Ernie Dingo returns with the third season of his wanderlust series, Going Places with Ernie Dingo. The travel show continues with fifteen new locations to explore and reveals the history and background behind Australia’s best-hidden treasures. By introducing the audience to local communities, Dingo proves that the land is truly shaped by its connection to those who live there.
Here are a few things you’ll discover on his latest adventure:
1. Mount Kosciuszko is a spiritually charged winter wonderland
At the peak of Charlotte’s Pass, a ski resort in NSW’s Kosciuszko National Park, there is a transcendent energy in the air. It’s a spirit Dingo recognises straight away, noting how welcoming and encompassing it feels. The snowboarding and skiing haven is one of the oldest in the country, and in winter, can only be accessed via vehicle. One of the staff snow-packers, Didj, revealed some of the more secluded areas he stumbles upon while clearing paths in the slopes. He confided to our host that he feels a strong presence “when you’re in your own time [and] your own space. When you’re in your own moment – it’s like it whispers”.
2. Yirrkala is leading the way in natural environment protection
Yirrkala is a small, yet progressive community in North East Arnhem Land. They’re taking charge in flora and fauna conservation and have participated in national emissions reduction projects since 2016. Abatement rangers patrol arid grass and trees during the dry season, armed with drip torches. By backburning early, they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions that rise during late season wildfires. Women are at the forefront of the mission and embrace a bicultural approach of local Yongu knowledge alongside Western science. They’ve also nailed new methods for removing the large number of ‘ghost nets’, or discarded fishing nets, that wash up on the coastline.
3. Jindabyne has both manmade and organic masterpieces
Dingo discovers the best of both worlds during his stay at Jindabyne. The first thing he sees is Curiosity Rocks, a Ngarigo ceremonial site of delicately stacked stones in the middle of Lake Jindabyne. It is one of three Aboriginal protected places in New South Wales’ Monaro Region.
The town itself means ‘valley’ and water defines its entire existence — the original site sits submerged at the bottom of the lake when residents moved to higher ground. Further inland lives Steve Croquette, a sculptor renowned for transforming scrap metal and landfill trash into breathtaking art. Croquette gave Dingo an exclusive tour of his workshop and showed off past pieces, including restructured fly fishing casts, horse heads, cowboys, flowers and warriors.
4. Broome houses one of the last surviving open-air cinemas
Sun Pictures is an iconic location in Dingo’s home state of Western Australia. It was first opened in 1916 and screened its first talkie, Monte Carlo, seventeen years later. The world’s oldest operating picture garden has barely changed over the decades; the interior is lined with portraits of Old Hollywood stars and antique cinema cameras. While it keeps up with the modern world, the hotspot is afflicted by a racist history. Back in the 1930s, Indigenous and Asian moviegoers weren’t allowed to enter through the front door and had to watch from segregated seating. Anecdotes from a local historian recall Aboriginal audiences cheering on the Native Americans instead of the cowboys during Western flicks.
5. Horizontal Falls is a natural phenomenon shaking up the rules of physics
225km away from Broome is the Buccaneer Archipelago in the Kimberley Region. Horizontal Falls is found deep within the island trail and is known for a waterfall effect caused by the powerful tidal movement of trapped water through gaps in twin rock formations. The absurdly deep whirlpools are strong enough to draw a dinghy underwater and spit it back out capsized. Away from the action are the luscious green islands throughout Dambimangari country. Customary burial rituals saw Indigenous groups bury their bones above ground, in carefully placed arrangements. Visitors and tourists are advised to leave them be if they stumble across these sites.
Watch Going Places with Ernie Dingo on Sundays, 7.30pm from 16 June on NITV (Ch. 34). Catch up is available on SBS On Demand.
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Watch Episode One on SBS On Demand: