Around the World: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Sydney, Australia

Only 16 miles north of Sydney, Australia lies one of the oldest national parks in the country: Ku-ring-gai.  Within the national park is a stretch of Aboriginal sites, including rock paintings, rock carvings, and burial sites. These cultural treasures can be viewed on the park’s “Aboriginal Heritage Walk,” a designated trail that highlights some of the best sites. Part of this trek includes the Red Hands Cave where you will see painted stencils of hands made over 1,000 years ago.


Before Sydney Was Sydney

Long before Stonehenge or the pyramids of Giza were constructed, the Aboriginal inhabitants were roaming Australia in nomadic bands. Aboriginal culture remained unbroken for more than 50,000 years. As such, it is the longest unbroken culture on the planet. The original inhabitants of the area where the park now stands were the Garigal people, also known as the Carigal people. However, the name of the park comes from the Guringai people who were also inhabitants of the region. They relied heavily on the bays and harbors for the majority of their food. All told, there are over 800 Aboriginal sites in Ku-ring-gai. This is part of the reason Ku-ring-gai was placed on the list of Australian National Heritage sites.


Ancient Astronomers of Australia

Some of the artwork has led anthropologists to believe the ancient Aboriginal people had a firm grasp of astronomy. Several paintings correlate to cosmological bodies in the Milky Way. One such body in particular is quite apparent in the rock engravings. The Coalsack Dark Nebula is referred to as the “Emu in the Sky” by the Wardaman people. An engraving of an emu lines up perfectly with the position of this nebula when real life emus lay their eggs. (See picture above.) This suggests Aboriginals may have used the engraving as a primitive calendar.


Experience Sydney’s Backyard

Aside from being a treasure trove of Aboriginal culture, Ku-ring-gai is a great way to experience the natural beauty near Sydney. Picnic areas are great for taking a break from a walk and enjoying a meal with the family. Numerous boardwalks allow you to choose how extensive your hike will be. If you’re looking for something more aquatic, there are several areas perfectly situated for boating and fishing. Ku-ring-gai is also brimming with wildlife including wallabies, bush turkeys, native ducks, and goannas.

For more information, visit Ku-ring-gai’s website here:


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Around the World: Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

Surabaya, Indonesia

The journey from Surabaya is just under three hours by car. However, it is well worth the drive. There are few places on Earth where you will find a landscape as diverse as this national park. Within the park borders are mountains, volcanoes, waterfalls, and jungles. Mount Bromo, one of the most famous areas of the park, is an active volcano. Though it erupted as recently as 2015, locals brave the inside of the volcano to collect sulfur to sell.

Unbelievable Greenery

There are three distinct climate zones within the park including rainforest and mountainous region.

One of the highlights of visiting this green paradise is the Madakaripura Waterfall. The mists cascade between the greenest jungles. It’s hard to believe what you’re looking at is not photoshopped. Not only does this spot serve as a great photo op, but you will have the chance to cool off after a long hike.

There are over 1,000 species of plants within the park, including endangered and rare varieties. 158 different types of orchids alone are found within the park borders.

Keepers of the Forest

In and around the park live ancient inhabitants known as the Tengger people. The Tengger are one of the few significant Hindu populations in Indonesia. They are believed to be descended from the Majapahit empire. For important festivals, the Tengger make offerings to the gods by throwing goods into the mouth of the volcano.

This national park is a great way to take in the biodiversity and splendor of Indonesia. There are a variety of ways to see the park from hiking, biking, or a simple stroll. Don’t miss this incredible place on your next trip to Indonesia!

 For more information, visit the park website:

 Looking for something off the beaten path? Not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

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