• Flames of the Forest holds banquets near Port Douglas that showcase local native food like fresh Tiger prawns. (Flames of the Forest)Source: Flames of the Forest
Whether it's a starlit dinner or hike, here are some ways you can celebrate our First Nations food culture.
By
Dilvin Yasa

25 Jan 2021 - 12:38 PM  UPDATED 26 Jan 2021 - 9:49 PM

Say what you like about pizza or pasta, but few cuisines carry as much weight as Indigenous Australia's. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cuisines, which are over 60,000 years old, are rich with everything from culture to flavour to superfood status.

If you're keen to better understand bush tucker, you're in luck; no matter where you go or what type of experience you're after, a tour or meal you'll be talking about for years is only a click of a button on an online booking form away.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

YOU HEARD IT RIGHT
This native pepper berry has four times the antioxidants of blueberries
And that's not all – mountain pepper, also known as Tasmanian native pepper – might stop your food from spoiling, too.

Flames of the Forest, Port Douglas, Qld 

Go to the World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics rainforest about 10 minutes from Port Douglas or 50 minutes from Cairns on Queensland's north coast. Here, you can relish in a seven-course banquet that is the Flames of the Forest's Aboriginal Cultural Experience.

Held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the meal — served under a silk canopy illuminated by strings of fairy lights — is accompanied by cultural performances by your Kuku Yalanji hosts.

Diners can expect a plethora of Indigenous Australian flavours on their plates, such as lemon myrtle-infused kangaroo loin and fresh local Tiger prawns with chilli and lime dressed salad. Flames of the Forest currently focuses on exclusive group bookings due to the pandemic.

Flames of the Forest's Aboriginal Cultural Experience takes place on Kuku Yalanji country and features a cultural performance.

Dale Tilbrook Experiences, Henley Brook, WA

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of bush tucker as food and medicine with Dale Tilbrook's Bush Tucker Talk and Tasting.

Run by Tilbrook, a Wardandi Bibbulmun woman famous for her sausage rolls and pies that burst with flavour, the two-hour tours combine a fanciful mix of Indigenous Australian food experiences and superb storytelling.

Not so keen on walking? You can book for lunch instead.

Mirritya Mundya Indigenous Twist Food Journey, Berry, NSW

Those around Callala Bay on the south coast of NSW are familiar with husband-and-wife-team Dwayne and Amelia Bannon-Harrison and their Indigenous food truck and catering service.

Head to Berry, however (to Silos Estate to be exact), and you can enjoy one of their upcoming pop-up restaurant journeys. These are three-hour, five-course celebrations of local produce with an Indigenous twist.

The Mirritya Mundya menu includes grazing boards, which include cheeses infused with pepperberry and bush spices, and dishes such as smoked whole baby snapper in paperbark with lemon myrtle. You'll also see a smoking ceremony, cultural interpretation and Yidaki performance.

GET IN QUICK
These Indigenous food trucks are serving up the best bush food flavours
Discover bush food tacos and lemon myrtle ginger beer.

Mbantua dinner tour, Alice Springs, NT

What say you to a three-course barbecue dinner cooked under a canopy of stars? Book in for RT Tours Australia's Mbantua Starlight and Bush Dinner Tour and you've got a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience.

Owned and operated by local Arrernte man and trained gourmet chef, Bob Taylor, the journey begins with a late-afternoon bush tucker tour of the western MacDonnell Ranges before setting up to dine in nature under the Milky Way.

The menu changes regularly, but you can expect anything from wattleseed pudding to oven-baked emu.

TASTY AND NUTRITIOUS
High-protein wattleseed is nuttily delicious and good for you too
Wattleseed is a low-GI, high-protein bush food star that adds flavour to everything from a 'wattlecino' to damper.

Ngarrindjeri Kurangk Culture Experience Tour, Coorong-Kurangk National Park, SA

Take a cruise along the Coorong lagoon, south of Adelaide, and discover the foods on the Fleurieu Peninsula under the guidance of a Ngarrindjeri guide who will showcase a range of berries, foods and medicinal plants of the region for you to try.

A tour for the more active among us, the Ngarrindjeri Kurangk Culture Experience, includes a smoke ceremony and a three-kilometre guided walk that covers everything from sand dunes to water views.

Mabu Mabu, Yarraville, Vic

Book a table at this Torres Strait-owned-and-run cafe or 'tuck shop'; and give yourself over to the flavours of chocolate and wattleseed waffles or grilled emu fillet with saltbush chimichurri and hibiscus pear salad.

Mabu Mabu is open Thursday to Sunday from 8am to 3pm. You'll have to get in quick, though, to get your hands on a wattleseed latte or Kakadu plum and wurrganyga gurbuchi kombucha.

KAKADU PLUM - AKA 'GUBINGE'
Kakadu plum: The story of this Indigenous Australian superfood
The extraordinary properties of Australia's Kakadu plum make it attractive for food, beverage and even cosmetic products - but we need to involve more Indigenous peoples in the supply chain.

Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park, Calga, NSW

Plan a day trip to Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park at Calga on NSW's Central Coast and you'll do everything from spotting wildlife and learning about the environment from rangers to camping and attending Indigenous dance and culture workshops.

Those far more interested in getting to know the many benefits of bush tucker, however, can sign up to take on the harvest trail. A ranger will take you past ancient Aboriginal sites and teach you everything you've ever wanted to know about our Indigenous foods and the application of bush medicine.

Consider the spectacular scenery around you to be the cherry on top.

NITV presents a selection of dedicated programming, special events and news highlights with a focus on encouraging greater understanding of Indigenous Australian perspectives on 26 January. Join the conversation #AlwaysWasAlwaysWillBe.

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