Indigenous tourist attractions in Melbourne
Melbourne was built on the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation. There are many locations around the city centre where visitors can learn about the history of the Indigenous people who lived on and travelled through the region in search of fresh water, food and shelter before John Batman declared the land near the Yarra River was to be the site of a village in 1835.
The Melbourne Museum has an exhibition dedicated to Indigenous artefacts, artworks and culture and guests can take a ninety minute tour of the Bunjilaka and Milarri Gardens with Aboriginal guides who will share their knowledge through the ancient art of storytelling.
Book a table at Big Esso by Mabu Mabu and try some Indigenous food. Chef, Nornie Bero, offers sharing plates and seasonal dishes that use native ingredients like saltbush and pepperberry, native currents, nettles and quandong to go with local ingredients like quail, oysters and kangaroo tail. This is a uniquely Australian dining experience.
Check out the Aboriginal Heritage Walk at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Follow an indigenous guide through the paths of the gardens and hear about the traditional uses of native plants. The tour starts with a smoking ceremony and welcome to country.
Great Ocean Road
Plan a detour on your Great Ocean Road One Day Tour or build it into your itinerary for the 2 Day or 3 Day Great Ocean Road trip and visit Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre on the Surf Coast Highway. The award winning cultural centre has an engaging program that will teach you about the indigenous history of Wadawurrung/Wathaurong Country. You can learn about the tools and weapons used in ancient times and even have a go at throwing a boomerang yourself.
Our one day tour from Melbourne to the Grampians takes visitors to the Gariwerd lands of the Djab Wurrung and Jardwardjali people. Explore the area and see one of 140 Indigenous rock art sites that are up to 22,000 years old. Walk a section of the recently opened 160 km Grampians Peak Trail before returning to Melbourne at the end of the day. If you’re keen to do it all, we can provide a drop off and pick up service.
A visit to the Cooee Cafe while you’re on our Mornington Peninsula Around the Bay Tour will help you build up your reserves of energy. The menu includes Indigenous bush food flavours (don’t miss the lemon myrtle slice) and the walls are adorned with striking Indigenous artworks.
The Living Culture Centre operates a number of guided walks and mediation sessions on Boon Wurrung/Bunurong land on the Mornington Peninsula run by Indigenous guides. Immerse yourself in the local flora and fauna across the peninsula from Red Hill to McCrae to Cape Schanck.
Victoria’s Indigenous People
In 2016 at the time of the Census, there were 47,788 Aboriginal people in Victoria. About half of these people live in Melbourne. Social movements such as Free The Flag have shone a light on Indigenous issues in recent years and shops such as Clothing the Gaps have emerged to highlight Indigenous designers and promote issues that concern First Nations people in Victoria.
Tourism is important to the indigenous people of Australia. It allows people to stay on their own country and share their stories, their culture and their traditions with visitors from all over the world, ensuring that their past lives on in the present and into the future.
Do you know of any amazing Indigenous experiences in Victoria?
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