Queensland is waiting for you

Did you know that Queensland is the only place in Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures meet? Explore this captivating corner of the world and meet the Traditional Owners who have been custodians of the land for over 50,000 years.

Queensland is one of Australia’s most naturally diverse states. It’s legendary for its landscapes; from the technicolour underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef to the wide open spaces of the outback, with one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests in between. Whether it’s through dance, art, walking or swimming, Queensland is bursting with an array of Indigenous experiences that will each provide a deeper cultural connection with your surrounds.
We know some Queenslanders who can’t wait to welcome you.
Scroll down to meet them…

Discover the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, The Daintree Rainforest, with Traditional Owner Juan Walker on Walkabout Cultural Adventures

Meet Juan Walker

“This tour allows me to share the amazing knowledge I was privileged to grow up learning from my family and Elders in my community. It’s a pleasure to take people out and show them around and teach them how special and beautiful this place really is.” - Juan Walker“This tour allows me to share the amazing knowledge I was privileged to grow up learning from my family and Elders in my community. It’s a pleasure to take people out and show them around and teach them how special and beautiful this place really is.”

- Juan Walker

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Walkabout Cultural Adventures, Port Douglas

No one knows the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest quite like its Traditional Custodians. Discover the secrets of this ancient tropical rainforest – home to 35% of Australia’s mammal species – on an excursion with Juan or another Indigenous guide from Walkabout Cultural Adventures.

On a tour in and around the Mossman Gorge, discover medicinal plants and bush tucker treats; learn how to use a traditional spear to hunt mud crab, and maybe even spot a Jalbil or Boyd’s forest dragon – a Kuku Yalanji Totem animal.

Join the Cape Tribulation tour, to see where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Discover the secrets of this ecosystem formed over 400 million years on a guided rainforest walk, and learn about how Kuku Yalanji people have lived in harmony with the landscape for tens of thousands of years.

Dip below the waves and see the Great Barrier Reef through Indigenous eyes with Issac Cassidy from Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel in Cairns

Meet Isaac cassidy

“Our connection with Sea Country goes back thousands of years. My favourite thing about this tour is teaching and having people interested to learn. On it we share the local knowledge of plants, we share dance, art and culture, and in the water we share cultural stories alongside scientific facts.”

- Isaac Cassidy

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Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel, Cairns

Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel hosts snorkelling and scuba diving trips to the world’s largest coral reef system from Cairns. Led by Indigenous Sea Rangers, the cruise begins with an Indigenous acknowledgement and an introduction to the Creation (also known as Dreaming) story of the reef before you dive into the turquoise water to explore two species-rich outer reef sites located in Gunggandji Sea Country. Opt to join a guided snorkel tour and your host will point out culturally significant species, from sea turtles to stingrays.

Enjoy a hearty buffet lunch alongside live Indigenous music performances and cultural demonstrations such as fire making. You’ll also have an opportunity to interact with sea rangers on board, who will be more than happy discuss their personal connections to the Sea Country of Queensland in more depth.

See the Whitsundays through a 9,000 year old lens on a Whitsunday Paradise Explorer Ngaro Indigenous Cultural Tour led by Indigenous guide Peter Pryor

Meet Peter Pryor

“We set up this Cultural Tour through the Whitsundays to tell our story, to encourage the younger Ngaro generation to come home to the islands, and for our visitors to experience a piece of paradise and understand why my ancestors called it home for thousands of years.”

- Peter Pryor

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Ngaro Indigenous Cultural Tour, The Whitsundays

The 74 tropical islands that make up the Whitsundays are best known for their postcard-perfect white-sand beaches, aquamarine lagoons, and vibrant fringing reefs.

Lesser known is the rich history and culture of the Ngaro people (also known as ‘Canoe People’), who have inhabited these islands for at least 9,000 years. Thanks to a partnership between John Henderson of Whitsunday Paradise Explorer and Ngaro man John Pryor and his two brothers, you can now gain the ultimate insight into the Ngaro connection to these lands with the Whitsunday Paradise Explorer Ngaro Indigenous Cultural Tour

With a maximum of five guests, the intimate full-day tour departs from the Airlie Beach region to explore a number of places of cultural significance. During the adventure, you’ll learn how to fish with a traditional-style spear, discover the many uses of native plants found on the islands, and deepen your understanding of the storied history of the Ngaro peoples’ relationship with this landscape.

