Walk on ancient land
South Australia has a rich Aboriginal history, dating back 40,000 years.
You don’t have to travel far to learn about South Australia's Aboriginal heritage. Adelaide is the traditional land of the Kaurna (pronounced Garna) people. The city has many museums, galleries and tours that tell the Kaurna story.
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute
See Aboriginal art, yidaki (didgeridoo) and dance performances at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Tandanya is a Kaurna word for Red Kangaroo place. It’s a short walk east down Grenfell Street and is close to Rymill Park. If you don’t fancy walking, take the free City Loop 99C bus from Victoria Square to stop 12.
South Australian Museum
The South Australian Museum has the largest and most significant ethnographic collection of Australian Aboriginal material culture in the world. Located on North Terrace in Adelaide city, the museum is easy to find. The museum is internationally recognised as a global leader in Australian Aboriginal heritage. The museum's collection tells the story of how Aboriginal people have overcome challenges with elegant solutions, creating a civilisation in one of the world’s harshest continents. The object-rich gallery showcases the beauty and timeless design of Aboriginal artefacts, including the stunning Yuendumu Doors, one of the earliest examples of Aboriginal artists successfully transferring their ancient ground paintings to a large-scale, modern medium.
City Loop bus
The City Loop bus also stops outside the Art Gallery of South Australia on North Terrace (stop 9). The gallery houses a large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection.
Regional South Australia
Coorong Wilderness Lodge is south east of Adelaide and offers indigenous cultural experiences. Take a guided bush walk through the land of the Ngarrindjeri people. Kayak through waterways to sand dunes and islands. Walk along the water’s edge and gain an insight into Ngarrindjeri culture.
Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal site is close to the Murray River. Join a tour through Ngaut Ngaut archaeological site and visit the ancestral home of the Nganguraku people. You’ll see ancient campsites and rock art. Scarred red river gums reveal the ancient practice of canoe making, which still continues along the Murray River.
Explore Aboriginal culture at Ancient Earth Art Gallery in Hahndorf. Admire paintings, sculptures and weavings by Aboriginal artists from around Australia. On certain days you can also catch a live performance by the Imbala Jarjum dance group. The dancers combine live music and dance to interpret ancient Aboriginal stories. Uncover your own artistic flair in an interactive workshop. Use traditional techniques to paint your very own boomerang or learn the art of creating sand designs.
Tjatu Gallery in the far north of the state sells art created by traditional owners of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. The gallery specialises in striking works on canvas.
Visit the Wadlata Outback Centre - a must see before starting your journey to the Flinders Ranges. Walk through its Tunnel of Time, the story of an ancient land, its people and treasures down under. Through the mouth of Max the giant “Ripper Lizard”, you’ll discover how the region evolved and highlights you shouldn't miss.
Visit the Flinders Ranges and discover rich Aboriginal history. See Aboriginal paintings at Arkaroo Rock. The main cave site is at least 5,000 years old. See more cave paintings in the Yourambulla caves, south of Hawker.
Wherever you go in South Australia, you’ll be walking on ancient land.
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Things to do
Here are some great ideas for you to try while you’re in the area.
There are plenty of events on in South Australia. Here are some ideas you might like.