Gay’Wu - The Dilly Bag Tour for Women

The dilly bag is a powerful and important cultural symbol in Arnhem Land, where it was first created thousands of years ago. Woven with dyed pandanus leaves, the dilly bag has both a practical and a spiritual meaning  The practicality of holding  foods and medicines  gathered from the bush. The spiritual meaning of the dilly bag has given rise to the name of this tour, as it  is also used to carry knowledge. The women of Arnhem Land wish to open their hearts to visitors and share the knowledge that have acquired over many thousands of years . Knowledge of the bush, the ancestors, the sky and the universe.

The Yolŋu often say the land is their mother. It nurtures, heals and guides their lives. This is why the female visitor experience and connection to Yolŋu people is often so profound. the Gay’wu women’s tour provide female visitors with the opportunity to come together with their Yolŋu sisterhood and learn about their culture, history and country. Equally it is an opportunity to reconnect with every aspect of their own lives – environment, spirituality, and philosophy.

You will experience many extraordinary  things on this tour, and time spent with the Yolŋu women is often described “life-changing”. You will learn about and experience  Yolŋu philosophy and kinship, weaving, painting, astrology, healing ceremony, crying ceremony  (Nathi), cooking and bush medicine, dancing, gathering oysters or mud crabs and much more. Specific activities will vary according to the season and availability of materials.

The tour includes a charter flight to remote homeland where you will be welcomed by the traditional owners followed by lunch and a return flight to Nyulunbuy. At the end of your tour , you will visit the remarkable art centre in Yirrkala - Buku Larngguy here you will see beautiful works of art on barks, Larrakitj (ceremonial poles) , weavings jewellery and much more. Buku also has am extraordinary collection of historical material and is regarded as one of the best Aboriginal Art centres in Australia.

This tour is for women and girls only. In the modern western world this could be seen as sexism , but in the Yolŋu world there are clearly defined roles and activities undertaken exclusively by women and men. These roles have mutual respect , and many  activities such as dancing and eating are undertaken together.

Tour Details

This is a remote travel experience with set departure dates. This 5 day - 4 night experience departing Nhulunbuy. For a detailed itinerary, please contact

Departure Dates 2018

23rd to 27th April

22th to 26th May

27th June to 1st July

6th to 10th August

19th - 23rd October

If you are interested in this itinerary but are unable to travel on these dates, please contact us to discuss alternte dates.

Group Size

Minimum group size is 6 and a maximum group size of 11, smaller or larger groups can be catered for on request.


Three nights will be spent at Bawaka Homeland with simple indoor or outdoor accommodation.

On the fourth night, you will be accommodated by Walkabout Lodge in Nhulunbuy.

Accommodation is on twin share basis. (Single supplement $115 per person, per night)

Tour Price

The tour price is $2,399 per person twin share subject to a minimum of 8 participants.

Cost includes:

  • all transport in the East Arnhem Region including airport transfers and ground touring
  • all meals whilst on tour
  • cultural experiences on Yolŋu homelands
  • all camping equipment and bedding supplied
  • Yolŋu driver and guide

You will be responsible for:

  • airfares from your home port to Nhulunbuy

  • transit accommodation where necessary in either Darwin or Nhulunbuy depending on which air route taken.

For more information, please contact us at for details and availability.

Disclaimer: These tours are subject to weather and transport schedules.

Read Trip Notes for more detail