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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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.

Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere

Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast Area
From AU$1 - 2
Immerse yourself in the incredible world of the humpback whale and be inspired by uniqueness of Fraser Island at the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere in Hervey Bay. Fascinating interpretive panels and interactive displays also explore the outstanding beauty and diversity of the Great Sandy Biosphere.

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:

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.

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.

Boulia Heritage Complex

Boulia, Boulia Area
From AU$10 - 15
The Boulia Heritage Complex showcases Boulia’s three distinct phases of history that takes visitors on a journey back through time. PRE HISTORIC PREDATORS OF THE DEEP: Although the town at only 139 years old is young, the prehistoric denizens of the deep such as the Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur were here 110 million years ago when sea water covered the region.

Birrunga Gallery and Dining

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
Birrunga Gallery and Dining is Brisbane's only Indigenous owned, Indigenous Art Gallery. Located in Brisbane's Central Business District, they offer Indigenous art exhibitions, tours, classes and sales as well as Fine Dining and consistently amazing coffee, featuring First Nations inspired menus in the licensed cafe.

Nganyaji Interpretive Centre

Ravenshoe,
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.

Kilkivan Shire Museum

Kilkivan, Gympie Area
The Kilkivan Shire Museum contains a comprehensive display of ore and mineral samples common to the district, photographs and documents relating to mining, forestry, dairying and town, school and family histories of Goomeri, Kilkivan, Widgee and Woolooga.

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.
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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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