Year of Indigenous Tourism


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.

Celebrate the Year of Indigenous Tourism in 2020 and immerse yourself in rich culture and history by experiencing Indigenous culture on your next Queensland holiday.


From the Blog

Start exploring

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.

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.

Traditional bush tucker experiences

Taste 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 some 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.

Watch our videos

Plan your holiday

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Jarjum Stories

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
27 February – 2 March 2020
Jarjum Stories is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s books and storytelling. Jarjum [pronounced jah-jum] means children. Revisit childhood favourites – The Rainbow Serpent, Stradbroke Dreamtime and The Legends of Moonie Jarl – and some of the earliest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s books published in Queensland.

Indigenous Stock Workers Display

Normanton, Carpentaria Area
Free Entry
28 February – 2 March 2020
An informative and interactive display in recognition of the resilience, spirit and sheer hard work of the indigenous men and women who played a vital role in the establishment of the cattle industry in the Gulf Region.

Spoken: celebrating Queensland languages

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
28 February – 2 March 2020
Spoken: celebrating Queensland languages is a free thought-provoking exhibition about the survival and revival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Over 125 Queensland languages were once spoken, now around 50 of these remain spoken daily.

Mavis Ngallametta: Show Me The Way to Go Home

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
21 March – 2 August 2020
Mavis Ngallametta (1944-2019) made a profound contribution to arts and culture nationally and particularly in Queensland, her home state. An elder of the Putch clan and a cultural leader of the Wik and Kugu people of Aurukun, Mavis Ngallametta was one of the most well-regarded senior community-based artists in Australia.

'Response" Carol McGregor' Exhibition Opening

Cleveland,
Free Entry
1 May 2020
'Response' is an exhibition by Carol McGregor, an artist of Wathaurung and Scottish descent reflecting on the 250th anniversary of British explorer James Cook and his party landing in Australia. McGregor’s research into Response involved discussion and consultation with Quandamooka and south-east Queensland Aboriginal communities that sit alongside her own personal reflections on what was here, looked after, and used as resource before colonisation.

'Canaipa Mudlines: Art and Environment' Exhibition Opening

Cleveland,
Free Entry
26 June 2020
Canaipa Mudlines began in 2016 with a small collective of Southern Moreton Bay Island artists seeking ways of connecting their creative practices with the island ecology. Based on Canaipa (Russell) Island, the project has developed as both established and emerging artists from the island and beyond make regular site excursions to create mostly ephemeral works in response to the places and qualities they encounter.

Unfinished Business: The Art Of Gordon Bennett

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
27 June – 5 October 2020
Gordon Bennett (1955–2014) made a profound and ongoing contribution to contemporary art in Australia and internationally. Born in Queensland, Bennett lived for a significant period of his life in Brisbane and his practice is significant for its engagement with questions of identity, perception and the construction of history, and how these inform social and cultural conditions.

'Canaipa Mudlines: Art and Environment' Floor Talk

Cleveland,
Free Entry
28 June 2020
'Canaipa Mudlines' began in 2016 with a small collective of Southern Moreton Bay Island artists seeking ways of connecting their creative practices with the island ecology. Based on Canaipa (Russell) Island, the project has developed as both established and emerging artists from the island and beyond make regular site excursions to create mostly ephemeral works in response to the places and qualities they encounter.

Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival

Laura, Cook Area
From AU$150 - 190
3 – 5 July 2020
Laura is the central meeting place for people from the Cape. As well as being home to Australia’s most significant collection of rock art, it hosts another internationally recognised celebration of Aboriginal culture, the Laura Dance Festival.

The Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival

Burketown, Burke Area
24 – 27 September 2020
The Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival is the authentic Outback Australian experience, and brings together National and International musicians, Indigenous and First Nation's performers and Australia's best cowboys in the heart of Queensland's Lower Gulf Country.
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