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Indigenous, Travel Tourism

Kayak tours on the harbour tell Indigenous stories

Australian National Maritime Museum 2 mins read

Kayak tour participants around the western harbour have the chance to delve into the deep history of the harbour with two new kayaks painted by Indigenous artist and curator Tyson Frigo.


Sydney Harbour Kayaks, who operate a popular kayak tour from the Australian National Maritime Museum, commissioned the museum with the painting of two new kayaks, with designs inspired by Indigenous connection to country.


Frigo has created two beautiful and unique designs each with their own individual meaning and story.


The first kayak, Weaver, decorated in silver and ultramarine blue, depicts a river of silver stars unfurling from a full moon down onto the water’s surface where the symbols for a mother whale and her calf can be found. Inspired by the connection between the sky and the water, this kayak showcases the open and ever-expanding vastness under the stars.


Hunter, the second kayak, ochre red and yellow, is inspired by the ideas of direction and focus, with the design featuring a spear raised to Grandfather sun as he walks his journey across the sky, diamonds, and curving patterns wrapping around the stern. A singular speared fish, a symbol of triumph and determination.   


Frigo said, ‘The designs symbolize how through kayaking, like travelling in a Nawi, or via any means of travel really we are reminded to move with purpose and mindfulness with destination in mind, gentle yet direct.’


Managing Director of Sydney Harbour Kayaks, Shannon O’Brien said, ‘As we tour the harbour, we get a chance not only to tell contemporary stories of the harbour but we can also introduce the deep and rich First Nations history that the harbour has witnessed. These kayaks provide an entry point for those discussions. We view the harbour from a vantage point that Gadigal and Cammeraygal people have seen for centuries.’


Director and CEO of the Museum, Ms Daryl Karp said, ‘This wonderful partnership with Sydney Harbour Kayaks provides us with an opportunity that connects visitors to the richness of our offering. The harbour’s human history is millennia old and providing a chance to introduce this history to visitors is invaluable. It encourages further discovery and links to the storytelling that we have inside the museum.’


The two kayaks join Sydney Harbour Kayak’s fleet at the museum and bookings can be made at



Images available here. Indigenous kayaks


For media enquiries please contact: Alex Gonzalez           e:                     m: 0401 545 778


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