The Hunter Valley has been home to some culturally significant Aboriginal sites for thousands of years, but until recently a relatively well-kept secret.
Ngurra Bu is a not-for profit organisation set up by established by a group of Hunter Valley Indigenous people. It has recently commenced guided tours of these sites located in the Broke and Wollombi valleys for not only leisure visitors to the Hunter Valley, but they are also available to Incentive and Conference groups.
Easily accessible from the main conference hotels in Pokolbin, the tours start in Wollombi with a traditional smoking ceremony before heading out to either the ‘creator cave’ at Broke or the Mount Yengo National Park for the cave paintings and rock carvings. A full day tour would include both locations, morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea before concluding in Wollombi. All tours are guided by passionate Aboriginal guides who share their knowledge and explain the cultural significance and stories associated with each place.
The tours also include an introduction to bush tucker as the guides point out bush foods located along the route and showing how bush foods and bush medicines were traditionally sourced.
“This is a very exciting addition to the range of activities we are able to offer in the Hunter Valley” said Ruth Appleby, Business Tourism Marketing Manager at Hunter Valley Convention Bureau. “Indigenous product was the one gap that we had in our product offering and complements the many other activity options we have” she said.
“It was thrilling to be able to go into the stunningly beautiful Mt Yengo National Park last week and see these amazing rock carvings and cave paintings that I had heard rumours about for so long. For so many years, tourists have had to travel to Uluru or Far North Queensland to have an authentic Indigenous experience. It is great to now be able to offer that so close to Sydney” she said.
Ngurra Bu, ‘meaning little lore camp’ is a not for profit organisation whose mission is to teach and share Aboriginal culture to ensure that it continues to be the oldest living culture on earth. It operates as a social enterprise meaning that it trades to raise money to run camps for Aboriginal people who have been disconnected from their culture and community and school programs for young people. Profits generated by the tours also create employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.
Further information on Ngurra Bu can be found at www.ngurrabu.org