Explore rock art dating back 20,000 years with Kuku Yalanji man and Jarramali Rock Art Tours founder Johnny Murison

Meet Johnny Murison

“We get to take people here, show them our culture and our history. If my guests can come here and leave with a greater appreciation and understanding of our old ways, and be more respectful to each other and leave a better person then I’ve achieved my goal.”

- Johnny Murison

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Jarramali Rock Art Tours, departing from Cairns

Taking its name from the spirit figures that feature in much of the National Heritage-listed region’s rock art, Quinkan Country stretches across the rugged Cape York Peninsula near the remote Aboriginal community of Laura, three hours north west of Port Douglas.

One of Australia’s largest and most significant collections of rock art, the 20,000-year-old Magnificent Gallery is the crowning glory of this place. It’s only accessible to guests of Jarramali Rock Art Tours, and for good reason, for to truly appreciate the elaborate depictions of animals, spirits, cultural practices and more that comprise this enormous gallery is to hear the stories behind them.

Johnny Murison is a proud Custodian of these stories, which he shares on tours by 4WD or helicopter. To connect even more deeply to this wild corner of Queensland and its National Heritage-listed art, choose the two-day tour, which will see you camp under the stars after sharing a hearty meal – and more stories – around a crackling campfire.

Connect with Indigenous culture through art with principal artist and founder of Brisbane’s only Inidgenous-owned and Indigenous art gallery, Birrunga Wiradyuri

Meet Birrunga Wiradyuri

“Birrunga Gallery and Dining is really about the experience; it’s about the welcome, the educational aspect of it. It’s a wonderful space.”

- Birrunga Wiradyuri

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Birrunga Gallery and Dining, Brisbane CBD

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, performance, and food and drink collide at Birrunga Gallery and Dining in central Meeanjin, Brisbane’s only Indigenous-owned-and-operated cultural hub.

Featuring artworks for sale by principal artist Birrunga Wiradyuri along with similarly high-quality original creations by the likes of Wayne Weaver, Jessie Nungarrayi Bartlett, Kane Brunjes and Stevie O’Chin, the Birrunga gallery space will deepen your understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through art.

If bush tucker is of interest then visit the on-site fully licensed cafe. From kangaroo steak sandwiches to grilled crocodile salad, native bush tucker-inspired dishes with a focus on sustainably sourced produce offer the ultimate taste of traditional Queensland.

On the second Saturday of each month, the venue also hosts a First Nations Artisans Market where you can stock up on arts, crafts, jewellery and other creations directly from Indigenous artisans hailing from Brisbane and beyond.

Experience the diversity of Aboriginal history and culture with Brenton Tanner on a Marrija 4WD Cultural Tour in Burketown

Meet Brenton Yanner

“The feedback I get from people that I take on my tours is mainly around the things they learn. For them to get out on Country with me and be able to show them the different places that are not on the maps or written down, I get to share my knowledge and it fascinates people.”

- Brenton Yanner

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Yagurli Tours, Burketown

The outback Queensland town of Burketown is yet another great place to experience the diversity of the state’s Aboriginal history and culture. Run by the Gangalidda and Garawa people, the Traditional Owners of the Moungibi (Burketown) area, Yagurli Tours offers a range of experiences – from stargazing tours to a sunset cruise – in this remote landscape, where Australia’s largest aggregate area of salt pans transform into the nation’s biggest wetland region as the seasons shift.

Among the options is the Marrija 4WD Cultural Tour, an adventurous tag along tour designed to connect you to the historical, cultural and natural wonders of Moungibi. Along the way, your Indigenous guide will school you in the traditional uses of different native plant species, and teach you how to read the indicators hidden in the natural landscape that signals what Mother Nature has in store for the coming season.

of booking an Indigenous experience for your travels

It’s culturally enriching

Immerse yourself in the rich Indigenous history and culture of Queensland as you listen to the expert Dreamtime storytelling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guides. From the evocative Creation stories shared by the Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi Kabi) people of the Sunshine Coast as you cruise its idyllic waterways, to the hidden messages in the ancient rock art galleries of Far North Queensland translated by the Traditional Custodians of Quinkan Country, the state’s Indigenous guides will introduce you to ancestral knowledge passed down over generations, revealing a fascinating side of Queensland you won’t want to miss.

