the Art Gallery of NSW and is a highlight of any Sydney trip. Another is the chance to see the astonishing performances by Australia's only indigenous dance company, the Bangarra Dance Theatre, based in Sydney.