Indigenous Culture | Queensland.com

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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Evolution: Torres Strait Masks

Townsville City, Townsville Area
From AU$4.40 - 38
24 March – 2 September 2018
The Evolution: Torres Strait Masks exhibition takes visitors on a journey from time immemorial when masks were used in ceremonial rituals involving art, theatre and dance and shows how these historic artefacts have inspired new works that are constantly developing and changing.

This Is My Heritage

East Toowoomba, Toowoomba Area
From AU$6.50 - 32
31 May – 31 December 2018
Discover the profound connection that objects have to family, country and culture through the personal memories and experiences of 12 of Queensland’s Indigenous artists and educators. Through images and film, the exhibition reveals the surprising connections and strong spiritual links that can be explored when people engage with the collections from the Queensland Museum.

Quandamooka Festival 2018

North Stradbroke Island, Redland City Area
1 June – 31 August 2018
Quandamooka Festival, held over three winter months, returns in 2018 to coastal region of East Brisbane with up to 55 events including whale watching cultural tours, Kunjiels (corroborees), Indigenous sports, music, eco boat tours, art exhibitions, fibre art and weaving workshops, bush tucker dining, arts and cultural talks by specialists and new events featuring international acts and First Nations dancers and performances - something to suit all ages!

Our Sporting Greats: Murri and Ailan Athletes in the Spotlight

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
15 June – 9 September 2018
Celebrate some of Queensland’s unsung Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heroes from the sporting world through an inspiring showcase now open at State Library of Queensland. Our Sporting Greats shines a spotlight on the lives, dreams and amazing achievements of:

Which Way Home

Bundaberg Central, Bundaberg Area
From AU$18.00 - 80.00
Weekly from 16 August 2018
Presented by Ilbijerri Theatre Company, Which Way Home is a road trip comedy 80,000 years in the making. Tash and her Dad are going on a road trip. Home to country, where the sky is higher and the world goes on forever.

Care4Country 2018

Coochiemudlo Island, Redland City Area
From AU$6.36 - 11.64
18 August 2018
Quandamooka stories, dance, culture and country... with Matthew Burns, Josh Walker and Delvene Cockatoo Collins and the Yulu Burri Ba dancers. Welcome to Country, stories, weaponry, history passed down over centuries, walks and talks, scar trees and middens, dancing, food and markets.

Opening Ceremony and Celebration

Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
24 August 2018
Horizon is held on the lands of the First Peoples of Australia, the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara people. They are the traditional owners of the lands and waterways on which we gather to share art and tell our collective stories.

Cunnamulla Fella Festival

Cunnamulla, Paroo Area
24 – 26 August 2018
The Cunnamulla Fella Festival is an annual three day event located at Cunnamulla in south west Queensland and showcases the the best of the outback lifestyle. It features activities and entertainment including a shearing display, bronc and bull riding, markets, live music, motorbike and horse sports and much much more.

The Song Company Presents: Four Colour Season

Spring Hill, Brisbane Area
From AU$40.00 - 65.00
4 September 2018
Australia’s premier vocal ensemble The Song Company presents the Earth’s annual journey, through the seasons—Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. An evergreen selection of song and brand-new Indigenous dance to match the patterns and movement of the many Australian seasons, Four Colour Season is a synthesis of the two art forms.

KooKoo Kookaburra

Ayr, Burdekin Area
From AU$10 - 10
7 September 2018
Kookoo is a kind and well-loved kookaburra - famous for entertaining the other bush creatures with his funny stories. One day Kookoo runs out of kind stories to tell so, he turns to teasing and making fun of the other animals.
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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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