Aboriginal culture runs deep in Cairns, and there are several places to get a sense of what it is all about. The longest running and most popular one is Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park.
The term “Tjapukai” itself refers to the name of the tribe that used to make their home in the rainforest near Cairns and the park showcases the “People of the Rainforest’s” indigneous culture. You have the choice of Tjapukai by Day, or by Night. You will learn more in the day tour, although the night tour includes the best buffet dinner in Cairns by a streak, and some very entertaining dance shows. In the day tour, you will get your face painted on arrival, and then get to witness how a didgeridoo is made, a bush tucker presentation, a hunting and weapons demonstration and a typical aboriginal dance presentation. If that is not enough you will learn how to make fire the old way, how to throw boomerangs and spears and see a creation theatre. Including transfers the show costs less than $60 so it is well worth the money. You can also add on the Kuranda scenic railway and skyrail to Tjapukai by day as Tjapukai is right next to the bottom Skyrail station. Click here to book or for more info.
In the night tour after a welcome drink you will be led into the Magic Space for an impressive mystical Quinkan Spirit performance. Next you will be given clapsticks and tap in rythim whilst fire is made the traditional way. After the amazing buffet dinner (leave lots of room for desserts!), you will be treated to a live stage performance by the Tjapukai dancers. Tjapukai by night is more expensive (about $120) due to the buffet dinner.