Museums and Sites

Spiritual and cultural connections Aboriginal people have with the land, sea and sky are strong and passed down the generations in Dreaming stories. You can learn about these ancestral links in museums, galleries and national parks, and in a wonderful range of Aboriginal-guided tours.

The Indigenous Australians exhibition in the Australian Museum, near Hyde Park in the city centre, reveals the diversity of the world’s oldest living culture. In the First Australians galleries are hunting tools, adornments and other artefacts from across Australia. There’s also audio-visual storytelling.

Art After Hours at the AGNSW

A stroll away is the Yiribana Gallery inside the Art Gallery of NSW. Yiribana contains a rotating selection of fine works from the vast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection, which includes Lin Onus’s sculpture Fruit Bats and John Mawurndjul's intricate bark paintings from Arnhem Land.

On the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney, near Circular Quay, stands Edge of the Trees, an evocative sculpture and soundscape. In Darling Harbour, the Eora First People exhibition in the Australian National Maritime Museum explores the deep indigenous connections with the sea.

Aboriginal cultural dance and music performance at Blak Markets, Bare Island, La Perouse

In national parks in Sydney are many culturally significant sites, including rock engravings of a great whale and sky spirit at Jibbon Head in the Royal National Park in Sydney’s south. There are rock paintings on the Red Hands Cave walking track in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s north.

Kamay Botany Bay National Park is rich in Aboriginal history, too. The Burrawang walk tells the story of when Aboriginal people first met Captain James Cook and his Endeavour crew, who stepped ashore on 29 April 1770. You’ll discover more local Aboriginal stories at the La Perouse Museum.