Lonely Planet Writer

You don't have to travel the expanse of Australia to go walkabout - Sydney offers a taste of bush life

Tourists on the trail of Australia’s unique walkabout can do so right on Sydney’s doorstep without the need to travel to remote areas.

Sydney provides a series of walkabout links with Aboriginal culture, including visits to the Royal Botanic Garden and trips to the
Sydney provides a series of walkabout links with Aboriginal culture, from the Royal Botanic Garden  to the Blue Mountains rainforest and Sydney Harbour Image by Kenton Bell ./CC BY 2.0

From bush tucker to rock art, Aboriginal culture is being offered in various guises, allowing tourists to return to city comforts after their exploits.

In the Royal Botanic Garden, Aboriginal officers explain to participants about culture, artefacts and plant uses – with a break to taste bush tucker along the way.

There is a full day’s walkabout tour of the Blue Mountains rainforest where Aboriginal bush food, body painting and storytelling is interwoven with treks through the rainforest.

Sydney harbour hosted two of the world's luxury cruise vessels for the first time at the weekend
Sydney harbour has been part of the Cadigal people who had a special bond with the natural world that surrounds the water environs Image by George Grinsted / CC BY-SA 2.0

A different way of passing a morning in Sydney is to sign up for ‘The Rocks Dreaming Aboriginal Heritage Tour.’ The New Zealand Herald reports that Aboriginal Australians placed a great significance on The Rocks, something that is explained during the tour. In a 90-minute walk, visitors get a real sense of the original inhabitants – the Cadigal people – and their relationship with Sydney Harbour and the natural world that surrounds it.

More thespian types will get great delight in visiting the country’s best-known Aboriginal dance company.

Tourists with a real yen to deepen their knowledge of indigenous Australians can go further afield, but with so much happening within or close to Sydney itself, it allows visitors to get the best of the old and the modern from the one locale.