Dive into Aboriginal culture at Tjapukai Cultural Centre

Far North Queensland offers a myriad of amazing things to see and do, but nothing comes close to exploring the world’s oldest culture. 


Tjapukai is a special Aboriginal cultural centre located in Smithfield, just north of Cairns. The Tjapukai people are the traditional custodians of a mountainous and richly forested part of the Great Dividing Range, and their culture has stood the test of time.


A visit to the centre offers an amazing opportunity to immerse within the local traditional culture of Tjapukai, and shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the Wet Tropics region.


There’s a bunch of unique and interesting ways to visit: you can opt for a day trip, involving interactive activities like boomerang throwing, didgeridoo playing and spear throwing. You’ll also get the opportunity to hear stories of the Dreamtime, which are stories with lessons and warnings that have been passed down from generation to generation.


If you’re up for a more unique experience, you’ll want to opt for the night show and dinner, which involves a balmy evening of tropical delights and an intimate corroboree performance by fire. 


The cultural centre also offers visitors the amazing opportunity to get to know bush tucker and native medicinal plants and seeds. Pull up a chair at the illusive Flame Tree Bar & Grill and dig into Tjapukai’s famous tasting plate, loaded with delicious native bush food. The restaurant also serves barista-made coffee and features an all-day menu just in case you get peckish.


For those who want to dive a little deeper, you can also view ancient artifacts, murals and learn more about the Tjapukai culture in Magic Space, the in-house museum.


If you find yourself in Far North Queensland, a visit to Tjapukai should be at the top of your list. It’s a great way to honour and respect the traditional custodians of the land upon which you’re holidaying, and it’s a brilliant first step into getting educated on Indigenous culture, people and issues, past and present.