Indigenous Culture

Beneath the beautiful face of Tropical Far North Queensland beats the fascinating cultural heart and spirit of the indigenous peoples for whom the region has been home for thousands of years.

Today you can learn more about their culture with Indigenous guides for a closer understanding of their way of life and customs which are intrinsically linked to the surroundings. The Aboriginal people lived very lightly on the land with no built heritage and they used food and resources wisely always leaving enough for sustainability, so it is inspiring to try to understand how they perceived the rainforest, the coast and the ocean in this wonderful region.

Wherever you stay you will find guided and self-guided tours and walks of anything from a couple of hours to a day and, with time, travel further afield perhaps following the innovative Bama way from Cairns to beyond Cooktown through the tribal regions of the Guugu Yimithirr and the Kuku Yalanji. The Kuku Yalanji mythology is based on the Rainbow Serpent (Kurriyala) with stories and customs revolving around it and requiring the right approach to the land.

On Cape York, The Laura Aboriginal Dance and Cultural Festival is a bi-annual event with people coming from all over the world to attend. The flight to Laura form Cairns is a special experience in itself, flying over the rainforest and ranges. Laura has rock art more than 13,000 years old and, at the Quinkan Centre, you can book guided tours and find out how to access the self-guide Split Rock site south of Laura for a small fee.

From your base in the Port Douglas area be sure to visit the Mossman Gorge Centre.

From Cairns you can also visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Centre to discover more about the customs of the indigenous people of the Kuranda region.