Gail Liston has hit the road and distilled her extensive travel knowledge to bring us the 20 Top Tours from all around Australia.

There’s nothing more personal than standing in an Aboriginal birthing cave with Willie Gordon and hearing the story of how his grandfather entered the world on this very spot. An elder of the Nugal-warra people, whose country lies between Cooktown and Hope Vale 340km north of Cairns, Willie has a commanding presence, something no doubt to be expected from a tribal elder, but he’s also charismatic and open.

During the four-hour Rainbow Serpent Tour, he shares his culture and surprisingly modern take on spirituality as you walk with him along tracks over which the Nugal people have walked for centuries, through the bushland and rock art sites of his traditional homeland. The vast caves and overhangs sit under the sandstone escarpment that overlooks the Endeavour Valley. While it’s only a short walk through the scrub to the first of the ancestral rock art caves, it’s in essence like climbing a cultural mountain by the time you arrive.

Brag Factor // The yogis don’t have a monopoly on spirituality – and the key to happiness according to Willie, is hope.

Details // Tour by Guurrbi Tours, self-Drive ex-Hope Vale $85 adult, $42.50 child (4-13yrs), inclusive ex-Cooktown $120 adult, $75 child. (07) 4069 6043,

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