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Aboriginal cultural cruises on Sydney Harbour

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Published June 19th 2009
Before the arrival of the White Man and his bridge tolls, the area around Sydney Harbour was home to six peoples: the Eora, Cadigal, Guringai, Wangal, Gammeraigal and Wallumedegal.

How did they live? What were their cultural practices? Did they look down their noses at the tribes inhabiting what is now Melbourne? For the answer to all these questions, you’ll need to take one of the cultural cruises that Tribal Warrior conducts around the harbour.

Sailing aboard the Tribal Warrior or Deerubbun (the name the Dharug people gave to the Hawkesbury River), Sydneysiders are offered a unique insight into the body of water that defines our city, and which most of us think we know so well. During this “journey from pre-white settlement”, visitors will “learn the Aboriginal names and meanings of significant Sydney landmarks”, while also “uncovering traditional fishing methods and food gathering techniques.” In other words, the indigenous heart that beats within the body of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities will be revealed.

The highlight is a landing on Clark Island, where dancers perform a traditional welcome ceremony. Rock carvings and former native settlements are on the itinerary too. And for an enterprise that is owned and operated by Aborigines, indigenous history and storytelling is another important part of the experience.

Australia’s only Aboriginal harbour cruises depart the Eastern Pontoon of Circular Quay at 12.45pm, from Tuesday to Saturday. They last for 1 hour 45 minutes and cost $55 for adults, $45 for children and $45 for concession. Tickets can be purchased on the day, or pre-booked by phoning 9699-3491. Corporate charters are also available.

For more information, click here to watch a promotional video.
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Why? To understand today’s Sydney, you must understand yesterday’s
When: Tuesday to Saturday, 12.45pm
Where: Eastern Pontoon, Circular Quay
Cost: $55 for adults, $45 for children and concession
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