First Nations culture

Rock art, Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon National Park Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Connect with First Nations culture and Country, in Queensland’s parks and forests.

For thousands of generations, First Nations people connect to land, sea and sky Country, and hold a deep sense of cultural responsibility to care for Country.

First Nations peoples are the traditional custodians of Country. In some places, where Queensland’s parks and forests overlay or connect with Country, they continue to share knowledge with visitors about their culture—and its complexities and connectedness with Country—through information, stories, art and tours.

Here are just some of the places where you can learn more about, and connect with First Nations peoples and Country in Queensland’s parks and forests.

Guide shows rainforest features to two visitors.

Dreamtime Walk, Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park © Tourism and Events Queensland

Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Rainforest peoples

Venture onto the elevated walkway to Din Din Barron Falls lookout in Barron Gorge National Park and along the way learn about the culture of the Djabugay people and their strong connections with the rainforest.

Head to the Mossman Gorge Centre in Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park, and take part in a guided Dreamtime Walk through the rainforest. Immerse yourself in the enchanting stories and rich cultural heritage of Kuku Yalanji peoples.

Join one of the Ngadjon-Jii guided rainforest walks in Malanda Falls Conservation Park to learn about rainforest Aboriginal culture and hear stories first-hand of how Ngadjon people have lived in and cared for their rainforest Country since ‘time immemorial’.

Visit Mamu Tropical Skywalk in Palmerston (Doongan) Wooroonooran National Park and find out about rich culture of Ma:Mu people. Discover stories from past and present, and learn about their deep connection with rainforest Country.

Two visitors gaze at rock art in cave.

Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail, Whitsunday Islands National Park © Tourism and Events Queensland

Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Coast and island peoples

Journey to K’gari (Fraser Island) to discover the stories of how the Butchulla people lived in harmony with the seasons, the land and the sea, maintaining a balance between spiritual, social and family connections for many thousands of years.

Journey along the Whitsunday Ngaro Sea trail to the Ngaro cultural site on Hook Island and explore a once-hidden cave containing with rock art. This imagery, along with stone fish traps and shell middens, hold special meaning for the Ngaro people. Learn more about the culture of the ‘canoe people’ of the Whitsundays, who have lived here for over 9,000 years.

Discover the culture of the Quandamooka people and learn more about the land and sea Country of the Moreton Bay islands during the annual Quandamooka Festival, held at Naree Budjon Djara National Park on Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island).

Journey through a diverse tapestry of plant communities—mangroves, melaleuca woodland, open eucalypt forest and vine thicket—on the Diversity boardwalk, Cape Hillsborough National Park, to find out about their importance to the Yuibera people.

Two visitors and a guide cross a rocky creek in woodland.

Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon National Park © Tourism and Events Queensland

Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Inland peoples

Learn stories about the great bunya nut festivals where Aboriginal groups from far afield gathered in the Bunya Mountains during the bunya nut harvest. Explore a bunya pine forest, and spend time in the visitor centre to gain insight to the Bunya people’s culture and connection with Country.

Visit Carnarvon Gorge to see ochre stencils, rock engravings and freehand paintings on sandstone overhangs, learn the Dreaming story of Mundagurra the rainbow serpent, and gain new appreciation of the rich culture of Carnarvon Gorge’s first peoples.

Nearby, but even more remote, head to Mount Moffatt to view hundreds of stencil motifs on the walls of a sandstone shelter at The Tombs, a sacred burial site, and discover why this land holds great significance for Bidjara and Nuri peoples today.

Venture out west to Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park. Discover the Dreamtime story of Boodjamulla, the Rainbow Serpent, see ancient rock art and engravings, and learn more about the culture of the Waanyi people, who have lived in the gorge continuously for around 30,000 years!

Currawinya National Park is home to the Budjiti people, where red sandplains and mulga scrubs give little hint of rich and diverse wetlands that make Currawinya one of Australia’s most important inland waterbird habitats. Here you’ll discover a landscape that protects thousands of years of Budjiti cultural heritage.