Darwin Accommodation

Aboriginal People

The Northern Territory has a strong population of indigenous people, descended from the various tribal groups (including Larrakia, Kunwinjku, Arrernte, Gun-djeihmi and Jawoyn) who lived in this land for millennia before colonisation. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 29% of the Territory's population, compared to 2.4% of the national population. Traditional land owners, with their rights enshrined in the Land Rights Act, own around half the Northern Territory.

It is important for visitors to respect land ownership. If you want to travel through Aboriginal land, you must first apply and be granted a written permit. You can do this through the Northern Lands Council's www.nlc.org.au website. The purpose of the permits is to allow Aboriginal landowners to protect the environmental and spiritual health of their land.

Aboriginal land ownership has been extended to Uluru/Ayers Rock. The Rock was handed back to its traditional owners, the Pinjantjatjara, in 1985. Although the Aboriginal owners request visitors not to climb the rock, both for their own safety and to avoid disturbing the spirits who dwell there, access to the rock was one of the conditions of the transfer. Uluru is one of the success stories of joint management by government and traditional owners of precious historical sites that have become tourist attractions.

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