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.

Contact details

Cairns Western Arterial Rd, Caravonica (13 km north of Cairns); (07) 4042 9900

Price range

VARIOUS PRICES

Don't Miss

■ The free extra activities for kids – paint your own boomerangs, or decorate message stones for good luck and protection.

■ The Cultural Village – take lessons in spear and boomerang throwing, taste bush tucker and find out how to play the didgeridoo.
 
■ The Dance Theatre performance – learn how to move like a brolga (a native dancing bird) or a kangaroo.
 
■ The Magic Space – have your face painted in traditional style.
 
■ The Creation Theatre, where you are immersed in the dreamtime story of the Tjapukai people through live performance and holograms.

Fabulous Facts

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.

Insider Tips

■ 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.

■ Allow at least half a day for your visit.
 
■ The restaurant buffet becomes crowded with tour groups at lunchtime. Plan to eat early or bring your own food.
 
■ Shows are performed in both English and the Tjapukai language.
 
■ The cheapest way to visit is to drive yourself and bring lunch, but there are various packages available that include transfers from Cairns and the buffet lunch (all high cost).
 
■ Dinner shows are also offered through Tjapukai by Night.
 
■ Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is located in a beautiful rainforest setting, so in parts you will be walking on rough ground. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
 
■ Buying goods from the gallery shop supports the local Aboriginal community.
 
■ The park is adjacent to the base of Skyrail.

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