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Introduction: Aboriginal Tourism


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Tourism is big business in Australia, especially nature and ecology based tourism, and no where more so than in the dry desert of central Australia and tropical northern Australia. And at the forefront of this is the skilled and incredibly knowledgeable first Australian - the Australian aboriginal.

Drawing on thousands of years of traditional knowledge and a deep reverence and love of the land that has melded them into one, the Aborigine has a unique perspective on their ancestral homelands. Now, with 21st century education, communications and management skills under their belt to complement their deep spiritual attachment to their homeland, they are at the forefront of the new wave of nature based sustainable tourism that is sweeping the world. And rightly so.

At 30 June 2006, the Indigenous estimated resident population of Australia was 517,200 or 2.5% of the total population. In terms of absolute numbers, New South Wales (148,200) and Queensland (146,400) have the largest Indigenous (Aboriginal) estimated resident populations followed by Western Australia (77,900) and the Northern Territory (66,600).

Among the Indigenous population in 2006, 463,900 or 90% were estimated as being of Aboriginal origin only, 33,100 or 6% were of Torres Strait Islander origin only, and 20,200 or 4% were of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. Almost one in three people in the Northern Territory (32%) were estimated to be of Indigenous origin. In all other states/territories less than 4% of people were estimated to be of Indigenous origin. Victoria had the lowest proportion of people of Indigenous origin at 0.6% of the total state population.

Between 2001 and 2006, the Australian Indigenous estimated resident population increased by 58,700 or 13%. The jurisdictions with the highest growth rates were Western Australia (18%), the Northern Territory (17%) and Queensland (16%).

It is estimated there are over 360 indigenous language groups in Australia, and of these over 60 are in Western Australia, where they form over 30 per cent of the states population. In the Northern Territory, Australia’s last wild frontier, aboriginal groups are now involved in more than 100 tourism ventures including accommodation, tours and art centres. There are also more than 40 aboriginal run tour businesses in the NT, with nearly half the land and the majority of the National Parks aboriginal owned.

Aboriginal art is now highly prized and fetches huge sums, especially the famous high profile artists such as Emily Kngwarreye, Albert Namatjira, Ginger Riley and Rover Thomas.

The Australian aboriginal: truly Australia’s first Australian. * Below we have assembled a number of links to important aboriginal owned and operated travel and tourism ventures.

(The Torres Strait Islands are situated between Australia and New Guinea. There are over 100 islands within the region; approximately 20 of them are occupied. Each island within the Strait has its own name and distinct language. The people of the Torres Strait are of Melanesian origin and have occupied the islands for many thousands of years. The Strait was named after Luis Vaez de Torres, a Spanish adventurer who visited the area in 1606.)

(* If you are an aboriginal travel or tourism business and your link is not here please let us know and we will link your business to this page. thanks. the Australian Travel Company team)

Complete List of all Aboriginal/Indigenous Tourism Operators in Australia from Aboriginal Tourism Australia. (pdf)

History of Aboriginal Sydney

Northern Territory
Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre Tour Alice Springs, Central Australia
Half Day Aboriginal Desert Discovery Tour Alice Springs, Central Australia
Full Day Aboriginal Desert Discovery Tour Alice Springs, Central Australia
Aboriginal Desert Discovery Tours Charter Alice Springs, Central Australia
Aboriginal Cultural Precinct Tour Alice Springs, Central Australia
Oak Valley Tours  Alice Springs, Ayers Rock
Anangu Cultural Tours Alice Springs, Ayers Rock
Anangu Tours Alice Springs, Ayers Rock
Desert Tracks Yulara (Ayers Rock)
Ayers Rock National Park (Uluru)
Uluru Cultural Centre Ayers Rock
Standley Chasm (Angkerle) Alice Springs - McDonnell Ranges
Tiwi Tours Bathurst Island
Manyallalaluk Katherine Region
Umorrduk Safaris Darwin Region
Wallace Rockhole Alice Springs region
Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre Darwin region

