Cultural sites are particularly important to Indigenous peoples, their identity, cosmology and sociopolitical traditions. The benefits of local control, and a lack of professional resources, necessitate the development of planning tools that support independent Indigenous cultural site adaptation. We devised and tested a methodology for non-heritage professionals to analyse options that address site loss, build site resilience and build local adaptive capacity. Indigenous rangers from Kakadu National Park and the Djelk Indigenous Protected Area, Arnhem Land, Australia, were engaged as fellow researchers via a participatory action research methodology. Rangers rejected coastal defences and relocating sites, instead prioritising routine use of a risk field survey, documentation of vulnerable sites using new digital technologies and widely communicating the climate change vulnerability of sites via a video documentary. Results support the view that rigorous approaches to cultural site adaptation can be employed independently by local Indigenous stakeholders.