Australia Day Smoking Ceremony


26 January 2017
10:30am – 4:00pm


Campbells Cove
The Rocks NSW

Smoking ceremonies are an ancient custom among Aboriginal Australians in which native plants are burnt to produce smoke to ward off bad spirits, acknowledge ancestors and pay respect to the land and sea of country. The smoke is believed to have healing and cleansing properties.

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Accessible event

$Free access

Local elders and the Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe invite everyone to experience and participate in Aboriginal dances and songs, performed throughout the day at Campbells Cove.

Winners of the 2016 National Aboriginal Dance Rites contest, Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe are caretakers of the fire on Australia Day around Sydney Harbour.

In the video below, Yuin Elder Uncle Max Harrison and Yuin man Dean Kelly talk about the meaning and significance of a Smoking Ceremony. To turn on captions, use the video controls. 


  • The Australia Day 2017 Smoking Ceremony flame will be lit on 25 January at Belmore Park and stored overnight Me-mel (Goat Island). 
  • On Australia Day, the fire will be transported from Goat Island to Marrinawi Cove. A procession will escort the fire from Marrinawi Cove to Walumil lawns for the Wugulora Indigenous Morning Ceremony at Barangaroo at 7:30am.  
  • The Troupe will sail with the fire to Campbells Cove in the Rocks to conduct this Smoking Ceremony between 10:30am to 4pm.
  • The Smoking Ceremony travels to the Sydney Opera House for the concert at 7:30pm. 

About Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe

Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe's individual members hail from a multitude of regions and Aboriginal clans from the east coast lines of Australia. Koomurri acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


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