Travel with heart: Embrace cultural experiences

Aboriginal experience with artefacts photo credit Nathan Lowe Photography

Image credit: Nathan Lowe Photography, via Firescreek Botanical Winery

Aboriginal experience with artefacts photo credit Nathan Lowe Photography

Image credit: Nathan Lowe Photography, via Firescreek Botanical Winery

You can’t truly know a place until you know its story, so who better to bring the local landscape to life than a Traditional Owner of the very earth you walk on
Experience the Central Coast from an entirely new angle via the local storylines, creativity, flora and fauna knowledge our guides, artists and chefs are ready to share with you…

The Central Coast is a truly special place, home to thousands of registered Heritage listed sites that share the stories of the world’s oldest living culture. In fact, the density and diversity of rock engravings and paintings from hinterland to headland is unrivalled in New South Wales.

To embrace these amazing Aboriginal cultural experiences, it’s important to first understand some simple “house” rules, and to go slow with an open heart into your first tour of this Country. Everyone's cultural experience will be different, but it’s guaranteed to always leave you with a powerfully new perspective.

Australia’s first astronomers, explorers and cartographers. Our first artists, dancers, historians and chefs. The relationship Aboriginal peoples have with the earth – their connection to Country – has never been more important or more vital to the health of Australia than now.

However, the most amazing thing about Aboriginal culture is not necessarily it’s age or history, but it’s the incredible way every aspect of this culture links back to the land from which it is born (Source).

“Land is Life and Life is the Land from where we came and where we shall return.” – excerpt from Darkinjung Ngura

elder throwing boomerang
Credit: Nathan Lowe Photography, with Uncle Gavi Duncan at Firescreek Winery
smoking ceremony
Credit: Dominic Loneragan, with Girri Girra Aboriginal Experiences
Top reasons to embrace local culture

Apart from getting exclusive access to the authentic past through shared stories passed down through the generations long before social media was even a thing, embracing Aboriginal cultural experiences, with an Aboriginal guide, as part of your trip can have many positive lasting impacts to your personal wellbeing. It is also a great way to show respect to the First Australians and caretakers of the land around you, and understand their cultural heritage, both past and present.

Why a cultural experience is so powerful

  • It’s an unforgettable shared experience
  • It’s capable of broadening your world view
  • They offer more than 60,000 years of stories to share respectfully
  • It’s a good way to find screenless human connection at a time when we need it most
  • It’s led by guides full of life, with laughs and adventure is often at the heart of their tour
  • It will build a stronger connection to your own “mob” (family)


woman getting clay face paint by aboriginal man
Image: Tim Selwyn leads one of his immersive Aboriginal experience tours
Credit: Dominic Loneragan
aboriginal tour guide in song
Credit: Girri Girra Aboriginal Experiences at a dawn ceremony
Art in nature, as it was intended

Australia's Aboriginal peoples have lived in what is now known as New South Wales for more than 40,000 years, and have continued to practice their culture in NSW national parks to the present day. One of the best ways to experience Aboriginal rock art and engravings is in one of the Central Coast’s five national parks.

There are several great bushwalks across the Central Coast that directly connect you with sacred Aboriginal cultural sites, including Brisbane Water National Park, Bouddi National Park, and Kincumber Mountain Reserve. But before swiftly packing your rucksack and hiking out on the nearest trail, take a moment to consider our Sustainability Pledge and the real reason you’re seeking a greater connection. Is it for an Instagram photo, or is it simply because you’re interested? You’ll get a lot more out of the journey if it’s the latter…

Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site
Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site
Credit: James Horan x Destination Central Coast
family in national park cultural tour
Image: Bouddi National Park rock engravings with Girri Girra Aboriginal Experiences
Credit: @these.wander.days
Central Coast Aboriginal experiences
Listen and learn more about the Country you're on

Aboriginal experiences invite you to learn something new; to be surprised or awed in our own backyard. Here's some ideas for Aboriginal-owned and operated businesses available on the Central Coast:

Darkinjung Cultural Tours explore the history of significant sites on the Central Coast with an Aboriginal guide.

Girri Girra Aboriginal Experiences in Bouddi National Park with Tim Selwyn explore ancient storylines, plus Tim's handmade artefacts are available online.

Garry Purchase is a local Aboriginal artist who leads seasonal tours at Gosford Regional Gallery and sells his incredible art online

Artists Grant and Russ Molony are inspired by nature and their culture, selling their creative art and wares via Rowsie Lane, The Entrance


From adventure to culinary, artistic to historic, there's so much history and knowledge to embrace through a growing list of experiences on the Central Coast that weave in local culture as part of their offering, to connect you to the land you walk on with relevant cultural protocols followed:

Firescreek Aboriginal Storytelling and Wine Tasting Experience hosted with an Aboriginal Elder and winemaker at a botanical vineyard - based right in the heart of the Central Coast at Holgate, 10 minutes drive from Erina Fair and 15 minutes from Terrigal Beach.

Terrigal Ocean Tours lead ECO Certified on-water experiences of Broken Bay sharing the Aboriginal history of the area from an angle you’ve never seen on land.

Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary for family-friendly bushtucker tours, a guided bushwalk to a Sacred Cultural hand painting site, or a Boomerang throwing workshop

Broken Bay Pearl Farm tours include a water experience past sacred Aboriginal sites, as the Hawkesbury River was a strong source of fresh oysters for local Aboriginal people.

Bouddi Gallery in Killcare showcase contemporary Aboriginal lifestyle art, woven handcrafts, homewares, clothing and music, ensuring artist communities directly benefit.

Bells of Killcare Day Spa experience inspired by the healing properties of local flora, the bookable Indigenous Clay Earth & Ocean Dreaming Ritual.

aboriginal elder playing didgeridoo
Image: Uncle Gavi Duncan; Firescreek Aboriginal Storytelling and Wine Tasting Experience
Credit: Nathan Lowe Photography
aboriginal elder with artefacts
Image: Uncle Gavi Duncan; Firescreek Aboriginal Storytelling and Wine Tasting Experience
Credit: Nathan Lowe Photography

Destination Central Coast understand it’s vital that we work collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to portray an accurate, inclusive and authentic representation of Indigenous Australia, informed by best practice cultural guidelines provided by Tourism Australia. Due to any sensitive cultural content, we wish to acknowledge this as a 'living article' created in ongoing, open consultation with the Indigenous peoples it aims to represent.


If you're an Aboriginal-owned or Aboriginal-run business on the Central Coast, we'd love to hear more about it. Simply get in touch with us here, create a free Love Central Coast business listing here, or tag us when sharing your local story on Instagram and Facebook.