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Arnhem Land Australia

Aboriginal Homeland


Arnhem Land Aboriginal Homeland

What secrets lie hidden in the Aboriginal homeland?

© Australian Tourist Commission

Arnhem Land in Australia is the Aboriginal homeland where the Dreamtime lives in song and dance, where legend, myth and history interweave with today’s realities, where innumerable sacred sites are forever hidden from prying eyes, and where the white man (or any other non-Aboriginal person) is not allowed to enter.

This is no doubt a romanticised view of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory in the Top End of Australia but it may be closer to reality than we think.

Yes, you can visit the peripheries of Arnhem Land, and glimpse a vision of what may lie within, but if you are non-Aboriginal, this is where it ends, and the mysteries of Arnhem Land remain.

Forests, rivers, gorges

Surprisingly, this Aboriginal homeland still carries its European name (after a Dutch ship which made the first European sighting of this region in 1623). But among the people who live there are many Aboriginal place names which invoke their Aboriginality and their past.

Occupying about 97,000 square kilometres of forests and spectacular rivers and gorges east of the Northern Territory capital of Darwin, Arnhem Land is an Aboriginal homeland and sacred to its people.

Those who visit Kakadu and venture east to Ubirr have only to look farther east beyond the East Alligator River to where Arnhem Land begins and no non-Aboriginal person is allowed except with express permission.

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