Please note that aboriginal sacred sites are protected by law and are not to be disturbed or artifacts removed. There is a hefty fine for breaking the law. Always remain behind barriers and walk only on marked trails. If you think you have discovered an aboriginal site, please report your find to the local au thority or Aboriginal Affairs office.
One interesting fact about aboriginal sites is that they have only recently been declared as such but yet are thousands of years old. Yeddonba near Beechworth in Victoria is a perfect example. Opened as an aboriginal site in 1997, the area contains cave drawings of the Tasmanian Tiger which are thousands of years old.
The site is ideally laid out for visitors with an easy walking trail. There are some wonderful scenic views and information boards point out caves, sources of bush tucker and aspects of aboriginal culture.
Alas the great Aussie bushfire has visited the site in recent times and damaged some visitor facilities and even the ancient art-work. It cannot be re-painted because there are no descendants of the Duduroa people, the original inhabitants of this area.
You don't have to trek to the Outback to find an aboriginal site. In fact about an hour's drive from the Sydney CBD is Walkabout Park . It offers so much for so many. It's a wildlife park and caters for families, schools, seniors and individuals. One aspect is a tour of aboriginal rock carvings some of which are believed to be up to 1000 years old. The Park provides a wealth of information about the Darkinjung people and their weapons, food, dwellings, tools and clothes.
The Boat Rock site is near Yarrawonga in northern Victoria. The indigenous Australians have been described by some as not planning for the future but a visit to this unique Aboriginal site challenges such a comment. Thousands of years ago the locals built a reservoir. It is small, primitive but ingenious and worked in different ways.
The aborigines set large fires on the ground. When the fire died and the gravel cooled, it was dug and removed. This process could have taken years. By placing this dam where it was, the run off from rain quickly filled the hole. This gave them food and water. Water obviously but it drew local wildlife such as kangaroos to the water and they then became tucker. The site is not set up for picnics and private land must be crossed to reach it. But it is unique and well worth a visit.
One of the best-known aboriginal sites in Australia is Uluru. It is located in the centre of Australia and in 1985 the federal government declared the site was to be returned to its traditional owners.
Known still by some with its European name of Ayers Rock, the area is popular with tourists. Nearby is another magnificent rock formation known as The Olgas. Like Uluru, The Olgas make a stunning sight particularly at sunset.
Despite the many photos of the massive sandstone outcrop, Uluru is a sacred site and its caves contain wonderful examples of aboriginal art. There are many walking tracks and guided tours which last from between 1 and 4 hours. Many tour groups only allow a few hours to explore this site but the culture and history of Uluru demands you spend days rather than hours.
Mumbulla Mountain and Gulaga
Located near Bermagui in New South Wales, the Umburra Cultural Centre provides tours steeped in aboriginal culture and history. You can walk, take a 4WD journey and even sail on Wallaga Lake . This is an area steeped in aboriginal history and is ideal for tour groups. A detailed educational program includes stories from the Dreamtime, bush tucker, boomerang and spear throwing and building bark huts. There is also a three-hour guided tour to various aboriginal sites at Fairhaven Point, Mystery Bay and Camel Rock. Guides are fully qualified and the scenery is spectacular. The fascinating indigenous history makes a visit well worthwhile.
Bungle Bungle Ranges
This area in the Kimberley region of Western Australia was only discovered by 'outsiders' in the 1980s. Aboriginals have lived in this part of Australia for thousands of years. Part of the Purnululu National Park, the ranges can be explored by hiking but the only vehicle travel is by 4WD and even that is restricted to certain months a year. Some say the best way to see this land is by scenic flight.
The aborigines did not erect permanent buildings but their places of worship were the hills, rivers, gorges and other landscapes. There are indigenous tours operating in the Kimberley . The area is rich in history with ceremonial and burial sites and rock art. As a bonus there are dozens of bird species and unique animals.
Mungo National Park
This area of aboriginal history is some 900 kilometres west of Sydney and much closer to Mildura in Victoria 's north-west. A skeleton dubbed Mungo Man was discovered here in 1974 adding more evidence to aboriginal occupation dating back some 50,000 years. More recently children's footprints have been discovered in solidified clay and sand. They date back some 40,000 years. Australia has more than 500 aboriginal tribes and three of them are active in the management of the Mungo National Park . Tours guided by local indigenous Australians are available.
Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Site
Situated near Mannum in South Australia , this site has been sensitively developed for tourists with a boardwalk taking you over land which was occupied tens of thousands of years ago. You'll see some of the most be au tiful Murray River views, aboriginal rock art and hear stories of the indigenous culture. This is the birthplace of 'Black Duck Dreaming' where the surrounding landscape began millions of years ago. Ideal for families and seniors.
This is an interesting opportunity where tourists take a tour of the Meander Valley near L au nceston but from the aboriginal point of view. You visit cultural sites and learn the history of the first Tasmanians, the Palawa people. The trip is claimed to be Tasmania 's first indigenous tour. The aim is to promote and protect aboriginal culture and heritage. School groups are catered for as well as individuals. The tour is a follow-up to the program designed to assist local aboriginal youth. There is now an art and culture centre as well.
This magnificent region in far north Queensland boasts a history of aboriginal occupation going back thousands of years. The rainforest provided all food and shelter requirements. The region is famous for its natural be au ty, birds, plants and wildlife.
The World Heritage listing takes into account its sacred and ancient qualities. The Rainbow Serpent plays a big part in aboriginal culture in this area. There are many indigenous walking tracks with two main ones being on the coast and the other inland.
Many tourists come to the Daintree because of the magnificent forest with its flora and f au na. But as there is so much about aboriginal history and culture in this region, tourists can double the value of their visit.