Where can I find guided tours of Australia by Aboriginal persons, or organisations, ideally where profits go back into helping or preserving the local people and/or landmarks? I would love to see Ayers Rock.


2 Answers 2


Many "Aboriginal tours" and "Aboriginal experiences" exist but, while you will have Aborginal guides, in many cases these operations are not majority or even largely operated or owned by 'Aboriginal persons' - some care will be needed in discerning which are 'authentic' in this respect.

Mild warning: You are probably aware that the subject of the rights and relationships of the Australian Aboriginal peoples has been and remains a much debated one, with a turbulent history, and you will still find strong opinion and sometimes unreasonable bias at either extreme of the opinion range. You are unlikely to come to too much harm in Australia if you express opinions or make related requests from any perspective, but you can expect the possibility of abuse or rude words from people of either persuasion if you behave insensitively.

A good start?: One operation which appears at face value to meet your criteria is Aboriginal Cultural Tours, South Australia apparently owned and operated by Quenten Agius. If Quenten's organisation does prove to meet your criteria he is probably a good source of infomation of similar origanisations in other areas.

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They say:

  • Gain a unique insight into one of the world's oldest living cultures. Walk together in the footsteps of our ancestors. See and touch the past. Share Dreaming stories that bring the landscape to life. Connect with nature and the environment.

    South Australian Tourism "Hall of Fame" inductee and winner of 11 state and regional tourism awards (Aboriginal, Heritage and Cultural Tourism), Quenten Agius, owner operator of "Aboriginal Cultural Tours – South Australia", is proud to have transformed his life from living in poverty to building up a Nationally Accredited multi-award winning tourism business. "Aboriginal Cultural Tours" offers authentic Aboriginal experiences led by knowledgeable Aboriginal guides, who care about their country, live on country and know their country. We visit ancient archaeological sites, spectacular coastal areas, ancient lands where giants onced roamed, the Clare Valley, Burra, Mid North, Southern Flinders Ranges and Yorke Peninsula regions, and our Aboriginal community.

    Aboriginal heritage and culture is the heart, soul and spirit of this land. When we walk together with our guests, in the footsteps of our ancestors, they can literally see and touch the past. Looking at the landscape through Aboriginal eyes gives our guests a completely different perspective of the land and we share significant Dreaming stories of our country. Our aim is to take people on journey, not only physically but also spiritually, to a place where they have never been to before. We hope the landscape comes alive in their mind and they can understand and feel the story. With each tour, our guests gain a wealth of knowledge about Aboriginal heritage, culture, traditions and beliefs.


The following is NOT intended to be a direct answer to the question but has direct pertinence to underlying issues.

Several comments have been made above re the use of the names "Uluru" and "Ayers's Rock" for the edifice whose official name is "Uluru / Ayers Rock" (no apostrophe). Issues relating to the naming of the rock are intimately entwined with the issues of the rights of the Australian Aboriginal peoples and every aspect of their existence and relationships to other Australian residents and to the land. The name used, who by, and when, as touched on very briefly in the comments, is of relevance to Mykael's request. If what Simon says is correct it seems that the majority of the population in the UK have not 'moved with the times'.

As a small insight (make of it what you will) the following is based on Google's NGram reporting of the use of the the terms "Uluru", "Ayer's Rock" and "Ayers Rock". Whatever else it tells us, it seems that apostrophical' correctitude is fighting a losing battle in this case :-).

Use of the terms shown in reference source "lots of books" 1920 to 2005. (Ignore spurious 1880 at far left)

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Based on: http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Uluru%2CAyer%27s+Rock%2CAyers+Rock&year_start=1880&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=3&share=

Also related:

Aboriginal Australians - the state of the play

From Cultural Survival organisation.

Tjapukai - Aboriginal Cultural Park - note that the ownership or operating body of this 'attraction' is not clear.

Very pretty Tjaupukai glossy brochure - owenership still not clear.

Tjapukai FAcebook page - underlying management and structure still not clear. Either these people are VERY laid back OR something is becoming clear.

Responsible Travel Aboriginal Tours - NOT exactly what you asked for BUT may be of value

Perth Aboriginal Tours - lacks obvious up front ethnic buy in.


There are many Aboriginal owned and operated tours throughout Australia, and also those who work closely with Indigenous operators who are non indigenous owned tour operators such as myself Adventure North Australia and The Bama Way Aboriginal Tours. We work with 3 Aboriginal owned and operated tours in Tropical North Queensland.

Look up the Indigenous Tourism Champions which will give you the tours operating throughout Australia.

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