Lirrwi Tourism will introduce two new tours of Yolŋu homelands this spring, inviting visitors to experience Indigenous traditions and culture as part of a long-term vision for tourism in Arnhem Land.
From September, small groups will be able to travel through remote Arnhem Land and stay with Yolŋu families in their ancestral lands, providing an intimate encounter with the world’s oldest continuous living culture.
Guests will be able to learn first-hand about the customs, skills and ceremonies of the Yolŋu people, while at the same time taking part in practices like fishing, food gathering and crafts. The tours are operated and guided by Yolŋu, providing direct income for communities and a path to future economic independence.
Two new itineraries are available, each catering for between eight and 14 people:
Homeland Adventure, Yolŋu Dhukarr – A journey among three different Yolŋu homelands, travelling by air-conditioned 4WD from Nhulunbuy through north-east Arnhem Land. Guests will stay in simple lodge accommodation or camp under the stars, and will be able to learn first-hand about aspects of Yolŋu life including language, story-telling, art, dance and bush foods. Six nights/seven days. First departure: September 1, 2014.
Women's Tours, Gay’Wu – An opportunity to experience Arnhem Land from the perspective of Yolŋu women, for whom the land is a mother who nurtures and heals. Travelling in similar style to the Homeland Adventure, this tour provides a chance to spend time with Yolŋu women and learn about aspects of their lives including philosophy, kinship, weaving, painting, astrology, mud baths, ceremonies, cooking and medicine. Six nights/seven days. First departure: September 29, 2014.
Both tours cost $3000* per person including all meals, transport, activities, accommodation, equipment, guides and permits. Cost excludes airfares and any pre/post accommodation required in Nhulunbuy. Further departure dates will be announced soon.
The new tours are the first major public initiatives launched by Lirrwi Tourism, an Aboriginal corporation which has until now operated a successful program of tours for corporate groups, schools, expedition cruise passengers and other private bookings.
The introduction of tours for the wider public coincides with the launch of Lirrwi Tourism’s new brand identity and the completion of the Yolŋu Tourism Masterplan which aims to create dozens of Indigenous- owned tourism businesses across Arnhem Land over coming decades.