Tropical North Queensland Indigenous Culture

Australia’s Indigenous cultures converge and flourish in Tropical North Queensland. You’ll find both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures thriving throughout the region and in remote and rural communities in Tropical North Queensland.

How to connect with culture

With the Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and other gorgeous landscapes as your backdrop, gain a new perspective and learn about the traditional techniques and cultural stories held by the Indigenous people of Tropical North Queensland.

Learn to spear hunt in the mangroves of Cape Tribulation and gather the freshest seafood grub. Or, listen to the stories behind the Indigenous art found in the region’s National Parks from an interpretive guide.

You can go walkabout on extended tours of the culturally significant Indigenous sites, where you can find and prepare bush tucker and learn traditional skills.

You can also join in celebrations across the region to celebrate Indigenous culture. Head to the annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair every August and the biennial Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival or Winds of Zenadth Festival.

Plan your holiday

Things to see and do
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Rainforestation Nature Park

Kuranda,
The award-winning Rainforestation Nature Park is a 100 acre (40 hectare) tourist attraction set in the midst of World Heritage Rainforest. 30 minutes by coach from Cairns and five minutes away from Kuranda Village.

Cairns Art Gallery

Cairns Area
Free Entry
The Cairns Art Gallery is one of Australia’s leading public galleries recognised for the excellence of its programs and collections relating to the unique heritage and living culture of North Queensland in the context of the world’s tropic zone and the Asia Pacific region.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

Smithfield, Cairns Area
From AU$62 - 123
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is the ultimate place to experience the rich and ancient cultures unique to Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For over 26 years the park has engaged, entertained and educated thousands through two very unique experiences known to many as "Tjapukai By Day" and "Tjapukai By Night", each distinctly different.

Milbi Wall (The Story Wall)

Cooktown, Cook Area
To acknowledge the significance of the first known European contact with the Aboriginal people of the area, Cook Shire Council decided to have a Memorial to tell from an Aboriginal point of view. Council invited local Aboriginal people to tell their story in ceramic tiles and build a Story Wall right at the spot where, in 1770, Captain James Cook and his crew first set foot.

Green Island National Park

Green Island, Cairns Area
Free Entry
This small rainforest-clad coral cay is surrounded by coral reefs and is one of the Great Barrier Reef's most popular destinations. A true coral cay, it was formed over thousands of years by the build-up of sand and coral rubble deposited on the calm side of a platform reef.

Barron Gorge National Park

Kuranda,
Free Entry
Rugged rainforest-clad mountains and gorges, tumbling waterfalls, varied wildlife, easy access and a fascinating history make Barron Gorge National Park one of Queensland’s most popular parks. The park extends from the coastal lowlands (Lake Placid) to the elevated regions of the Atherton Tableland (near Kuranda), and lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park

Mossman, Douglas Area
Mossman Gorge is a very accessible and scenic section of Daintree National Park, in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Crystal-clear water cascades over large granite boulders in the Mossman River gorge.

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Lawn Hill, Burke Area
Free Entry
Boodjamulla is one of Queensland's most exceptional parks, boasting spectacular gorge scenery, diverse wildlife, exhilarating walking and canoeing, and fossils deposits dating back 25 million years. Here, Lawn Hill Gorge carves a serpentine ribbon of green through the dry savannah landscape, creating an oasis in the outback.

Undara Volcanic National Park

Mount Surprise, Etheridge Area
Free Entry
On the western slopes of the McBride Plateau, open woodlands give way to the vast open spaces of the savanna. Here in Undara Volcanic National Park, rich volcanic basalt soils, covered in a sea of seasonal grasses, conceal the Undara lava tube.

Cape Melville National Park (CYPAL)

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
Rugged yet beautiful, Cape Melville National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) features the rocky headlands of Cape Melville, impressive granite boulders of the Melville Range, sandy beaches of Bathurst Bay, sandstone escarpments and inland dunes.
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