Indigenous Culture

Queensland is the only place in the world where both of Australia’s Indigenous cultures converge and flourish. Torres Strait and Aboriginal cultures date back over 40,000 years and many descendants still practice their traditions and customs today.

Whether it’s through dance, art or traditional feasts, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people proudly practice and preserve their cultures by sharing it with the next generation.

Immerse yourself in rich culture and history by experiencing Indigenous culture on your next Queensland holiday.

Aboriginal art

From rock paintings to contemporary lino prints and fashion, there are many ways to experiences Torres Strait and Aboriginal art in Queensland.

See contemporary Indigenous pieces at museums like QAGOMA in Brisbane or the Cairns Regional Art Gallery in Tropical North Queensland. Head to Birdsville, Betoota and Bedourie to see the Sand, Dirt and Gibbers artwork sprawled across hills and landscapes. Or, visit independent galleries like the Canopy Arts Centre or the Henderson Gallery to meet the artists and learn about their work.

Head outdoors and explore Carnarvon Gorge or the Quinkan Country in Laura to see authentic rock paintings drawn by Indigenous Aboriginal ancestors.

You can also get hands on and learn to paint, weave and dance with interactive tours and workshops.

Start exploring

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Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is located across two riverside buildings in South Bank’s Cultural Precinct. QAGOMA presents an evolving program of Australian and international exhibitions, with a focus on the contemporary art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

Artspace Mackay

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Discover the arts and culture of the Mackay region when you visit Artspace Mackay, the regional art gallery and museum in the centre of the city. This architecturally award winning building provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the people and history of Mackay through the Spirit and Place:

Wujal Wujal Art Centre

Cook Area
The Bana Yirriji Art and Cultural Centre is located on the banks of the Bloomfield River just below the Wujal Wujal Waterfall. Their art centre is based in Wujal Wujal Community, North Queensland. It is about a four hour drive north from Cairns and one hour south from Cooktown.

Mareeba Heritage Museum and Visitor Information

Mareeba, Mareeba Area
The Mareeba Heritage Museum recently voted by Trip Advisor as the #1 place to visit to Mareeba is free of charge. The Museum is open seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm, 362 days of the year. The Museum was established in 1995 and is well supported by its diverse multicultural community with a collection of over 5,000 objects owned, used and proudly donated by members of the community.

Museum Of Tropical Queensland

Townsville, Townsville Area
From AU$15 - 15
The award-winning Museum of Tropical Queensland provides a snapshot of this diverse region of North Queensland, from World Heritage listed rainforest and reefs to the story of the shipwrecked HMS Pandora, the ship sent to capture the Bounty mutineers.

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.

Boulia Heritage Complex

Boulia, Boulia Area
From AU$12 - 12
When Boulia storekeeper James Edward Jones built his home in 1888, little did he know that it would become one of Western Queensland's major attractions. The building was constructed as a family dwelling and now boasts an array of history surrounding the Jones family and early settlement life in Boulia.

Nganyaji Interpretive Centre

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Opened in 2002 the Nganyaji Interpretive Centre is about the lives of the local indigenous people, the Jirrbal. The Jirrbal constructed bush material shelters in the rain forest and as there was permanent food and water did not go "walkabout" as did the inland aboriginals.

Gladstone Regional Gallery and Museum

Gladstone, Gladstone Area
Free Entry
The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum was established in 1985 and is a community cultural initiative funded by the Gladstone Regional Council. It is dedicated to promoting art and heritage for and by the communities of the Gladstone Region and Central Queensland, acting as a focal point for the preservation and display of the region's history and cultural heritage.

Kuku Bulk-Away Art Gallery

Cooktown, Cook Area
Their artist’s inspiration comes from the land and sea country that surrounds them. Many of the paintings come from stories that the artists were taught as children or of local bush food and animals in their region.
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Indigenous tours

Go walkabout or learn to hunt with an Indigenous guide. An Indigenous tour will allow you to see things from the perspective of Queensland’s First People. Take a cultural tour of Brisbane to see significant artefacts and sites or walk through the Nudgee Waterholes and learn how live off the land.

Hunt for mud crabs and collect shellfish in Tropical North Queensland or learn the Dreamtime stories of Burleigh Heads National Park in Southern Gold Coast.

Cultural events & performances

Head to the Winds of Zenadth festival on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait to watch traditional dancing, singing and celebrations or trek to Laura to experience the earth-shaking performances at the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival.

Looking for something a little more contemporary? Head to Yarabah, just a 50-minute drive south of Cairns and immerse yourself in music at the Yarabah Band Festival.

Or, get the best of both Indigenous cultures at the Cairns International Art Fair and see fashion shows, interactive skits and traditional song and dance performances.

From the Blog

Traditional bush tucker experiences

Tate a traditional kup murri (earth oven) cooked feast an hour from Townsville or learn to hunt and gather your own dinner in the Torres Strait, near Cairns and in Brisbane. From berries and jams to flour and meat, you can taste a variety of bush tucker cuisines and superfoods.

Prefer to fine dining? Head to the Daintree Rainforest and enjoy flame-lit dining and cultural entertainment while you nosh on traditionally inspired dishes. Or, go all out and treat yourself to a gourmet night out at an award-winning restaurant in Cairns.

Family-friendly Indigenous experiences

Experience the Corroboree at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast or treat your kids to boomerang throwing and art workshops at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns.

Let the kids explore the beach and learn about traditional hunting and gathering practices with a personal Kuku Yalanji guide or hear the stories about Dreaming Mountain with a Jellurgal tour on the Gold Coast.

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