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

Plan your holiday

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Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman, Douglas Area
From AU$9.50 - 9.50
Visit Mossman Gorge and experience the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest with pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna, all the while getting lost in its enchanting stories and rich Indigenous heritage.

Laura

Laura, Cook Area
Laura is a small town, with a population around 100 people on the Cape York Peninsula in Tropical North Queensland. the township boasts the largest collection of prehistoric rock art in the world. The area around Laura is known for Quinkans, giant figures who according to Aboriginal legend, were spirits that lived in the crevices of rocks.

Charleville

Charleville, Murweh Area
Immortalised in Slim Dusty's song by the same name, Charleville is the largest town in Queensland's south west and is a hub for visitors and pastoralists alike. In the heart of 'mulga country', Charleville and surrounding pastoral properties are rich in history, flora and fauna.

Innisfail

Innisfail, Cassowary Coast Area
Innisfail is a prosperous, colourful town, situated on the North and South Johnstone Rivers, and is surrounded by rich green landscape. Lush sugar plantations flow from the dense rainforest coastline to the thick jungles of the Palmerston National Park to the west.

Whitsunday Islands National Park

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Treasured as one of the world's most beautiful destination getaways, the Whitsunday Islands are famous for their pure-white silica sand, secluded reefs and beaches, diverse wildlife and crystal-clear waters.

Cape Melville National Park (CYPAL)

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
Rugged yet beautiful, Cape Melville National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) features the rocky headlands of Cape Melville, impressive granite boulders of the Melville Range, sandy beaches of Bathurst Bay, sandstone escarpments and inland dunes.

Torres Strait Islands

At the very tip of Cape York where the South Pacific Ocean and the Arafura Sea mix their currents are the 274 islands of the Torres Strait, including Thursday and Horn Islands. This unique tropical region is home to the indigenous Torres Strait Islanders whose culture is rich in the arts and whose lifestyle has evolved from the sea and its abundance of wildlife.

Binna Burra, Lamington National Park

Beechmont, Gold Coast Area
Free Entry
Set yourself up in one of the camping areas or nearby accommodation and spend days exploring this magical part of the world. Take short walks or long treks deep into the park’s forest, exploring boulder-strewn mountain streams, dramatic lookouts, rugged cliffs, plunging gorges and secluded, mountain-top camp sites.

Innamincka Regional Reserve

From AU$8 - 12
From red sand dunes, gibber plains and salt lakes, to wetlands, artesian springs and river systems, this park showcases unique scenic and cultural environments on an immense scale. Innamincka Regional Reserve is a park of contrasts.

Atherton Tablelands

Atherton, Tablelands Area
Tropical North Queensland is undeniably one of the most exciting and diverse regions to visit in Australia and the Atherton Tablelands sits at the very heart of it. With its breathtaking waterfalls, scenic vistas at every turn, impressive lakes, lush rainforest and rugged outback, a visit to this region promises to be one of great contrast, beauty and exploration.
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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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