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

Plan your holiday

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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.

Palm Island and Our People

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
22 September – 24 December 2018
The inspiring history of Palm Island is celebrated in a fascinating showcase of images, memorabilia and digital stories. Palm Island and Our People acknowledges the centenary of the first placement of people to the island as an Aboriginal Reserve and explores the history of this tropical paradise.

Chasing Smoke

New Farm, Brisbane Area
From AU$25 - 43
24 – 25 October 2018
Presented by Casus Circus and Cluster Arts in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse. Chasing Smoke is an evocative and triumphant performance by Australia’s only Indigenous contemporary circus ensemble.

Global Grooves

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
27 October 2018
Tour the globe at Global Grooves 2018 held at beautiful Queens Park, celebrating the cultural diversity of the Mackay region. This one-day open-air event is free to the public and they encourage all of the Mackay region to travel the globe in a day!

Yarrabah Band Festival 2018

Yarrabah, Yarrabah Area
Free Entry
3 November 2018
Australia’s most idyllic coastal music festival, Yarrabah Band Festival, returns with a star-laden line-up – featuring Australian rock legends and some of the brightest rising stars – as well as food stalls, local art and children’s activities, this Festival promises to be the biggest yet.

Cully Fest

Toowoomba, Toowoomba Area
From AU$9.99 - 99.00
15 – 18 November 2018
Cully means friends. The Cully Fest brings together friends, new and old, helps bridge the gap between city and country, improves knowledge and understanding and celebrates the heart and spirit of outback culture, tradition and history.

The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9)

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
24 November 2018 – 28 April 2019
The hugely ambitious APT series returns to QAGOMA this summer, bringing significant art from across the Asia Pacific to Brisbane. Overflowing with colour and life, this free contemporary art exhibition presents a unique mix of creativity and cross-cultural insight.

Quandamooka Festival 2019

North Stradbroke Island, Redland City Area
1 June – 31 August 2019
Quandamooka Festival, held over three winter months, returns in 2019 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!

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
12 – 14 July 2019
From where ever you are, come and join Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, and immerse yourself in a CIAF experience of your own. The CIAF 2019 cultural festivities will take place on 12 to 14 July, opening night 11 July 2019.

On Country

Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
21 September 2019
Mungalla Station presents On Country, an invitation to everyone to come and celebrate their way of life. It will be held on September 22 from 10am to 4pm. You will be swept away by the history and splendor that Mungalla has to offer.
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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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