Review: Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park, Cairns, Queensland


We are constantly traveling the world discovering its wonder and sharing in its timeless boundaries. We found more than we had hoped in this land called “Down Under.” Australia is a land of huge contrasts, vast deserts that continue for thousands of miles. Oceans so blue your eyes can’t absorb their brilliance. Wildlife that exists no where else on the planet. The world’s largest reef, the Great Barrier Reef. The oldest rain forest, it actually touches the beach. Most of these phenomena’s of nature can be found near the charming town of Cairns Qld. There is much to do and see in this area of Australia, so plan for a lengthy stay. You’ll have the time of your life. Australia has a cultural past and like most countries it isn’t always pleasant. In the adventure capital of Australia there is Cairns, the city with a future and a past. That past goes back to gold, and the greed to do whatever it takes to find it. When the British had strong influence in the daily life of Australian’s there was an indifference to the disposition of the natives, the Aborigines. The rule, The Golden Rule was, if they are in the way of funding England’s greed, remove them by any means possible. That’s exactly what happened. They were hunted like animals, shot on sight, herded like diseased rodents and swept over cliffs to their deaths. Men, women, children, it made no difference! It is sad that mankind hasn’t learned the lessons of nature. All things are created for a purpose & must have their destiny.

While we were touring Cairns Australia we visited a culture center that not only took us back to the past, it revitalized my awareness of the frailty of life. The treatment of the Aborigines were not unique by any means. Mankind have always sought power over his fellow man. The fear of being weaker has lead to the distorted need to find ways to make up for their fear. From throwing rocks to firing missiles, nothing has changed. We need to be constantly reminded of our evil potential. In Cairns, the Aboriginal Culture center does just that, it reminds us of what we are capable. Below, you will read more about the center and hopefully it will help us all to be vigilant in our treatment of other living things.

Tjapukai or Djabugay means ‘People of the Rain forest’. These are the indigenous tribes people, or Bama, who inhabited the region which extends from Cairns to Port Douglas and inland to Kuranda.

The Creation Theater, using the latest in illusion theatrics and technology, tells the story of the creation of the world according to the spiritual and traditional beliefs of Tjapukai culture. In their own Tjapukai language, overlaid with a verbatim translation in the language of your choice via state-of-the-art personal headsets (English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin.)

The History Theater presents a 20 minute audio visual presentation of the history of the Tjapukai since the coming of the white man 120 years ago. Titled “A Story of Survival”, this movie contains material which some members of the audience may find disturbing.

The Dance theater presents the tradition of storytelling through song and dance. A 25 minute show full of fire sticks, fire making, and modern humor. At the Tjapukai Camp, you get demonstrations of Didgeridoo music, Bush foods and medicine, boomerang and spear throwing. The Art Gallery has original Aborigine artwork for sale.

Traveler’s Digest toured this region of Australia for several months and fell in love with this raw beautiful land. We highly recommend Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef and soaring through the rain forest with the world’s safest and longest gondola, The Skyrail. We most definitely encourage everyone, young or old, to visit the Aboriginal Culture center for a life altering experience. You will walk out feeling in touch with their souls and yours. Life is a gift to us all and must be cherished by us all!

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Michael Smith was the touring editor for Traveler’s Digest. His journeys took him across the world and on a series of unforgettable adventures!