The longest-running Indigenous cultural celebration, the Gai-mariagal Festival – is back in 2022 and you’re invited to join in the festivities, with several don’t-miss events happening right here in Ku-ring-gai.

The Gai-mariagal Festival was founded in 2001 to raise awareness of First Nations People living in the Northern Sydney region. The theme for this year is Renewal, and the Festival committee welcomes everyone to join them in this movement to better “Renew” our future.

Festivities begin on Sorry Day, 26 May, and continue to the end of NAIDOC week (second week in July). Ku-ring-gai Council is proud to support the 21st year of the Festival and is hosting a range of events, including workshops, dining experiences, presentations and more.

Here are four wonderful local events to book for now:

Indigenous Heritage Presentation and Bush Tucker Walk

Presented by the Aboriginal Heritage Office, this guided walk will teach you about how Aboriginal people lived, Aboriginal figures of the area, bush tucker, tools, weapons and shelter. You will also learn about colonisation and the changes it brought to the environment and country. Complimentary morning tea will be provided.

When: Thur 16 June, 10am-12:30pm

Where: Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives.

Cost: Free


Warakirri Dining Experience

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Australian native foods, botanicals, culture and rituals at this 5-course degustation. You will enjoy Australian native food and beverages prepared in a unique fusion of modern techniques with traditional methods by Indigiearth owner and Ngemba Weilwan woman, Sharon Winsor.

Authentic cultural entertainment and storytelling will also be shared throughout the night.

When: Sat 18 June, 5:30pm-10pm

Where: Wildflower Garden – Caley’s Pavilion, 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives

Cost: $150


Nature Play – Aunty Time

The kids are invited to join special guests, Aunty Caroline and Susan, for a morning of play-based investigation and discovery. Songs will be sung, stories will be told and the kids will have fun making something to take home.

When: Wed 22 June, 9:30-11am

Where: Wildflower Garden – Caley’s Pavilion, 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives

Cost: $20 per child with one parent/carer admitted free of charge


Message Stick Weaving Children’s Workshop

Children aged 6-10 years can join Koori artist, Aunty Karleen Green, for a Weaving Workshop where they will create their own message stick using natural fibres and plant dyes. Aunty Karleeen will share her stories of healing and Country along the way. 

When: Fri 8 July, 10am-12pm

Where: Wildflower Garden – Caley’s Pavilion, 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives

Cost: Free



For more on the Gai-mariagal Festival, visit:

You might also enjoy reading: How to Start Your Own Verge Garden in Ku-ring-gai –

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