Visitors to Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine State, can enjoy learning about the State’s Indigenous heritage and culture in a variety of interesting and fun ways.
Be entertained at the many festivals, theatres and galleries. Be excited by the fascinating tours and excellent shopping for authentic souvenirs. Be relaxed in the most comfortable accommodation and beautiful camping sites in the world.
Learn about ‘Bush Tucker’ and the natural medicines that have supported Indigenous cultures for centuries. Take a trek into an ancient rainforest. Take a canoe ride through a tranquil lagoon or learn to craft spears and catch fish in the traditional way.
Discover the colours of the earth in the traditional rock arts sites around Queensland. Preserved for thousands of years, the sites record the stories of the Dreamtime and give visitors a unique insight into this ancient way of life.
This information on Queensland’s Indigenous culture will help you plan your ideal getaway.
Modern Masters of Ancient Crafts
Queensland has many Art Galleries and shops supplying a wide range of locally made Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works of art and souvenirs. Most of the products in the shops are hand made by local communities - guaranteeing that traditional crafts are kept alive and handed down, and that you take home an authentic piece of Queensland’s Indigenous culture. The Galleries are full of an interesting mix of traditional and contemporary Indigenous artworks - created using a variety of mediums.
Celebrations and Festivals
The spirit of Queensland’s Indigenous cultures comes alive through the celebrations and festivals of its people. Special events such as the National Aboriginal and Islander Week, the Laura Aboriginal Dance and Cultural Festival and the Torres Strait Cultural Festival aim to promote cultural awareness, maintain traditional values and celebrate Indigenous culture.
Experience the Torres Strait
The Torres Straits have a colourful history stretching back to the 1600’s. In the 19th century the area was infamous for its fierce inhabitants and the rich pearl beds hidden deep beneath its dangerous waters.
The first major European settlers were fugitives, fortune hunters and missionaries. A major influx of settlers came in 1868 with the discovery of valuable pearl shell. Men from all over southern Japan, Asia and the Pacific region flocked to the Straits, seeking their fortunes, until the 1950’s when the advent of plastics bought the industry to an end.
In 1942, World War II saw the evacuation of European civilians from the Islands, and the Horn Island airbus was bombed. After the war the Islanders returned to rebuild their community and the airstrip on Horn Island, but reminders of the strategic role that the Torres Straits played in World War II are still obvious on the islands, particularly Thursday Island.
Today the Torres Straits is much more peaceful place, crayfishing is now the main primary industry along with other smaller fisheries. The Torres Straits are made up of over 100 islands, the most populated island and centre of trading and business in the Straits is Thursday Island. With 3,500 residents the culture is an interesting mix of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Malay, South Sea Islander, Papuan, Aboriginal and European peoples.
Mostly descended from the early pearlers and tribespeople off the Prince of Wales Island, the culture is quite distinct from mainland Aboriginal culture. This is most obvious in their music, dance, language and lifestyles. Thursday Island has all the facilities of a well established community transport networks, banks, satellite television, radio services, general stores, restaurants, churches, etc. It has a variety of travellers accommodations and tours.
The rich history of Thursday Island has many a landmark and interesting story. Some of the points of interest on the island are: the Cathedral of All Souls, Green Hill Fort and the Torres Strait Museum, Rosies Shop and Mona’s Bazaar, the cultured pearl operations and the crayfishing industry.