It supports local communities

What began as Kuku Yalanji man Roy Gibson’s dream to introduce visitors to the natural beauty and cultural significance of Mossman Gorge in Tropical North Queensland is now a successful Indigenous-run ecotourism enterprise that employs around 60 community members. By bringing people of all walks of life together through Indigenous art and food, Birrunga Gallery and Dining in Brisbane provides a platform for First Nations creativity of all kinds. Simply by choosing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences, travellers can play a meaningful role in empowering Queensland’s first peoples to practice and protect cultural traditions well into the future. 

It will connect you with nature in a new way

Known as ‘caring for Country’, environmental stewardship sits at the heart of Indigenous Australian culture. From the Totem systems that define Indigenous peoples’ environmental responsibilities to the skilful use of fire to ensure an abundant supply of bush tucker throughout the year, the sustainability practices that have helped to manage and protect Queensland’s delicate ecosystems for millennia also play a central role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism experiences. Introducing visitors to different ways of experiencing nature, the sharing of this ancestral knowledge can be truly transformative, offering lessons for the future all cultures can learn from.

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Blackcard Cultural Tours & Birrunga Gallery and Dining

Fly into Brisbane and spend a few hours learning about the Indigenous heritage of the capital on a walking tour with BlackCard Cultural tours. Afterwards, head to nearby Birrunga Gallery and Dining to see more Indigenous art and tuck into delicious food.

Saltwater Eco Tours

Embark on a two-hour cruise on the Sunshine Coast where you will learn about the Gubbu Gubbi (Kabi Kabi) people on a beautifully restored sailing vessel. En route, Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi Kabi) guides will perform live music and share stories about the history and culture of local Aboriginal people. Enjoy a gourmet bush tucker-inspired lunch showcasing the flavours of the local landscape.

Ngaro Indigenous Cultural Tour

Just over 1,000km up the coast is the Whitsundays, boasting sugar sand white beaches and aquamarine lagoons. Gain a deeper insight into this beautiful area by heading out on a Ngaro Indigenous Cultural Tour. Spend the day learning to fish with a traditional-style spear, learn about native plants and hear stories of the Ngaro people’s relationship with this landscape.

Dreamtime Dive & Snorkel

A further 600km up the coast will take you to Cairns where you can explore the Great Barrier Reef with Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel. Led by Indigenous Sea Rangers, listen to the Creation story of the reef before diving in to swim alongside turtles and rays.

Walkabout Cultural Tours

Only an hour from Cairns is Port Douglas. Here you can take a tour of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest with Walkabout Cultural Tours. Discover Mossman Gorge and see where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Learn about the medicinal plants and hear how the Kuki Yalanji people have been living in harmony with nature for tens of thousands of years.

Jarramali Rock Art Tours

A three-hour drive from Port Douglas is Cooktown where you can explore one of Australia’s largest and most significant collections of rock art, the 20,000-year-old Magnificent Gallery, with Jarramali Rock Art Tours. If you have time to spare, opt for the two-day tour to camp out under the stars.

Yagurli Tours

Head west to Burketown and watch the landscape change as you venture further into the outback. Stop at Burketown for a fascinating tour with Yagurli Tours. Whether you choose to go on a stargazing tour or a sunset cruise, you will learn from the Gangalidda and Garawa guides about the importance of this land and the secrets it holds.

Spirits of the Red Sand & Jellurgal Walkabout Tour

Between the Gold Coast and Brisbane, you’ll find Beenleigh where you can experience an immersive Indigenous theatre show with Spirits of the Red Sand. Be transported back to the 1800s and learn about Aboriginal and Colonial events. Finish your journey with a visit to the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre on the Gold Coast and take a guided tour of Burleigh Heads National Park with Jellurgal Walkabout to learn how the park has played a role in Yugambeh people’s lives for some 20,000 years.

What are you waiting for?

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