Mapuru Weaving and Living on Country – Arnhem Land

We are privileged to run trips to the remote Community of Mäpuru in East Arnhem Land. A unique opportunity to learn about Yolngu culture from Indigenous leaders passing on their traditional skills and knowledge in basket weaving and bush survival.

Arnhem Land Weaving and Living on Country

Program details

Bookings for 2024 can be made via the links below.

12-Day Women-identifying Trip
Dates: 28th June – 9th July, 2024
Cost: $4500

2025 Experiences
To express interest for 2025 trips, please fill in the online form here.


Each year, we have the privilege to lead a group of individuals on a long journey via the dusty Arnhem Highway to visit the small homeland community of Mäpuru. Our Yolngu friends and adopted family, with whom we have partnered for the past 13 years, reside there.

These trips are intended to support our friends in achieving a meaningful livelihood on their land, while they, in turn, teach us the significance of living in harmony with the land. They educate us on how to weave pandanas baskets, bush survival and how we can adopt a different perspective towards the world in which we live.

And so we invite you to join us, to live with and learn from the people of Mäpuru who are passing on their traditional skills and knowledge to future generations – as it has always been. Each visitor is welcomed with an open heart and mind, and given a rare glimpse into the Indigenous worldview.

Program details

12-Day Women-identifying Trip
Dates: 28th June -9th July, 2024
Cost: $4500

Please email: to go on the expression of interest or waitlist.

This will be an experience that will always be in the forefront of my mind. Thank you to CERES for taking on these trips and allowing us to participate and help the Arnhem Weavers keep their community and culture strong.

Catherine, Mapuru trip 2017

All Australians should experience something like this: Indigenous people living a semi-traditional life, and us visiting on their terms. The experience highlights how huge the gulf is between the two cultures, and how little the European Australian culture really learns or gives priority to the traditional culture of the country

Deidre, Mapuru trip 2017

The whole trip was very well organised and the information provided could not have been more detailed.
Everything was covered and at no stage was there a reason to be confused about what would / or was happening.
P.S. Fantastic food!

Jen, Mapuru trip 2017

Such an incredible experience connecting with the Mapuru community. It was an honor to contribute to a vision of Yolgnu people living lives of dignity on ancestral land.

Luke, Mapuru trip 2017

It was a wonderful adventure in so many ways – physically, emotionally, spiritually. I was outside my comfort zone, at the edge of my experience, challenged and confronted at times and I have been rewarded. My awareness is developing, my perspective has shifted. A reality-based frame of reference is now established within me. I have grown as a man and feel more connected with myself, with the earth, with my family and with the wonderful people at Mapuru.

Wayne, Mapuru trip 2017

I didn’t just learn how to weave a basket in Mäpuru, I took a brief glimpse at my universe differently.

Renata, 2012 participant

These trips always leave people with far more than baskets, bark paintings and didgeridoos. Whether it is through the intuitive guidance under the weaving shelter, walking through the mangrove forest, buffalo hunting on the mud-plains, swimming in the water-hole, gathering pandanus or being together around the bush camp-fire, the gentle people of Mäpuru open our western eyes to a glimmer of the knowledge and wisdom of Yolŋu culture.

Sophie, CERES Global Coordinator
The activities undertaken in Mapuru are determined by gender: Weaving Workshops for women and Living on Country Workshops for men*. Each year we run 2 trips. One solely for woman, and the other a mixed trip, where the women who come do the same weaving activities as the women-identifying trip but just in a smaller group size, and the men do the living on country workshops, camping in a separate location and undertaking men’s business activities.

Weaving Workshops for women

Weaving is used as a means of cultural exchange and will enable women participants to witness and learn the entire process; from the collection of barks, pandanus and kala (natural dyes) to the weaving and creation of your own pieces. There are also opportunities to collect bush honey, mangrove worms, go fishing and swimming in water holes. Along the way you will build friendships and learn about Yolngu culture.

*Please note there is no Mixed Trip/Men’s business trips in 2024.

12-day women-identifying trip: $4500

Payment Schedule
Deposit: $400 (+ booking fee) deposit – due when signing up to the trip
Payment 2: $2500 – 12 day trip: Due 15th of April 2024
Payment 3: $1600 – 12 day trip: To be brought in person and paid directly to the Mapuru community whilst on the trip.

Price Includes
*$1600 for expert tuition, paid directly to Mäpuru elders
*Food, equipment and car transfers between Darwin and Mäpuru
*Group facilitation

Price Excludes
*Flights to Darwin
*Personal insurance

Refund Policy

  • The $400 deposit is not refundable after the 28th of February
    100% of payment two is refundable if the participant cancels prior to the 15th of April.
  • 50% of payment two is refundable if the participant cancels 6 weeks prior to the trip’s departure, after which no refund is possible.
  • CERES has the right to demand payment of outstanding fees, plus legal recovery costs if any.
  • If CERES cancels the trip, all payments will be reimbursed.

The group meets in Darwin before clambering into the hired 4WDs and commencing our two-day drive into some of the remotest parts of Arnhem Land.

The drive is spectacular. A long and dusty red road reaching to the East with river crossings, and stunning scenery. We spend the first night on the road camped at the top of an escarpment with views for miles below. We cook dinner on the camp fire under the crystal clear night sky – setting the tone for the days ahead.

Late on the following day we will arrive in Mäpuru and be warmly greeted by the community. That night we set up our camp (cooking, tents, camp fire). Our workshops start the following day.

Women-identifying trip: $3050 (incl. GST)

Please send an email to explaining why you would like to come along and what it means to you in 250 words or less. Your application will then be considered and we will notify you if successful.