An activist and writer, Burnum Burnum is perhaps best known for planting the Aboriginal flag on the white cliffs of Dover on during the Australian bicentennial – claiming England for the Australian people. This was his way of challenging some of the myths of colonization. Born at Wallaga lake in southern NSW, Burnum Burnum was a proud Woiworrung and Yorta Yorta man. His 1988 classic work, Burnum Burnum’s Aboriginal Australia, although now sadly out of print, is well worth searching out.

Burnum Burnum book cover
Burnum Burnum’s Aboriginal Australia.

Following Highway One, from Sydney north to Cairns, west to Darwin and south to Perth, then heading back to Sydney via the Centre and Tasmania, Burnum Burnum guides us through lands that were once the traditional territory of many nations, clans and groups and opens our eyes to the lifestyles, history, art and lore of the original Australians.


This large and lavishly illustrated ‘coffee-table’ size book, is more suited to home reading, than taking out on the tracks. It is, however, a useful resource to consult before you visit an area. It’ll give you insights on Aboriginal heritage and culture that you may not find in the official histories.

Burnum Burnum also developed a really useful pocket-sized guide to the ecology of the Sydney (and southern NSW) region, Burnum Burnum’s Wild Things. This popular pictorial guide (over 30k sold) is really handy as you travel as it gives a useful overview of a wide variety of plants, birds and animals and its clear colour photos are a great first step to identification. The guide also details how the ‘wild things’ are linked to Aboriginal legend and culture.

Cover of Wild Things
Burnum Burnum’s Wild Things

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