Lonely Planet Writer

Learn about Melbourne’s Aboriginal culture with this new app

A new smartphone app ‘Melbourne Dreaming’ has been launched this month designed to help locals and travellers discover more about Aboriginal Melbourne’s rich history and vibrant culture.

This app will educate visitors about Australian history. Image by AIATSIS

The app created by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) features points of interests from the past and present day including Port Phillip Bay, the hunting grounds of Chapel Street, and the Burnley Ngargee (corroboree) tree in the heart of urban RichmondMelbourne Dreaming offers a tailored experience of Melbourne’s cultural story. It has been designed to offer self-guided tours of historic and contemporary places of significance.

The app was created by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Image by AIATSIS

The app is customisable allowing users to choose content by theme or location. You can also set a time limit for your visit, or request only destinations with no cost. The app includes audio commentary and travel information. AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie explains: you don’t have to travel away from the city to experience significant sites of the world’s oldest continuing culture. “Aboriginal culture is a living breathing part of Australian life that is easily accessible if you know where to look,” Mr Ritchie said. “This is a superb app for those new to Melbourne, or for those who have lived in the city their whole life. Users will see past the concrete jungle and be exposed to real and local Aboriginal culture right in the middle of one of the world’s top cities.”

There is a companion book, also ‘Melbourne Dreaming’,  that provides further information not available on the app. It’s available for order from Aboriginal Studies Press. Melbourne Dreaming will give users an understanding of Aboriginal people’s historical, cultural, social and economic contribution to the city. Melbourne Dreaming is an essential guide for those looking to discover a deeper history of Melbourne.

The Melbourne Dreaming app is available for download from iTunes and Google Play.