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Discover Australia’s Colourful Culture

By HarryTuesday 07th April 2015

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Australia’s culture has been shaped by its eventful history, as well as its solitary location in the Indian Ocean. It was colonised by the British in 1788, but it’s thought that the first Aboriginal people arrived in Australia around 60,000 years ago. So what are you waiting for? Take a cruise to Australia and soak up the culture of this fascinating country.

Indigenous Australian Art

1334583002_82700c8367_z You might know Australia from its famous rock art paintings, which date back 30,000 years! One place in particular that boasts a great selection of art is Darwin. Across the city you’ll find works ranging from Northern Territory Aboriginal paintings, to contemporary photography. Head to Darwin’s Parap Arts Precinct, to see a great selection of galleries showing dot paintings and carvings. Alternatively, venture to Stuart Park where you’ll find Darwin’s first gallery, which boasts ceramics, jewellery and glassware. To see some authentic rock paintings, venture out to Arnhem Land near Darwin, and see the amazing paintings at Mount Borradaile. Access to Arnhem Land is by permit only, and you’ll get the chance to see real hand prints and animals that were painted thousands of years ago. For a fun game, ask the kids which animals they can spot within the paintings!

Explore Sydney’s Heritage Landmarks

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Sydney is a thriving modern city, but within this contemporary setting you’ll find many beautiful heritage buildings to explore. One site you’ll be keen to visit is Sydney’s famous Opera House. This World Heritage Site is home to Sydney’s arts and culture scene, and is a great place to get creative with the family. A day tour will teach you about the history and stories behind the building, and there’s even a Junior Tour for the little ones. 1146063671_e59c9b7c7b_z Examples of Australian Colonial history can be found across Sydney, but one of our favourite buildings is the Government House. Built in 1845, this building is the home of the Governor of New South Wales, and is a beautiful Gothic Revival building. Take a picnic and stroll around the historic garden, which is home to a range of exotic plants, and boasts great views over Sydney Harbour. If they’re brave enough, take the kids to Hyde Park Barracks, where they can lie in a hammock and see what it was like for convicts in the 1800s!

A culture moulded by nature

14408311199_f4d578554e_z One thing that has undoubtedly shaped Australia’s culture is the country’s landscape. Artists, musicians and travellers throughout history have been obsessed with the often stark landscape of Australia’s outback, and much Aboriginal Art takes inspiration from wild animals and rock formations. The country has some wonderful nature reserves, but one of our favourite spots is the Kimberley region in northwest Australia. This region is famous for its beautiful beaches, but the land itself boasts awe-inspiring orange-coloured rock formations. The Mornington Wilderness Camp in the centre of Kimberley is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and you can even rent a safari tent to sleep in! If you’re a fan of fishing, venture to Freshwater Cove on the Kimberley coast, for a secluded and wild fishing experience.

Explore Australia’s spiritual rock formations

5664079336_35766a05b9_z The landscape of Australia has inspired the people here on such a deep level that many indigenous belief systems centre around plants, wildlife and inanimate objects, and a great activity for all the family can be learning the spiritual names that are attributed to nearby mountain ranges. This oral literature, or ‘Dreamtime’, has been told by Aboriginal storytellers for thousands of years, and is integral to indigenous Australian belief systems. 4116217604_1bd0e9b6ba_z One historically important site is Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. This is an amazing rock formation that sits right in the centre of Australia, and is a place of strong spiritual importance to the local Aboriginal people, the Anangu. Just south of this incredible spot, you’ll find Anangu Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal Reserve (the Pit Lands), where you can see how traditional Aboriginal life still exists in this remote and beautiful part of Australia. Another important rock formation is Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), a group of large formations, just west of Uluru.

We’ve got some great Australian itineraries to help you travel this amazing country, and when you’ve departed your cruise you’ll be able to explore the diverse culture that Australia has to offer.

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