Discover the indigenous people of Australia when you're next in Cairns on holiday. The Aboriginal culture is at least 50,000 years old and one of the most ancient in the world. It is rich, full and waiting to be explored.
In North Queensland, there are so many ways you can embrace and learn about this people in the city that is filled with their stories and legends.
Take a tour
When you've been driving around in your Cairns car hire, it might be nice to take a break. A tour is a great way to do just that while also seeing the sights and learning about the culture both past and present. The Bama Way Aboriginal Journeys brings together tour companies owned and operated by Aboriginal people – including Walker Family Tours and Wilfred Gordon of Guurrbi Tours.
The stories of the two Aboriginal nations of the Kuku Yalanji and Guugu Yimithirr tribes are told by the local custodians of the area who run the tours. These guides have information for miles – they know all about the land's natural resources, where the sacred places are and what stories were created here.
As you move from one place to the next you will get to experience all aspects and varieties of the culture. And along the way you'll see the luscious landscape that consists of mangroves, rainforests and a hilltop savannah.
A couple of tour options are Daintree Dreaming and the Aboriginal Rainforest Tour that is authentic and includes a trip to the oldest living rainforest in the world – a spectacle in and of itself. The Rainbow Serpent Aboriginal Rock Art Tour and Cooktown Tour gives you another way to experience the area. Most of the tour is spent in a plane, with bird's eye views of this great land.
If you want to learn more about Aboriginal culture and history, but a tour isn't for you, check out Tjapukai, the Aboriginal Cultural Park. The facility is conveniently located in Cairns and has a classic and modern feel while still being authentic and charming.
Visit during the day or night and get involved in this raw cultural experience. You can learn to play the didgeridoo or throw a spear, then watch a show put on by the professional theatre company that performs traditional ceremonies that combine the elements of dance and fire to tell a story.
Learn about resourcefulness at the bush foods and medicine demonstration and get a complimentary face painting with natural colours in the traditional manner. If you're taking your young ones along, there's a child friendly program that makes all the adult-centered activities fun for kids. Before you leave, you can refresh yourself at the Boomerang Restaurant buffet lunch or pick up a souvenir such as a boomerang or painting from the Retail Gallery.
Go on a night tour for something extra special. You'll have an evening that celebrates this culture through many acts and events. The Magic Space Cultural Initiation has you blessed in a didgeridoo ceremony before you get a traditional face painting and a warm welcome.
At The Lakeside Ceremony you'll see a spear launch upwards and a fireball explode in the sky. Following that, there is a four-course dinner. a live cultural performance and a campfire session. At night the Boomerang Restaurant closes but you can enjoy a drink from the bar.