As a tourist, you couldn’t hope for a better way to connect with Australian Indigenous culture, than to be granted access to five thousand to seven thousand-year-old rock art sites.
That’s possible on a full-day 4WD Aboriginal Rock Art & Ranger Day Tour out of Cooktown, Queensland’s north, to Normanby Station.
It really is a privilege to join a traditional owner like Dylan Harrigan of the Balnggarrawarra people, on the interpretive rock art walk.
Very few visitors have been invited to share this experience and to see drawings that depict life as it would have been here so long ago.
As Dylan explains, his people painted on walls to, “tell stories of what they did, how they hunted or what they seen, so they told the stories to the next generation.”
He says, “all we ask people is to open their minds up a little bit more so that they can, you guys can get a better understanding of a snippet of our world. You’d be amazed at what you will see and hear.”
This is working towards reconciliation. This is us all living together in harmony,”
Dylan’s history straddles two worlds, and his brothers continue a family connection to the cattle industry.
Cliff and Vince manage 33,000 hectare Normanby Station and run its ranger program. They also share tour guide duties and in the afternoon, members of the tour group are shown their conservation efforts and are taken to areas of the property that historical significance.
Culture Connect offers several full day and half-day experiences.
They meet guests in Cooktown, and the Sovereign Resort Hotel is a tropical paradise in the heart of town. The rooms are VERY comfortable, and the pool’s a godsend at the end of a dusty day.
Cooktown itself is not to be under-estimated. I’m told that many visitors only book an overnight stay, but there is plenty to do, so plan to stay a little longer!