You don’t have to travel far to learn about South Australia's indigenous heritage. Adelaide is the traditional land of the Kaurna people.
Walk on ancient land
South Australia has a rich Aboriginal history, dating back 40,000 years. But you don’t have to travel far to learn more.
Adelaide is the traditional land of the Kaurna (pronounced Garna) people. The city has many museums, galleries and tours that tell the Kaurna story.
Experience Indigenous history at the Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery at the South Australian Museum.
Museums and galleries
The South Australian Museum on North Terrace has the largest and most significant ethnographic collection of Australian Aboriginal material culture in the world. The museum is internationally recognised as a global leader in Australian Aboriginal heritage. The museum's collection tells the story of how Aboriginal people overcame challenges to create a civilisation in one of the world’s harshest continents.
The object-rich gallery showcases the beauty and timeless design of Aboriginal artefacts, including the stunning Yuendumu Doors: one of the earliest examples of Aboriginal artists transferring their ancient ground paintings to a large-scale, modern medium.
Next door at the Art Gallery of South Australia
, you'll see dot paintings from central Australia which date back to the beginning of the painting movement in the early 1970s.
Explore and experience contemporary and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and art at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Australia's oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts centre, Tandanya is a Kaurna word for “place of the Red Kangaroo".
Experience a cultural presentation of the yidaki (didgeridoo) or performance from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers. Hear about their heritage and their stories. Tandanya is a short walk east down Grenfell Street and is close to Rymill Park. If you don’t fancy walking, take the free City Loop 99C bus from Victoria Square to stop 12.
Regional South Australia
There are many opportunities across South Australia
to experience Aboriginal art, culture and learn from Aboriginal people.
The Flinders Ranges and Outback
region is rich in Aboriginal history. The ranges are of immense cultural significance for the Adnyamathanha people who have lived in the Flinders Ranges
for tens of thousands of years. They understand the land through their Yura Muda stories, which endow the physical features of the ranges with spiritual meaning. This is exemplified at the award-winning public art space, Ikara, The Meeting Place.
See Aboriginal rock art in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park and at Arkaroo Rock. The main cave site is at least 5,000 years old.
The Coorong National Park has middens (mounds of shells deposited from many years of fishing) dotted across the landscape from thousands of years of Aboriginal habitation.
Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal site is close to the Murray River
. Join a tour through Ngaut Ngaut archaeological site and visit the ancestral home of the Nganguraku people. You’ll see ancient campsites and rock art. Scarred red river gums reveal the ancient practice of canoe making, which still continues along the Murray River.
Many parts of the Eyre Peninsula
and Yorke Peninsula
are culturally significant. Aboriginal Cultural Tour guides take visitors on a journey following in the footsteps of their ancestors. See and touch the past and listen to Dreaming stories that bring the landscape to life.
On Eyre Peninsula
, the Ceduna Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Centre has a wide range of Aboriginal art, including original paintings, quality didgeridoos and boomerangs.
On the Fleurieu Peninsula
at Victor Harbor, the Kiri Kiri Aboriginal Art Gallery sources art directly from remote central Australian art centres and sells hand-crafted pieces of glassware, wooden artefacts, ceramics, soft furnishings, weaving and jewellery.
Tjatu Gallery in the far north of the state sells art created by traditional owners of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. The gallery specialises in striking works on canvas.