Map of Aboriginal Australia

This map should hang in every SOSE/History/Geography classroom in the country

Many people are vaguely aware that Australia was populated by Aboriginal people (and Torres Strait Islanders in the northern area of the continent) before the arrival of European settlers, but it we also often fall into the trap of thinking that they lived in the deserts of the inland. Of course they did not, they mostly lived in the fertile strip around the south east of the continent; the same areas that are now most densely populated, and for exactly the same reasons.

This map is the best reconstruction available showing the distribution of indigenous tribal groups in Australia prior to European settlement. Most of these groups spoke their own languages and had their own customs and laws, and there were strict protocols governing travel, trade and inter-marriage between groups.

You can click on the map above to go to a link which allows you to download the map and to zoom on individual regions within Australia.

There is another form of the map available here:

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