Sydney city skyline lit up during Vivid Sydney 2013. Credit: Destination NSW; James Horan
Museums and sites
On the shores of Botany Bay, a shell midden provides archaeological evidence of human occupation over thousands of years. Middens are sites where Aboriginal people ate different kinds of shellfish, fish and other animals and several such sites can be found in and around Sydney.
The spiritual and cultural connections Aboriginal people have with the land are strong and stories and teachings are passed down the generations. You can learn about these ancestral links at museums, art galleries and national parks, and on guided tours and walks.
The Indigenous Australians Exhibition at the Australian Museum, near Hyde Park, reveals the diversity of Aboriginal culture from ancient Dreamtime stories to the present day. Artefacts include hunting tools and visitors to the museum will also see contemporary paintings, sculptures and craft.
The Yiribana Gallery at the Art Gallery of NSW, near the Royal Botanic Gardens, has a fine collection of Aboriginal art from across Australia. Highlights include Lin Onus’s sculpture Fruit Bats, and John Mawurndjul's intricate bark paintings from Arnhem Land.
On the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney stands Edge of the Trees. “Walking between the pillars you hear a soundscape of Koori voices reciting the names of places in the Sydney region that have today been swallowed up by the metropolis,” explains the museum.
Kamay Botany Bay National Park is rich in Aboriginal history with rock art and engravings found at some of 30 sites of cultural significance. The national park, in Sydney’s south, is also popular for whale watching, with a lookout at spectacular Cape Solander.