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Royal Botanic Gardens' Aboriginal Heritage Walk
Photograph: Adrian Vittoro

Indigenous walks and tours in Melbourne

Connect to country, and learn about Melbourne's Aboriginal history and contemporary culture, through these Indigenous-led tours

Rebecca Russo
Written by
Rebecca Russo

Connect to the country through these four Indigenous-led tours that run in Melbourne and surrounding regions of the Kulin Nation. Visitors can gain a deeper understanding of Melbourne's past and better understand Wurundjeri culture – a culture that dates back hundreds of thousands of years.

Explore more: meet the Deadly Melburnians, retrace history with Aunty Carolyn Briggs and learn the basics of Boon Wurrung language from Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir.

Indigenous walking tours

Take a journey into ancestral lands of the Kulin nation in this guided walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Visitors are given insight into how the local people lived within different environments found within the gardens, from forest to rainforest and nearby wetlands. The tour begins with a traditional Tanderrum smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, and sees visitors discover traditional uses of plants for food, tools and medicine, finishing with a refreshing cup of lemon myrtle tea. Tours are suitable for adults and children over five, and begin at the Gardens’ Visitor Centre.

This inner-city walking tour takes visitors through Federation Square and down to the Birrarung Wilam Aboriginal art installations to learn the history of Birrarung Marr and the Kulin nation. Led by a local Koorie guide, you’ll learn about how the land on which Melbourne is located has changed over time and gain a deeper understanding of Melbourne’s importance as a meeting place and location for social, educational and cultural events and activities. Tours run for one hour and bookings are essential.

Wurundjeri Cultural Tour

These one-hour guided tours offer visitors a greater appreciation and understanding of Wurundjeri culture, Wurundjeri people’s approach to land and water use, as well as a deeper understanding of the local environment in the greater Dandenong region. Your Wurundjeri guide will touch on history, personal experiences as well as special use plants found in the bush. Visitors will also participate in the ancient tradition of Tanderrum – a ceremony to welcome guests to Country – making a pact to respect the land, the lore and the traditional owners during your stay.

Located in the Grampians National Park, Brambuk Cultural Centre operates a tour that showcases the environment and heritage of the area, traditionally known as Gariwerd. It’s a spiritual place, rich in Dreaming stories and sacred sites central to the Djab Wurrung and the Jardwadjali people. The half-day Six Seasons Tour engages visitors in the local creation story through a mix of educational videos and site visits, including a visit to a rock art site and to see sacred trees from which canoes and tools were made. Visitors can learn how ochre was collected and prepared, and about the traditional food and medicinal plants found in the area. The tour includes visits to Reeds Lookout and Boroka Lookout and finishes with a bush tucker lunch of wattleseed damper and tea.

Meet the Deadly Melburnians

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