Aboriginal Cultural Experience

2.5 Hours
Katherine, Northern Territory
Art & Culture
May to October
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Visitors can interact with Top End Aboriginal artist Manuel Pamkal and ask questions about Aboriginal culture whilst learning about the significance of his painting style, weapons used and how he lived off the land. The highlight of the Cultural Experience and what sets it apart from other cultural experiences is the hands on activities presented by an Aboriginal Elder in a relaxed and fun way.


Top Didj Art Gallery is located 7km outside Katherine, located in the centre of the Northern Territory. Katherine is 320km south of Darwin. Address: 363 Gorge Rd, Lansdowne NT 0850.

What to expect

This experience includes:

Cultural Talk – Manuel Pamkal, winner of the Tourism NT Brolga award in 2013, for outstanding interpretive guide, is happy to talk about growing up in the bush, cultural differences, tribal life and his own family tree after playing a traditional welcoming tune on the didgeridoo.

Painting – Manuel will teach the technique of Rarrk painting (Cross Hatch). Visitors will then paint their own artwork to take home as their souvenir.

Fire Lighting – Visitors have an opportunity to participate in the ancient craft of lighting a fire by rubbing two extraordinary stick together and be fascinated by the story describing the two sticks.

Spear Throwing – Our resident guide Manuel explains the use of a Woomera and Spear to perfectly hit the target that is a fake kangaroo.

After the hands on activities, you will have an opportunity to look through the Aboriginal Art Gallery featuring authentic didgeridoos and artwork. Interact with Australian wildlife such as joeys and wallabies which are often around.

What is included

This experience runs daily at 9.30am and 2.30pm from 1 May – 31 October at Top Didj Art Gallery. The experience is 2.5 hours in duration.

Meeting point

Top Didj Art Gallery - 363 Gorge Rd, Lansdowne, Northern Territory.

What to bring

Water bottle


Top Didj

The Top Didj Cultural Experience in the Northern Territory was founded in April 2009 by Alex and Petrena Ariston. Alex and Petrena have a very real passion for Indigenous culture and artwork and have worked with indigenous communities around Katherine since 1997.

The Top Didj Cultural Experience was developed when Alex and Petrena identified the need for a cultural interaction with the Aboriginal people of Katherine. They were passionate about capturing this rich culture and providing an avenue for local indigenous artists to tell their story and to showcase traditional activities such as fire lighting, spear and boomerang throwing, painting whilst educating visitors of their culture and way of life.

The cultural experience is designed to promote a positive experience with the aboriginal people. They own a beautiful culture which amazes many travellers.

The Top Didj Art Gallery holds a portfolio of artists from the region. The gallery reflects the cultural diversity and influences from Jawoyn, Dalabon and Mali Aborigines who have lived in the area for thousands of years.

The gallery also has a range of strong collections from the celebrated regions of Arnhem Land, the Kimberleys and the Central Western Desert, which is home to the Warlpiri people. Katherine is central to these regions.

Alex and Petrena work closely with the Katherine Indigenous community to assist local artists with employment and provide other practical support such as housing.

Ready for an experience you won't forget?