The Aboriginal community of Australia is like any other community, they are farmers, artists, teachers, doctors, athletes and so much more. They have faith, their own languages and traditions.
Too sadly, parts of their culture have been slowly lost into the midst of history. But there are many aspects that can still be reclaimed, so with special permission and the utmost respect for the people, 1770 LARC! Tours launched Goolimbil Walkabout in 2015.
Being based at the Town of 1770, a location entrenched in colonial history as it is known as the ‘birthplace of Queensland’ due to Lt Cook’s landing here on 24 May, 1770, it seems fitting and significant to provide moments and methods to recognise the Indigenous people of this wonderful land we call home.
The traditional Walkabout is a rite of passage for young Australian Aboriginal males, mainly between the ages of 10 – 16 years. When the elders of a tribe believe a boy to be mentally and physically equipped, he is sent on his own into the wilderness to ‘become an adult’. The journey could last for 6 months, even years. During this time the boy must survive alone, he must hunt, catch fish, identify edible from inedible plants and also those used for healing. He must be able to build and seek shelter and protect himself from the elements and wildlife.
Not only is the Walkabout a physical test, it is just as importantly a spiritual search. Being alone for such a period, one has a chance to reflect on himself, understand bravery, connect with the surrounds and interpret in his own way, the spiritual beliefs of his people. This can be especially hard for one so young and the elders do not take it lightly. The elders prepare the boys by passing on their advice, teaching the ways of their tribe, and even tutoring by song. Several indigenous songs are known to be verbal maps of the surrounds and when recited can aid one who needs direction.
The journey is the ultimate measure of strength and upon return the boy is celebrated as a man. This is viewed by some as a medieval method, but maybe we could all learn something from this cultural practice. In a world where technology rules and the closest some get to survival skills is eating weetbix for dinner and pulling out Google maps when lost, getting an insight to the raw natural world is both eye opening and refreshing.
On the 1770 LARC! Tours cultural tour, Goolimbil Walkabout, we are privileged to offer a platform for an indigenous guide to provide insights like what may be learnt before a young boy embarks, like which plant species can be harmful or those which have healing properties and the chance to try your hand at spear throwing and to taste-test bush tucker.
Since 1994, Neil Mergard and his passionate 1770 LARC! Tours team have delivered very high standard tours, from one hour to seven hours, emphasizing education and environment every single time. The local LARC! guides will captivate you with stories from when the “Dreaming” began, tales from ancestors and from Light-keepers. They will spot wildlife and marine life with their keen, well-trained eyes and ears. There truly is something for everyone in the family to take away from the four LARC! tour options. Especially Goolimbil Walkabout, which is steeped in tradition and genuine experience.
Watch the one minute Goolimbil Walkabout video here
and see more here 1770larctours.com.au