Aboriginal culture and heritage
Australian Aboriginal culture is the longest continuing culture in the world. Aboriginal peoples have lived on this continent for thousands of generations and the lands and waters have sustained their many unique cultures and economies.
For Aboriginal people, the lands, waters and all living things are connected and the landscape is a living body.
There are many places across the state that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations. They are all part of the Creation or Dreaming, of Country; and they are part of the Aboriginal peoples of South Australia.
Aboriginal first nations implore visitors to respect their traditional lands and waters. A number of Aboriginal cultural sites are promoted on this website but please respect that there are some sites that are not open to visitors.
Aboriginal cultural protocols have defined access to Country for thousands of generations. We are working with co-management boards and Aboriginal partners to recognise these protocols in the management of parks. In the absence of site-specific protocols, we encourage visitors to show respect by not touching or removing anything from the site. Respect the wishes of Traditional Owners when access is restricted, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.
Where can I visit an Aboriginal cultural site?
Find national parks that have Aboriginal cultural sites to visit by using our Find a Park tool. Refine your search to ‘Aboriginal cultural sites’ then choose the park or parks you want to explore. Find out more about the Aboriginal cultural sites on park and other useful information by clicking through to the park page.
For more inspiration of places to visit, check out southaustralia.com’s blog Top 10 Aboriginal Landmarks and Experiences in South Australia.
Whose Country am I visiting?
South Australia is home to over 30 Aboriginal groups, with distinct beliefs, cultural practices and languages. Read the Traditional Owners section on the individual park pages to learn whose Country you will be visiting.
Use this Map of Indigenous Australia to get a bigger picture. This map is an attempt to represent all the language, tribal or nation groups of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.
Aboriginal co-management of parks
Some parks are co-managed by Aboriginal groups and the state government. Co-management of national parks combines Aboriginal knowledge with western park management. Find out more about co-management and the parks, groups and Boards involved.
Protecting Aboriginal cultural sites
Sites of significance according to Aboriginal tradition and sites significant to Aboriginal archaeology, anthropology and history are protected in South Australia by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988. If you are interested in viewing the legislation, you can read the Act here.
Acknowledgment of Country
The Department of Environment and Water acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout South Australia and recognises their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders both past and present.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.