Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
All eyes are on your Aboriginal guide, poised with a boomerang in his hand. Against the backdrop of creek and bush, his bare, muscled arm striped with traditional paint, he is a timeless figure. The weapon flies out of his hand and loops through the air. He catches it with a grin, and your kids’ eyes light up. Now it is their turn. They have already had a go at throwing spears at a kangaroo (painted on a haystack), and now they are going to try to make a boomerang return.
Cairns Western Arterial Rd, Caravonica (13 km north of Cairns); (07) 4042 9900
■ The free extra activities for kids – paint your own boomerangs, or decorate message stones for good luck and protection.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Europeans tried to extinguish a culture that had survived for tens of thousands of years. Children were removed from Aboriginal homes to be brought up by European missionaries. They were banned from speaking their language or learning from Aboriginal elders. However, local Indigenous culture was not lost, and you can experience some of its riches at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.
■ Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park works like a theme park – you move from zone to zone for different experiences. Keep an eye on the timetable so you reach each zone in time for a scheduled show.