"Aboriginal Australia" Top 5 Page for this destination Australia and Oceania by Kate-Me
Australia and Oceania Travel Guide: 67,526 reviews and 171,151 photos
When one thinks of the Australian Aboriginal people, an image of the outback immediately comes to mind, for internationals and many Australians alike.
However, Aborigines were and are not just a desert people living in hot, remote, untamed regions of Australia, though they are much more in evidence there on a daily basis.
Those past desert generations have left many reminders on the outback land to remind us of their presence, such as canoe trees, cave art and rock engravings.
Their counterparts in cooler southern regions such as Victoria, Southern South Australia and Tasmania lived a somewhat different lifestyle and in winter wore possum or kangaroo cloaks to shield them against the cold.
In Victoria the signs of habitation left by the native peoples are less obvious than in the outback, which may be why we don't often remember that the aborigines were once plentiful in the Southern states as well. The signs are still there nevertheless if one looks a little harder. The form they take includes scarred trees, stone tool finds and coastal shell middens which are made up of cockle, oyster and many other shells of molluscs eaten by the aborigines.
If you want to learn about aboriginal culture in southern areas, ask at information centres for any sites which may be in the area, or tours run by local Aborigines.
Better still, find out if there is an Aboriginal Cultural centre in the area that you can visit.
(See tips section for more information)
One major reason I'm including Aboriginal background on these pages is that the way I see it, Aborigines were Australia's very first travellers, living the nomadic tribal lifestyle that they led. Added to that, the fact that Australia has been their ancestral home for thousands upon thousands of years.
For the past 30 years, my aunt has been showing people from all walks of life the wonderful outback in her role as a coach hostess for a large Australian Touring Company.
For example, in the Northern Territory, usually the coach needs to travel at least 800 kms per day in order to reach the next town for an overnight stop. Passengers often remark on the gruelling pace set (and grumble having to get up at 5.30 am for breakfast). My aunt usually replies that they're there for an EXPERIENCE, not a holiday.
I guess I'd like to encourage people to be more explorers of indigenous culture as well as scenery in our great land, though I know that one of the problems of Australia is it's huge size and the limited amount of time most people have to spend here.
My interest in Aboriginal culture hasn't come from my education (which was all too brief on the subject of Aborigines) but rather came about as a result of briefly visiting other shores and gaining a better appreciation of my own once I returned home. Also my husband completed his PhD Thesis on the subject of the representation of Aborigines in travel writing of the 1830's and 1940's, which eventually became a fascinating subject for me also.
Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence, and also released around the same time, (just released on DVD in France about April 2004, under the name of "Le Chemin de la Gloire" (or something very like that) "The Tracker, starring David Gulpillil (who would have to be Australia's most famous and accomplished Aboriginal actor, having been in movies for decades).
The book "Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence". Not only is it and the movie an accurate portrayal of Australian Government policy towards half caste Aborigines during the "White Australia" policy, but it's also a touching human story of three aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their parents and sent to live thousands of kilometres away on a mission in Western Australia. It's the story of their escape and remarkable journey walking home, following the rabbit proof fence, which is thousands of kilometres long (designed to try and keep plague proportions of rabbits out of Western Australia)
Another classic book on great Australian journeys: Robyn Davidson's "Tracks". It tells the story of a city woman who, in the 1970's, bought herself a team of camels, learned to ride and care for them, and took herself on an incredible journey of thousands of kilometres across the desert from Alice Springs to the ocean (W.A)
More on the Aboriginal topic under tips...
My travelogues here in "Australia & Oceania" are tending more towards the quirky.
My "In the Middle of Nowhere" travelogue is meant to be like that too (though it's also true!) and has some normal road sign pics added in to help the traveller, with more to come later.
- Pros:The land is beautiful and rich in Aboriginal history if you know where to look
- Cons:Vast distances mean it's almost impossible to see all states
- In a nutshell:Australia is still the lucky country and a wonderful place to live and enjoy the great outdoors
Some more typical & a couple of not so typical signs in Australia. 1: Duck crossing 2: The first really multicultural... more travel advice
Australians have a great reputation for their friendliness, though we don't QUITE go around hugging strangers as the... more travel advice
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