Discover the Shoalhaven's rich Aboriginal history
The Shoalhaven is a unique natural and cultural environment with rich Aboriginal history playing a vital role in making this region so special. Discover more about the region or take a look at Aboriginal experiences below.
Booderee National Park
Booderee National Park is co-managed by the local Wreck Bay Community and Parks Australia. Visit Booderee Botanic Gardens or engage in cultural activities like camping stories, weaving and bushtucker in the school holidays.
Engage with Traditonal Owners of Wreck Bay when visiting Booderee. Aunty Julie Freeman from Galamban Extraordinary Aboriginal Experiences is known for her campfire yarns at Bristol Point, and incredible storytelling and workshops on tools, tucker and ancient technology. Also in Booderee, Paul McLeod (Jrumpinjinbah) of Wandian Wanderian Murramarang Tomikin shares dance, stories and art during his own workshops, and he also collaborates with Soul Advisor to deliver a variety of experiences such as on country healing, and Aboriginal astronomy. Get in touch with Bernie McLeod of Djungga Kultural Tours will guide you on bushwalk with bush food tasting.
On Country Teachings
Djiriba Waagura (meaning two crows) offer a walk in Nowra with Matt Simms called Warigala Badha along the Ben’s Walk Track by the Shoalhaven River, visiting significant Indigenous sites and participating in bush tucker knowledge, and ancient stories. In Huskisson, Raymond Timbery from Gadhungal Murring (saltwater people) offers a deep immersion into culture including smoking ceremony, dance, and mangrove walk with bush food knowledge. At Booderee, the Freeman family, Galamban Extraordinary Aboriginal Experiences offers unforgettable cultural experiences that come from many lifetimes of knowledge. Engage in the cultural heritage of Wreck Bay, learn about tools and technology, hear ancient yarns by the camp fire and even explore at night. At Jervis Bay and parts of the escarpment, Walbanga woman Deidre Martin hosts guided walks, with damper, native tea and optionally weaving under the name of Bugiya Naway Buradja (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow). Further South, you can indulge in a bush food and bush medicine walk with Budawang Elder (horticulturist and chef!) Noel Butler and Nura Gunyu (Swan Country) in the Budawang Ranges.
A feast for your eyes as well as your belly, Mirritya Mundya means Hungry Blackfish, and is based in Callala at Jervis Bay. They’ve trained with amazing Australian chefs and specialise in wholesome homemade cuisine in the form of grazing platter boxes and pop-up luncheons and dinners with an indigenous twist. You can order online and they’ll deliver to you! Plan your trip to include a delightful brunch by the sea, morning tea on a coastal lookout or sunset starters at your accommodation. The menu includes sweet and savoury, with low and slow smoked proteins, native bread and the signature Lemon Myrtle Blackfish.
Tours of the Land
Deepen your connection to the land by venturing out on a designated walking track. Stroll the One Track for All or call 02 4455 5883 to organise a guided tour along Coomee Nulunga Track with a local Aboriginal guide. The National Parks Discover Ranger program also partners with Aboriginal community members who can guide you through Bomaderry Creek Regional Park. This is a very significant place in both recent and ancient history with interpretative signs, mosaics and a rich natural history.
Soulful Concepts offers Trek Yuin Country experiences with Traditional Owners Dean and Jess. These adventures provide cultural insights with hands-on workshops and will take you to three of the most scenic and challenging hikes through Morton National Park. The tours include a donation to local charity and have the option of transfers and accommodation included.
Traditional arts have been passed down through the generations and we are lucky to have local artisans sharing their stories with us. Giriwa Garuwanga Art Gallery is an Aboriginal owned and operated art gallery. Located at the Ulladulla Local Aboriginal Land Council (ULALC) office, the gallery features artworks and products for sale created by local artists. You will find traditional and contemporary art and canvases, boomerangs, clap sticks, Twisted Snake Designs clothing range, bags, towels, and more! You can also head to the northern part of the Shoalhaven and take a walk amongst the hand carved poles at Callala Beach and Crookhaven Heads.