Must-see Aussie places
Ernie Dingo shares his favourite Australian destinations
IT’S one thing to visit Australia’s iconic destinations and another to meet the locals who live and breathe them. Television presenter Ernie Dingo returns to our screens this Sunday night for a second season of NITV’s Going Places. Over 14 episodes, Dingo travels the length and breadth of the country, meeting the traditional owners and interesting characters who call these landscapes home. We asked Dingo to share his favourite Aussie places to visit:
Murchison River, WA 1.
“Most people would think it’s modest to put their homeland at the top of a recommended list of places to visit in Australia, but I’m a proud Yamatji man from Mullewa in the Murchison River region and I think it’s the most beautiful place on earth,” Dingo says. “Especially now that it’s spring, as it’s wildflower season and from the beginning of August to late September a carpet of wildflowers in pink, blue and white spreads across the land. “I’m big for advocating travel beyond the East Coast of Australia, and to see the vibrant wildflowers blooming is an incredible sight and well worth visiting.” Dingo’s extensive travels around Australia wrap on a solemn, heartfelt note as he makes a special journey back to his hometown of Mullewa on the Murchison River in Western Australia for the final time with his late brother Buck. “Each flower reminds me of all those that have passed and walked this land before me,” he says.
Nullarbor Plain, SA 2. to WA
“Stretching across the southern edge of Australian between the goldfields of Western Australia and the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia is the Nullarbor,” the 62year-old says. “I love this drive and have done it multiple times. I enjoy the experience of total isolation, where you can spend days not talking and just enjoying the environment of the big sky. “If you go by train, there is over 300km of dead-straight railway track, and on the highway, if you’re driving, there is 90 miles, or 146km, of straight road with no bends.”
Winton, QLD 3.
There is definitely a theme here, “but I am a desert man after all,” Dingo says. “Winton is black soil country, for which I love for its stunning landscapes, its ancient prehistoric past, its beautiful inhabitants and their endless hospitality.”
Arnhem Land, NT 4.
“To me, Arnhem Land is a place of accepted family,” Dingo explains. “The beautiful, rugged northwest of Arnhem Land is late Kakadu Elder Uncle Bill Neidjie Country, and in the northeast Yolngu songman Djakapurra Munyarryun epitomises respect to every traveller who visits. It’s places like this where Aboriginal languages and ceremony are still very much alive and are still practised, and that makes my soul sing.”
Broome to Kununurra 5. across The Kimberleys, WA
”I find going through the Kimberleys so special,” Dingo says. “I love being amongst the vibrant culture, talking to the elders and being out in the bush surrounded by songs sung by Kimberley musicians. “Many people too, are drawn to the Kimberleys without understanding its complexity, but soon slide into the region’s timeless rugged wonders, surrounded by songs.”
Watch the new season of Going Places with Ernie Dingo from Sunday, September 2 at 7.30pm on NITV or on SBS On Demand.
EXPLORING: Ernie Dingo with Sammy Wilson, a traditional owner of Uluru, for the new series of Going Places with Ernie Dingo airing on September 2 on NITV.