In August 2019, Transport for NSW launched its inaugural Transport Reconciliation Action Plan.
This Reconciliation Action Plan is incredibly important to us, as it acknowledges and pays respect to the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as custodians of the lands where we work; many of the transport routes we use today – from rail lines to roads to water crossings – follow the traditional Songlines, trade routes and ceremonial paths in Country that our nation’s First Peoples followed for tens of thousands of years.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan also demonstrates our commitment to working towards reconciliation, both within Transport and in communities across NSW.
To celebrate the community, we’ve put together a list of cultural experiences you can partake in across New South Wales.
Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, Albury
Wander along the Wagirra Trail to admire inspiring sculptures created by local Aboriginal artists. Signage introduces each sculpture and artist, however to really make your connection to country, we recommend taking the time with each one and being open to the mental journey they’ll take you on. The designated walking and cycling path leads to Wonga Wetlands, a hotspot for birdwatchers and the ideal place to rest before embarking on your return journey.
Where: Kremur Street Boat Ramp, Albury
Getting there: NSW TrainLink’s Southern XPT travels to Albury daily. For more information and to book, visit transportnsw.info/regional to plan your day.
Hours: From dawn to dusk
More information: alburycity.nsw.gov.au
Unkya Aboriginal Cultural Eco Tours, Scotts Head
Hear the creation story of the gaagal (ocean) and the first wave being created while your toes are sinking in the sand and you’re looking out over the deep blue. On Unkya’s Gaagal Yuludarla (Ocean Dreaming) Tour, you’ll be invited to take part in a smoking and cleansing ceremony, bushtucker demonstrations and hunting, and will learn the significance of totems, the Gumbaynggir language and holistic uses for medicinal plants.
Where: Scotts Head Reserve, 6 Short Street, Scotts Head
Getting there: NSW TrainLink’s North Coast XPT travels to Macksville daily. For more information and to book, visit transportnsw.info/regional to plan your day.
Fee: Tour prices vary
More information: unkya.com
Bundyi Cultural Tours, Wagga Wagga
Let Wiradjuri guide Mark Saddler take you on a tour of his homeland, sharing personal stories of him and his ancestors. Learn his language and meet friendly animals on an easy stroll along the ancient Marrambidya Bila (Murrumbidgee River) on the two-hour Aboriginal Walkabout Tour. For an even deeper experience, book the Aboriginal Discovery Tour for a two-day experience including an Ochre ceremony, Yidaki (didgeridoo) making and playing, and bushtucker lessons.
Where: 295 Copland Street, Wagga Wagga
Getting there: NSW TrainLink’s Southern XPT travels to Wagga Wagga daily. For more information and to book, visit transportnsw.info/regional to plan your day.
Fee: Tours from $48
More information: bundyiculture.com.au
Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tours, Coffs Harbour
For a slight change of pace, book a stand-up paddleboarding tour to learn about the Gumbaynggirr culture adventure-style at Coffs Creek, Moonee or Red Rock. This experience isn’t just a whole lot of fun – it’s good for the community too; the social-enterprise-style organisation invests a proportion of their profits in Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation, which delivers weekly after-school learning centres, cultural camps and Gumbaynggirr language revitalisation initiatives.
Getting there: NSW TrainLink’s North Coast XPT travels to Coffs Harbour daily. For more information and to book, visit transportnsw.info/regional to plan your day.
Fee: Tours from $80
Hours: 7am to 9.30am
More information: wajaanayaam.com.au
Let NSW TrainLink do the driving with regional train and coach services connecting more than 365 destinations across NSW, ACT, Victoria and Queensland. Book your seat online at transportnsw.info/regional for the best-value fares – it’s quick, easy and secure!
Transport for NSW acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land and pays respect to Elders, past and present.
Images courtesy of Destination NSW.