Crossing Country - Yolŋu Dhukarr
North East Arnhem Land is located in the far north-eastern corner of the Northern Territory, around 500 kilometres from Darwin. Nhulunbuy is the main township in North East Arnhem Land.
What to expect
This is a 5 day, 4 night all inclusive experience departing Nhulunbuy.
A Lirrwi itinerary is flexible and your daily activities will depend on cultural and natural factors.
On arrival at a Yolŋu Homeland you can expect to receive a symbolic welcome to country, or smoking ceremony at the beginning of your stay. You’ll learn about Yolŋu kinship, traditional law and language and participate in a range of activities from weaving to traditional spear fishing, gathering bush foods and medicine, dance (Bunggul), and even learn how the Yidaki (didgeridoo) is made and played. The days are flexible, a whole afternoon might be dedicated to preparing and eating a freshly caught fish, or mud crabs gathered from the bay.
The Crossing Country Tour has all the makings of a genuine adventure in culture, visiting one of a selection of remote Yolŋu homelands. The tour is suitable for all ages, and we welcome families with children to share in this life changing experience. Not only will you participate in a variety of cultural programs and activities, but you will cross a diversity of incredible landscapes during the tour.
Become part of a small Yolŋu community and be made to feel like part of the family, take part in daily activities and make lasting friendships. Learn about Yolŋu kinship, traditional lore and language, both spoken and sign. Throughout your visit you will participate in any number of activities from weaving to traditional spear fishing, gathering of bush foods and medicine, to dance (Bunggul), storytelling or learning how the Yidaki (Didgeridoo) is made and played.
The tour provides an opportunity for Yolŋu on remote homelands to share their culture with visitors and provides an economic base for them to be able to remain on country and maintain their culture. Tourism of this kind, which is developed by Yolŋu for Yolŋu allows for multiple generations of family members to participate, and share their culture with non-Aboriginal people.
Lirrwi Tourism works in consultation with many homelands to ensure that all have the opportunity to participate, learn and earn from tourism. A detailed itinerary will be provided well before the departure date. Most importantly, this means that tourism does not dominate the cultural life of homelands because it allows them flexibility for cultural commitments.
What is included
Scheduled departures run from April – October. Check the calendar for departure dates. This is a 5 day, 4 night experience for a maximum of 14 guests.
The tour is suitable for all ages, and we welcome families with children to share in this life changing experience. There will often be Yolngu children at the homelands during tours, who love interacting with visitors of all ages.
All transport in the East Arnhem Region including airport transfers and ground touring
All meals whilst on tour unless otherwise indicated in the itinerary
Cultural awareness experiences with Yolngu family group including: Yolngu culture and knipship, basic Yolngu Matha language, avoidance relationships, Yolngu sign language, what Yolngu people use for medicine, weaving, painting and other activities for the women, fishing, hunting, didgeridoo making and other activities for the men
Basic lodge style or tent style accommodation with beds and fresh linen provided
One nights motel accommodation in Nhulunbuy at end of the program
Yolŋu driver-guides and highly capable 4X4 tour vehicles
Tour of world class Aboriginal Art Centre Buku Larrnggay Mulka in Yirrkala
There are a number of Yolngu homelands which welcome our groups so we do not guarantee a specific homeland for our tours. Itineraries may also change depending on weather conditions and cultural matters.
Planning your trip
You are responsible for:
Airfares from your home port to Nhulunbuy
Transit accommodation where necessary in either Darwin or Nhulunbuy depending on which air route taken.
Travel insurance (which we recommend).
Pack Light - large bags and suitcases pose a problem to ground transport logistics when travelling to the Homelands. Please ensure your bag weighs no more than 10kg.
Homelands rely on solar power for the most part, and from time to time may experience power outages. Should you have medical equipment that requires power, such as sleep apnoea breathing apparatus, you should ensure that you have battery backups with you.
Your accomodation provider in Nhulunbuy or Gove Airport - Please confirm your pick up address directly with Lirrwi Tourism.
What to bring
As Yolngu women dress conservatively, we ask that you do the same. Long skirts, long shorts or pants are suitable as are t-shirts. Please do not wear bikinis or mini-skirts. As you will spend most of your time outdoors, you should wear cool, comfortable clothing that will protect you from the sun and insects. Breathable natural fibres and/or synthetic wicking materials are highly recommended. Avoid synthetics that do not breathe well.
YOUR EXPERIENCE PROVIDER
Lirrwi Tourism is an Aboriginal owned and accredited tourism business in North East Arnhem Land, Australia, operating day tours, and multi-day tours, spending time with the Yolŋu people, living and working on their traditional homelands.
Lirrwi Tourism was established to develop, support and promote Yolŋu tourism in Arnhem Land. Lirrwi’s main objective is to create a new economy for Yolŋu people in Arnhem Land, through tourism.
We specialise in bringing people together to share Yolngu culture, connecting Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and building understanding between the two cultures.