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Top three cultural experiences in East Arnhem Land

East Arnhem Land is home to Yolŋu, the Aboriginal people who have had lived in the region for 60,000 years. One of the highlights of a visit to East Arnhem Land is the opportunity to learn more about Yolŋu culture and language. 

Not sure where to start when it comes to organising a cultural experience to remember? Here are our top three in East Arnhem Land to get you started.

A visit to Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka in Yirrkala

An easy 15 minute drive from Nhulunbuy airport and Nhulunbuy township is the world renowned Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre, situated in the Yirrkala community. This is where you can get your fix of traditional and contemporary Yolŋu culture. The Art Centre features a fabulous gallery space where you can view a range of pieces in various mediums – from burial poles to bark paintings, screen printing to pandanus weavingIt also hosts a museum providing visitors with an array of cultural and artist history and information, and some pieces of significance including the Yirrkala church panels and replicas of the Bark Petitions. Visitors often have the opportunity to watch artists work, or interact with the talented screen printing crew.

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Garma Festival

Garma Festival, held annually in East Arnhem Land, is a significant celebration of Yolŋu culture. For four days, you will be immersed in nightly buŋgul (traditional dance), have the opportunity to participate in spear and yidaki (didgeridu) making workshops, take astrology and bush tours with Yolŋu guides, and purchase art from around the region. This is an event not to be missed for those interested in learning more about Yolŋu culture, and engaging in policy and political discussions about Indigenous affairs.

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Lirrwi Tourism

Lirrwi Tourism offers something for everyone when it comes to experiencing culture in East Arnhem Land. Ranging from full day to multi-day tours, you will learn first hand from Yolŋu guides about country and culture. The multi-day tours in particular will provide you with a cultural immersion experience like no other, with the opportunity to live with families on their traditional homelands and share in their daily activities and culture. This is a truly special experience.

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