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Old 4 Jan 2008
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Aboriginal Experience?? help sought please :)

. am presently in Melbourne Victoria and i have approx another 7 weeks in beautiflu OZ, before i head to Thailand. I really would like to experience the Aboriginal culture and way of living they have. I have been looking on the interent and the lonely planet guide i have and all that i found are these tourist tours which are very expensive, and in my opinion only give you a limited insight, apart from that i dont think they operate at this time of year. i would love to experience the real aboriginal way of life maybe even spend some quality time with these people, like living with them for some days/weeks?.. is it possible? any body has got any idea iwhere it can be done?

Cheers and no worries mate
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Old 6 Jan 2008
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Hmmm, how to fairly respond to your question. I can well understand why there has been silence from this side. From my perspective, the idylic image's portrayed at times from the likes of the Dis....ry channel and others are now by and large, an image of the past. There's no escaping the fact that in many of Australia's aboriginal communities today there are serious social and economic problems. ALL aboriginal communities have been impacted, in one way or another by recent European settlement. Many would say to their detriment and I wouldn't necessarily disagree with that. Some of these communities have in recent times begun to offer an insight to their culture, by offering the type of experience that you mention, for one or both of two reasons I would suggest. Firstly in a genuine effort to help mend bridges and to offer an insight and understanding to aboriginal culture and two to raise revenue for the community. In either case you are being offered a somewhat "contrived" and packaged experience. Something akin to when I was in Istanbul and I observed young European travellers siting around on otterman cushions, sharing a Hooka and watching Twirling derbisher dancers, and perhaps believing that they are experiencing bedouin lifestyle. An unfair analogy, maybe, but I think you get the picture.
Anyway, the reality is, this is about your only option, especially due to your time restraints.
I hope this helps,

Cheers, Graeme.
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Old 6 Jan 2008
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At this time of year .. too hot .. so most close down (or too wet in the top end).

There were many 'tribes' before us white fells came along .. each one had differences so you'd have to pick on one and see that side.

Think the Canderra Botanic Gardens run a 'Bush Tucker' type thing that could be good .. Similar things in Alice Springs .. and other places .. but very little exists of the 'real life' as it was in the past .. the closest you'd get would be the central desert tribes .. way too hot out there at this time of year for us travellers..
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 7 Jan 2008
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Well, you're too far away if you're in Melbourne. Unless, you know, you opt to walk around the projects in Fitzroy or Richmond. >_>

There are some very serious social problems in the central Australian Aboriginal communities. What you're looking for will only be found on tours that aren't at all reflective of the current state of Aboriginal life.


A friend of mine suggested you hit the top part of South Australia.

Last edited by ChrisJ86; 7 Jan 2008 at 04:07.
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Old 17 Mar 2008
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might be late for you now but there are quality tourism experiences available in aboriginal australia. pick one and support it, and you will be making a contribution to a sustainable and culturally appropriate, aboriginal-run and -owned business. the experience does not have to be contrived - the people i know will tell you the truth both about former times and the way they live today. in central australia, try Anangu Waai! - Alice Springs - Uluru - Northern Territory

in aboriginal australia, you need time, patience and the ability to listen. you need to be ready to learn what people want to teach you, instead of rocking up with a list of questions you need answers for. it's good to arrive aware of the fact that you are walking into a world that you will never be able to understand, where fundamentals like the concept of time, family, people's position in the world and responsibility to it are different to anything else you will ever have come across. but then i guess you know this, and that is why you are interested.

as others have noted, much of aboriginal australia is hurting after a couple of hundred years of rough treatment. you can get close to this if you want, but of course you run the risk of becoming just another gawking tourist.

have a good one,
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Old 17 Mar 2008
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Traditionally aborigines were very taboo of alcohol but unfortunately thats no longer true and now most tribes or what not are completely destroyed by it. Maybe you could find some in areas without liquor vendors that still remain very traditional, in particular those WA workstations to be honest I'm not sure but I would stay away from places which aren't very remote. Also they are often excellent car / bike thieves so be very careful. Look on youtube for 'bush mechanics' you will see what I mean.

Last edited by PocketHead; 17 Mar 2008 at 02:45.
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Old 17 Mar 2008
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Its probably the hardest thing to find in Australia, you certainly wont find many "experiences" in or around the major cities or along the coastal strip. Arnhem Land has a few stable communities with traditional law still applying, but you will find it hard to get in this time of year - monsoon.

Many of Aboriginal communities are totally out of control - alcohol, drugs, glue and petrol sniffing, serious violence against women (10 times higher than the rest of Aus), racially motivated violence and rape against white visitors/workers is very very common, but often kept quiet. If the servo/shop and the pub have metal in place of the windows its time to keep moving on.
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Old 19 Mar 2008
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Here is a copy of an article that I found, hard to tell if you would get a "real experience" or just tourist crap.

Spend time with Indigenous people
Aboriginal people have lived in harmony with their environment for thousands of years and we can learn a lot from them. Among my favourite Indigenous experiences was visiting Manyallaluk near Katherine in the Northern Territory. Another was visiting some camps on the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley including Lombadina and Kooljman both of which have beautiful coastal settings behind a turquoise sea.

Feb 2014, currently travelling the America's on a Tiger 800XC

Live every day like it's your last, one day you'll get it right!!!
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Old 21 Mar 2008
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Please, on this contentious issue, confine your replies to what will actually help ozzee. Not that there is any point as he will be well out of the country by now.


Nigel in NZ
The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with . -- 2200 BC Egyptian inscription
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Old 31 Mar 2008
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Try Wallaga Lake near Bermagui on the South Coast of NSW - about 250klms south of Sydney - then up to Jervis Bay - Wreck Bay is a community that wont have shows etc - you can see LAdy Timberry at Huskisson however.
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Old 5 Apr 2008
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Smile Adventures in Indigenous Tourism


Possible too late for you now, but I have just received "The Wanderer" magazine of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia, it has an article on p 86-90 of the April 2008 edition on "Adventures in Indigenous Tourism, The unique experience of Aboriginal culture". Probably just the information you were requesting in January.

If you would like me to send you a copy of the article drop me a personal message or email.

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Old 29 Apr 2008
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Thanks everyone for your reply, i regretibly shave to say that i am now back to Malta my home country and did not have the time to visit any aboriginal communities. Mainly due to time constraints and due to the heat of the summer too ! Even though i come from a hot country the Ozzy summer is freaken HOT Well i must say i fell in love with OZ land and would love to come back anytime, a grat country with great people. Take care guys !
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