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Indigenous culture stars in 2024/25 AAT Kings touring program

The escorted touring brand has a new flagship itinerary which puts First Nations experiences front and centre for travellers.

Indigenous culture is front and centre in AAT Kings' 2024/25 program.

A 13-day tour heavily immersing travellers in Indigenous Australian culture and tourism experiences that benefit local communities has been unveiled as the headline act in a comprehensive 2024/25 touring program from AAT Kings.

Sixteen individual experiences immersing travellers in elements of Indigenous culture feature in the new itinerary, which has been developed both to support growing demand for First Nations tourism and to nurture emerging Indigenous tourism businesses.

These include a Dot Art Painting experience during a BBQ Dinner at Uluru; a Dreamtime Walking Tour of The Rocks, coupled with a Sydney Harbour Cruise; a Great Barrier Reef trip with Dreamtime Snorkelling; and lunch in Melbourne’s Federation Square by Torres Strait chef, Nornie Bero.

Guests can take a Dreamtime Snorkel experience on the Great Barrier Reef.

The itinerary also offers opportunities for travellers to upgrade their experience with optional add-ons such as the Sydney BridgeClimb, a Philip Island Penguin watch and a ride on the Kuranda Railway in Cairns.

Eight departures of the 13-day tour, which runs from Melbourne to Cairns via Uluru and Sydney, have been scheduled between 1 April 2024 and 31 March 2025, priced from $6,829 per person twin share.

Included are three internal flights from Melbourne to Uluru (Day 4), Uluru to Sydney (Day 6) and Sydney to Cairns (Day 10), centrally located premium hotels, 12 breakfasts, two lunches and four dinners including a farewell banquet.

The tour comes in response to Tourism Australia research released in late 2022 showing understanding of First Nations tourism and the range of products, services and experiences available is low among the travel community.

Indigenous smoking ceremonies are among the highlights of the tour.

The study found demand for Indigenous experiences on tour grows sharply when awareness is higher, as audiences wish to engage with local communities and understand their unique insights.

“Our customers’ desire is to have more cultural experiences in our itineraries, and AAT Kings is committed to helping drive Indigenous tourism and play a leading role in increasing understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture – a major step towards reconciliation and support of First Nations people in Australia,” said AAT Kings CEO, Ben Hall.

“This new tour is just a glimpse into how AAT Kings is committed to growing our range of Indigenous experiences across our suite of travel products, to advocate and highlight the range and depth of Indigenous tourism experiences, across Australia.”

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Philippa Harrison, said there are specific areas of opportunity for new and emerging Indigenous tourism experiences.

“Offerings like the new AAT Kings tour will enable travellers to experience first-hand the stories and cultures of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have been the custodians of country, land, sea and waters here for more than 60,000 years,” Harrison said.

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 22 September 2023

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