Cultural Attractions of Australia (CAOA) is thrilled to announce two new members: The Art Gallery of New South Wales and Bangarra Dance Theatre. These Sydney based cultural offerings are an outstanding addition to the collective, which celebrates Australia’s cultural breadth across arts, sport, heritage and history. The collective brings together 19 of Australia’s landmark cultural attractions and delivers an impressive range of curated premium offerings designed for travellers seeking an authentic experience with a difference.
The Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of Australia’s flagship art museums, and on December 3, 2022, it will open a new building which almost doubles the footprint for art and creates a prominent new destination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. The gallery transformation creates a contemporary art museum experience across two buildings, bringing together art, architecture and landscape in a spectacular new way with dynamic galleries and seamless connections between indoor and outdoor spaces.
In celebration of the new building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA, the Art Gallery has partnered with CAOA to create two after-hours experiences to provide guests with an evening like no other, indulging in their love of art and creativity whilst enjoying the finest food and wine. A night at the gallery allows guests to engage in deep discussion and up-close encounters with the Art Gallery’s vast collection whilst The Yiribana Experience offers guests access to the Art Gallery’s extensive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection with an indigenous host. Both experiences include a five-course meal with matched wines designed by their celebrity chef and a special gift to take home.
Some of Australia’s most highly regarded chefs and food identities including Matt Moran, Clayton Wells, Palisa Anderson and Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo will lead the extended food and beverage options across the expanded Art Gallery of New South Wales, with The Fresh Collective also reappointed to manage the restaurants, cafe, kiosk and event and catering services.
“The Art Gallery of New South Wales has created these immersive experiences to provide tourists and visitors with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.” said Michael Brand, director of the Art Gallery. “We also want to celebrate our breathtaking new building which will almost double our exhibition space, providing more art for more people.”
Bangarra Dance Theatre started in 1989 and is a company of professional Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander performers. They are one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, creating powerful works of theatre with dance, music, poetry and design. Each year in June, Bangarra premieres a new work in Australia’s most iconic venue, the Sydney Opera House, before touring nationally.
They have created the Behind the scenes at Bangarra experience for CAOA. This bespoke private experience that invites guests to step into over 30 years of stories and 65,000 years of culture. It begins with a personal Acknowledgement of Country and Smoking Ceremony before enjoying Indigenous canapés and cocktails. In addition, guests will have the opportunity to meet and hear from Bangarra’s Associate Artistic Director, Frances Rings, who will share her warmth, wit, and insights into the company’s fascinating history during a behind the scenes tour.
“Indigenous stories are at the heart of Australian arts & culture. The stories Bangarra tells are such an important part of our cultural identity as a nation. I’m delighted we can bring these stories to visitors through a partnership with Cultural Attractions of Australia.” Frances Rings, Associate Artistic Director, Bangarra Dance Theatre
Depending on the performance schedule, guests may have the rare opportunity to step into the Bangarra rehearsal room and watch a masterpiece take shape; or see the finished product on stage at the Sydney Opera House. The behind-the-scenes experience is only available by prior arrangement and is suitable for four to ten people.
Cultural Attractions of Australia is one of the eight collectives in Tourism Australia’s Signature Experiences of Australia program. “We’re delighted to welcome these culturally impressive members to join Cultural Attractions of Australia”, says Karen Fitzgerald, General Manager – Experiences, Tourism Australia. “Elevating Indigenous Tourism is a key focus for Tourism Australia and the experiences these new members offer will allow visitors to learn through visual and performing arts the cultures and stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. The post-pandemic traveller is seeking life changing and immersive experiences and these curated experiences offered by Cultural Attractions of Australia are an excellent addition to any Australian itinerary.”