IF YOU’VE ever wanted to experience the real Australia, now you can….well, once it reopens its borders to international travellers. The country is putting its First Nations people at the heart of its restart tourism campaign.
Holidaymakers are being encouraged to explore the continent’s famous landmarks including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and the sacred Uluru rock with indigenous tour guides.
Discover Aboriginal Experiences is a collective of 45 businesses offering more than 180 authentic experiences in cities and remote locations across Australia. Each one is either Aborigine owned or has funding that goes back to the aborigine community. Importantly they all offer an indigenous guide who shares their traditional culture.
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Australia’s Aboriginal First Nations people are the oldest surviving culture in the world with a history that goes back 50,000 years.
They are already an important part of the Western Australia’s tourism strategy where the museum Boola Bardip which means “many stories” opened at the end of 2020. Located in Perth, it was created as a space to celebrate diversity. Also in WA, the new twin viewing platform Kalbarri Skywalk came about as a shared project with the traditional Nanda owners.
Speaking virtually to a UK travel industry event today, Nicole Mitchell of Tourism Australia said exploring the country with First Nations people is “sightseeing with a different perspective. It brings the landscape to life. You will have a deeper understanding of the country while you are doing all the regular experiences in Australia.”
She said the “number one call out: always book with an aboriginal guide.”
Sally Cope of Tourism Australia said: “The indigenous culture of Australia is the oldest, continuous living culture in the world and there’s so many extraordinary experiences. People tend to think that having an indigenous experience in Australia you need to go to the Outback but these can be found in the cities and in the urban regions or out on the water, on the Great Barrier Reef.”
From today (17 May) Australia sits on the UK government’s “green travel list” which means in theory Britons can travel there. It’s borders however remain shut with no clear date when when this will be lifted. Watch this space!