Aboriginal Cultural Experiences: Victoria
Discover the flourishing culture, significant sites, and irresistible culinary scene of Aboriginal Victoria.
- Updated March 2022
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences in Victoria. Whether you’re interested in ancient rock art or the latest contemporary artists, learning about timeless traditions or tasting amazing Indigenous cuisine, you’re in the right place. These are our top tips for Naarm (Melbourne) and beyond.
Aboriginal Heritage Walk, Royal Botanic Gardens
Take a walking tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens and discover why it’s such a significant cultural site for the local Kulin Nation. Your Indigenous guide will identify native plants and explain their traditional uses, giving you a fascinating glimpse into the area’s rich culture and history. A wonderful introduction to understanding First Nations people's deep connection to Country.
Koorie Heritage Trust
Located in Federation Square, by the Birrarung Marr (Yarra River), this fabulous place runs a lively calendar of exhibitions and events celebrating First Nations arts and culture in Victoria. And it’s free entry! See the work of emerging Koorie artists, check out the artefacts of the permanent collection, join one of their educational walking tours, then grab a bite at nearby Big Esso, an Indigenous-owned eatery.
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre (Melbourne Museum)
For First Nations people across Victoria, Bunjil is the ancestral wedge-tailed eagle, the Creator. Bunjilaka (‘the place of Bunjil’) is where you’ll find Bunjil’s nest, a striking installation at the heart of ‘First Peoples’, an immersive permanent collection telling the story of Indigenous Victoria from creation to the current day. Throw in regular exhibitions and performances, and you’ve got an unmissable cultural experience.
Regional Victoria experiences
Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre (Geelong)
This award-winning attraction in Wadawurrung/ Wathaurong Country ticks all the boxes. It’s an art gallery, but also has a great collection of traditional tools and weapons. There’s a café, gift shop, and a lovely native garden with resident wildlife. Meaning ‘a deep listening and understanding,’ Narana also offers guided tours, covering key elements of local First Nations culture, from bush-tucker to boomerang-throwing and much more.
Tower Hill Reserve (Warrnambool)
Marvel at the scenery while learning about First Nations culture on this two-hour tour with a local Worn Gundidj guide. An ancient, long-dormant volcano, Tower Hill is full of history, with evidence suggesting its traditional owners witnessed its last eruptions 30,000-plus years ago. It’s also home to a Who’s Who of native critters: koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, emus and wedge-tail eagles, to name a few.
Rock art in the Grampians (Halls Gap)
More than 80% of Victoria’s rock-art sites, spanning around 4,000 different motifs, are in the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park. Not all of them are easy to get to, but some are readily accessible, including one of the state’s most significant sites: Bunjil Shelter, near Stawell. Start at the Brambuk Information Centre, where you’ll find maps and other helpful resources.