Women’s Tour – Gay’wu (Dillybag) – 5 Day

5 days

Women’s Tour – Gay’wu (Dillybag) – 5 Day
  • About
  • Location
  • Things to keep in mind

The dilly bag is a powerful and important cultural symbol in Arnhem Land, where it was first created thousands of years ago. Woven with dyed pandanus leaves, the dilly bag has both a practical and spiritual meaning.


The practicality comes from it holding foods and medicines gathered from the bush. However, it is the spiritual meaning of the dilly bag, which has given rise to the name of this tour, as it is also used to carry knowledge.


The women of Arnhem Land wish to open their hearts to visitors and share the knowledge that they have acquired over many thousand years. Their knowledge of the bush, the ancestors, the sky and the universe.


This tour is for women and girls only. In the modern western world this could be seen as sexism, but in the Yolŋu world, there are clearly defined roles and activities undertaken exclusively by women and men. These roles have mutual respect, and many activities, such as dancing and eating are undertaken together.


The Yolŋu often say the land is their mother. It nurtures, heals and guides their lives. This is why the female visitor experience and connection to Yolŋu people is often so profound. The Gay’wu women’s tour provides female visitors with the opportunity to come together with their Yolŋu sisterhood and learn about their culture, history and country. Equally, it is an opportunity to reconnect with every aspect of their own lives – environment, spirituality, and philosophy.


You will experience many extraordinary things on this tour, and time spent with the Yolŋu women is often described as “life-changing”. You will learn about and experience Yolŋu philosophy and kinship, weaving, painting, astrology, a healing ceremony, crying ceremony  (Nathi), cooking and bush medicine, dancing, gathering oysters or mud crabs and much more. Specific activities will vary according to the season and availability of materials.


During your tour, you will visit the remarkable art centre in Yirrkala – Buku-Larrnggay here you will see beautiful local works of art painted on bark, Larrakitj (ceremonial poles), woven baskets, jewellery and much more. Buku also has an extraordinary collection of historical material and is regarded as one of the best Aboriginal Art centres in Australia.


Tour Details


This is a remote travel experience with set departure dates. This 5 day – 4-night experience departing Nhulunbuy. For a detailed itinerary, please contact tours@lirrwitourism.com.au.


2018 Departure Dates

  • 23rd to 27th April
  • 22nd to 26th May
  • 27th June to 1st July
  • 6th to 10th August
  • 28th September to 2nd October


If you are interested in this itinerary but are unable to travel on these dates, please contact us to discuss a private tour.

Things to keep in mind