New South Wales
Amaroo Museum & Cultural Centre Walcha, Armidale
Brewarrina Aboriginal Cultural Museum Brewarrina
Cooramah Aboriginal Cultural Centre Glen Innes
Deep Water Shark Gallery Tinnonee
Djigay Traditional Food Park Kempsey
Gavala Art & Cultural Education Centre Darling Harbour, Sydney
Gringai Cultural Tours Singleton
Harry Nanya Outback Cultural Tours Lake Mungo
Minjingbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre Tweed Heads, Tweed Valley
Mudla Yupa Mucka Ngurra Aboriginal Tours Sydney day trip: Blue Mountains
Muru Mittigar Gallery Castlereigh, Sydney
Mutawintji Heritage Tours Broken Hill, Outback NSW
Sydney Aboriginal Discoveries Sydney
Tobwabba Arts & Aboriginal Cultural Tours Forster
Umbarra Cultural Centre (Wikipedia Link) South Coast, NSW
Woollool Woollool Aboriginal Cultural Tours Tenterfield
Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre & Tours Corindi Beach, Via Coffs Harbour

Bigger Charlieville, Outback Queensland
Dreamtime Cultural Centre Rockhampton, North Queensland
"Emu Farm" Cherbourg, South Burnett Region
Native Guide Safari Tours, Tropical North Queensland (Cairns, Port Douglas)
Noongali Art (Dennis Kickett (Noongali)
Pajinka Wilderness Lodge, Bamaga (The far northern tip of Australia)
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park Tropical North Queensland (Cairns, Port Douglas)* ‘A Must See Experience’
Uncle Friday Enterprises
Yindili Tours Tropical North Queensland (Cairns, Port Douglas)

South Australia
Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery Adelaide
Camp Coorong  Meningie
Desert Tracks Pitjantjatjara Homelands: Angatja & Cave Hill,  Australia
Ngaut Ngaut Nildottie
Parakeelya Cultural Tours Kilkenny
Tandanya Cultural Institute Adelaide

Freycinet Experience Walk Freycinet
Jahadi Deloraine
Tiagarra Devonport

Western Australia
"Rough it a Bit" Coastal & Inland Safari's
Arnies Fishing Adventures: Kimberley, Kununurra
Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporation
Balga Mia - Aboriginal Heritage Unit: Perth, Yanchep National Park
Goombading Aboriginal Boat Tours: Kimberley, Cape Leveque
Bungoolee Tours
Bush University - Wedgetail Tours: Kimberley, Kununurra
Freemantle Aboriginal Heritage Walking Tour: Fremantle, Perth
Goolarri Media Karijini Aboriginal Corporation
Kimberley Dreamtime Tours:  Kimberley, Kununurra
Kooljaman at Cape Leveque: Kimberley, Broome
Larwarrdu Aboriginal Cultural Tours
Lombadina Aboriginal Adventures: West Kimberley, Dampierland Peninsula
Lombadina Shakari Boat Charter: West Kimberely, Dampierland Peninsula
Tesling Tropical Fruit & Mango Wine: Kimberly, Broome
Yamatji Bitja: Kalgoorlie

Ballarat Aboriginal Cultural Experience
Ballarat Morning Wildlife Walk
Ballarat Cultural Centre Tour
Ballarat Art & Music Tour
Ballarat Wildlife & Aboriginal Tour
Ballarat Wildlife, Culture, Sovereign Hill
Bangerang Keeping Place Shepparton, NE Victoria
Brambuk National Park & Living Cultural Centre Grampian Ranges
Croajingolong Wilderness Tours & National Park East Gippsland
Harry Nanya Tours Mungo National Park
Krowathunkoolong Aboriginal Keeping Place (Museum)
Mia Mia Gallery Templestowe, (Melbourne)
Narana Creations-Aboriginal Crafts & Interpretation Centre Geelong
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne - Aboriginal Heritage Walks

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