February 9 - 15, 2020: Issue 437
Guringai Aboriginal Tours
We welcome you to Guringai Country. We pay our respects to our ancestors. We pay our respects to elders past and present.
Guringai Aboriginal Tours is an Aboriginal owned and operated tour company offering 3.5 hour cultural tours in Ku-ring- gai Chase National Park.
Guringai Aboriginal Tours was established in 2009 by Laurie Bimson a descendant of Bungaree, leader of the Guringai tribe at the time of European arrival. Laurie established the tours as a meaningful way to provide cultural education and to keep the Guringai traditions alive. Laurie is extremely passionate about sharing culture with students and visitors alike, to broaden people’s understanding of Aboriginal culture and the Guringai peoples.
Laurie is a traditional owner of Guringai Country. Laurie sits on the advisory committee for National Parks and Wildlife Service Metro North East, various other advisory committees and is also a director of the Guringai Tribal Link Aboriginal Corporation.
My name is Laurie Bimson. I’m a proud Aboriginal man from what is known as Guringai country.
Guringai Country is from Lake Macquarie in the north to the south Lane Cove River, the Ocean on the East and in the West the old northern road just short of Wisemans ferry. There are many clans in Guringai country, Garigal being one of them, which is our clan.
My people are salt water people and have been the custodians of Guringai country for about 40,000 years. Guringai country covers a large area to the north of Sydney Harbour up to Lake Macquarie and from the Pacific Ocean out to Wisemans Ferry. We look after this land and in turn the land looks after us.
When I was young my dad taught me to survive. He showed me how to make spears and boomerangs and humpy’s. He also showed me how to catch yabbies, eels and fish and what plants to eat. We were the only kids in the street with a humpy outside our back fence. We used to go down to the local aboriginal carvings all the time. We were Aboriginal and I was very proud. I was always envious of my Aboriginal friends dark skin – I wished mine was darker.
I was always in the bush (it drove my mum crazy!). She always asked “What did you survive on? You have been gone all weekend!” I had the best cave that I used to stay in. My friends and I used to go to a place called Bungaroo and camp and fish - it's at the top of the Roseville river and was named after the leader of our mob Bungaree. How cool is that!
The seasons are very important to us. Many things tell us when it is time to go to different areas for food, for ceremony, for celebration and for trade. I have always been into bush walking and spent a lot of time around the Terry Hills area and West Head. I stayed in a great cave at West Head for a while.
I have always had such a connection to my country. I can tell when I’m out of country the same way some of my Aboriginal friends need to return to their country.
I now run tours in my country, Guringai Aboriginal Tours. I’m also on the NPWS Advisory Committee, the Hornsby Council advisory committee, and the Aboriginal Support Group Manly Warringah Pittwater. I also get asked to do Welcome to Country in my area and do talks at local bush care groups and tell them about the ways of my people. I talk about how we managed the bush, we call it natural farming. Look after the bush and it will feed you... the same goes for the rivers and ocean.
I love teaching children about our ways and of how my ancestors taught their kids and the general history of my people and early white settlement /invasion of our country. That bit hurts a bit but needs to be told.
My people are salt water people and have been the custodians of Guringai country for about 40,000 years. - Laurie Bimson
THIS IS MY STORY SO FAR.
You can immerse yourself in an exclusive Aboriginal cultural journey as you walk the land with Traditional Custodians and caretakers in the World Heritage listed Ku-ring- gai Chase National Park.
Guringai Aboriginal Tours takes guests on a journey of discovery where they learn how our Aboriginal ancestors used the site as a classroom, cared for the land and how it cared for them. The tour visits a cave with stencil art and a sandstone engravings site where the guides show how the art is done, how the carvings are made and how to read the site.
About the Tour
Welcome to Country
New tour dates: February 16th and March 8th, 2020 - Book Here
The tour starts at 10am, with a Welcome to Country ceremony, welcoming you to the land.
We then take the Basin Track Tour. This rock engraving site was used as a classroom for my people. We will show you how we do rock art and how my people managed the bush and looked after it. We’ll show you how the bush looked after us.
Rock art and engraving
While visiting Aboriginal sites you will learn how our traditional styles of art were created over the generations and hear stories our ancestors possibly told their children a long time ago, in fact, one site we visit is an education site.
My people didn’t have to go far for anything, it was all provided for us in a very close vicinity.
We guarantee you will never look at our rock sites the same way again.
Connect with a traditional owner
We enjoy a lunch break at the Resolute picnic area. There will be plenty of time here to talk with Laurie and ask questions. There are public toilets, BBQs and picnic tables available. You can opt to bring your own packed lunch. We also offer an optional BBQ lunch which includes freshly barbecued Kangaroo and Emu, and fish with salad and freshly made Damper (Johnny cakes) with honey or golden syrup and tea and coffee. - Additional $30pp
After lunch we take a short walk to the Red Hand Cave where we show you Stencil art and explain how and why we do this.
The tour concludes at about 1.30pm.
The West Head lookout is a short drive away and an excellent end to the day.
Tours are available 7 days a week. Individual and group bookings – Group bookings are welcomed with special rates for bookings over 20 people.
Group sizes: minimum 10 and maximum 30 people. Larger groups can be catered for on request with additional guides.
Booking deadline is 48 hrs before a tour.
Private individual and group tours available by request.
We accept Mastercard, Visa.
Please contact us to discuss Tour Options or if you have any special needs or queries.
Family (2 Adults and 2 Children) $120.00
Group discounts available for over 10 people
Includes National Park entry fee
Additional lunch option – BBQ lunch $30.00pp
“We have a lot of Aboriginal people come on our tours and we are very proud to be helping them reconnect to Country.” - Laurie Bimson
Guringai Aboriginal Tours Services
Welcome to Country
Laurie is a Guringai man and can conduct Welcome to Country at a range of events.
Smoking ceremonies can be held at schools, hospitals, churches, houses and other locations.
School Tours and Excursions
We offer schools a range of cultural education programs for kindergarten, primary and high school students. Take your class on an exclusive Aboriginal cultural journey as you walk the land with Traditional Custodians and caretakers. Guringai Aboriginal Tour takes primary and secondary students on a journey of discovery in World Heritage listed Ku-ring- gai Chase National Park where they learn how our Aboriginal ancestors used the site as a classroom, cared for the land and how it cared for them. The tour visits a cave with stencil art and a sandstone engravings site where the guides show how the art is done, how the carvings are made and how we read the site.
Production of traditional tools and artwork
Laurie hand makes coolamons, stone carvings, clap sticks, spears and bundis. See below for more details.
Traditional tools and artefacts
Laurie hand makes coolamons – made from local native tree wood or bark, these can be used to carry food and water, as a bowl or to have in your home.
Coolamon for Smoking Ceremony
Laurie hand makes stone carvings using traditional methods and local sandstone. Many designs are available or Laurie can create a custom design.
Laurie’s carvings have been featured at Barangaroo and a range of schools and kindergartens throughout Northern Sydney.
We can supply only or we can make the carving in your school /kindergarten over two days.
Hand made from mulga wood. Traditionally used for music, ceremony and as a digging tool/
Cost: From $60
We look forward to welcoming you to Guringai Country!
“Bikalabarley Murraring Walla Giballee Yaddung Guringai Wanangini Wahroong Yennieubu”
Let us walk together in Guringai Country as one
Laurie Bimson is a Guringai man, from the Garigal clan.