YHA Australia spotlights Indigenous-owned tours for guests in NAIDOC week

YHA Australia spotlights Indigenous-owned tours for guests in NAIDOC week
Edited by Travel Weekly


    For this year’s NAIDOC week celebrations, YHA Australia continues to spotlight Indigenous cultural learning with a growing offering of free in-house experiences for guests.

    YHA Adelaide Central Cultural Walk.

    YHA Adelaide Central Cultural Walk.

    The organisation has committed to ensuring each property across its Australian network includes a First Nations experience to allow authentic engagement for international and domestic travellers. This commitment also aligns with their commitment to its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

    “YHA Australia is dedicated to fostering understanding and reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations peoples,” CEO of YHA Australia, Paul McGrath, said.

    “We believe strongly in the power of shared experiences to bridge cultural divides, not only for those travelling domestically but also those visiting from abroad. Last year we were proud to host 33 cultural activities across our network with almost 900 guests attending in 2023.

    “By inviting all guests to take the opportunity to engage with Indigenous-owned local operators, these in-house experiences form part of a network-wide initiative that has begun with an initial roll out at select YHA properties. By offering these in-house experiences free of charge we hope to remove any financial roadblocks that might prevent travellers from booking an experience, and truly incentivise our guests to learn from, and experience, First Nations-led initiatives.”

    YHA Adelaide Central Cultural Walk.

    YHA Adelaide Central Cultural Walk.

    The first properties to include supported Indigenous cultural learning opportunities are:

    • YHA Adelaide Central: Kumarninthi Cultural Education provides immersive Botanic Garden Native Plant Trail walking tours of the botanical gardens that are open to guests to book free of charge once every month.
    • YHA Cairns Central: A handful of First Nations experiences are offered to YHA Cairns Central guests including monthly in-house cultural nights and art class hosted by aboriginal tour guide, artist and dancer Louis Enoch.
    • YHA Brisbane City: This NAIDOC week guests will be treated to two indigenous experiences. A boomerang painting class and cultural talk with Glen “Walangiiny” Lindh and guests will also be invited to join Aunty Catherine Fisher and Ben Barker for a traditional smoking ceremony, digeridoo experience and cultural talk on-property. This experience is hosted alongside an in-house monthly Indigenous cultural experience.
    • YHA Pittwater Eco – Sydney also hosts an immersive cultural Connect to Country retreat in partnership with Bush to Bowl. The two-night retreat is an opportunity to connect with land, waters and wildlife on Garigal Country within the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
    Darren Charlwood at YHA Katoomba.Darren Charlwood at YHA Katoomba.

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