5 Ways to Experience Indigenous Culture in Sydney

For me, travelling has always been an opportunity to experience and learn about other cultures. In Australia, we are lucky to have one of the world’s oldest continuing Indigenous cultures but many Australians are still discovering the beauty of our very own vibrant Aboriginal cultures.

NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and will take place 5th – 12th July. Here are my top 5 things to do in NAIDOC Week in Sydney to experience and celebrate Australia’s first people, their culture and the importance of keeping their traditions alive today.

1. Blak Markets, Bare Island, La Perouse – Sunday 5 July
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The Blak Markets allow you to experience, sample and buy the best of Aboriginal culture right here in Sydney. Held on the first Sunday of each month, the Blak Markets held at Bare Island, La Perouse, showcase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and arts. Marking the start of NAIDOC Week, the July edition of the markets will feature one of Australia’s best-known and most loved music acts, the Stiff Gins, Indigenous dancers, bush tuck infused foods, informative talks, craft workshops, a traditional smoking ceremony and more. See here for the full program.

2. The NAIDOC Inner City Family and Sports Day, Redfern – Friday 10 July
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Held at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern, this is a stellar event for the entire community to celebrate Indigenous excellence in a fun and family friendly environment. The event includes performances by local artists, children’s rides and activities, sport clinics and competitions, arts & craft activities and a free BBQ. It is a great event with plenty to see and do- highly recommended.

3. NAIDOC Cultural Island Experience, Sydney Harbour. Monday 6 – Wednesday 8 July
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Travel across the harbour to the beautiful Clark Island and be greeted by a traditional Welcome to Country and Smoke Ceremony. Observe cultural dance performances, participate in Sand Painting and Hand Stencilling or learn about bush tucker and the history of the island on a Guided Tour. You can find more information here.

4. NAIDOC in the City, Hyde Park. Monday 6 July
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Sample food cooked in an earth oven, hear music from Marcus Corowa, Evie J, Jimblah and Horrorshow. See traditional dance, you can even try your hand at weaving or sea shell art. There will be an interactive kid’s zone with live native animals, stories of Dreamtime, art, singing and dance workshops. This will be a great way to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music, cuisine and culture whilst enjoying an afternoon in the park!

5. NAIDOC Week at Rouse Hill House & Farm. Saturday 11 July
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Celebrate NAIDOC week at Rouse Hill House & Farm and join local Darug elders as they share stories and their cultural knowledge of traditional woodcarving. Kids can paint a boomerang and get up close to see native wildlife from Featherdale Wildlife Park.

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