Each year we run a handful of really in depth cultural tours into some of the most remote parts of Arnhem Land (an area of Indigenous owned land over twice the size of Switzerland!). On every one of these Arnhem Land tours we have local Yolngu (Aboriginal) people show us first hand their way of life. These are very special trips and they provide an intimate glimpse into the worlds oldest living culture.
Earlier this year we took one of these cultural tours into the Indigenous community of Gapuwiyak in East Arnhem Land. It's a remote place and about a 2 day drive from Darwin. The town is located on the shores of Lake Evella and was originally established in the late 1960s by Methodist missionaries to supply timber for missions in the region. Today it is home to a population of about 1000 people and is one of the biggest communities in East Arnhem Land.
Here at Gapuwiyak we spent a couple of magical days with our local hosts and were shown what life is like in the heart of Arnhem Land. One of the highlights was learning how to make the colourful weaved mats from scratch. This included sourcing the raw materials (pandanus plant and then roots for dying), stripping the plant into ideal sizes, applying the dye and finally the weaving. Below are some of the action shots and notes taken by one of our tour guests Eliza.
After a hard days work it was time for some billy tea, damper and buffalo sausages!
Should you want more information about some of our more in depth cultural tours of Arnhem Land please send us an email or call our office on (08) 89275500.