Located at the base of the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, this park offers many opportunities to learn about indigenous Djabugay people through exhilarating dance performances, hands-on workshops in traditional fire-making, spear and boomerang throwing, didgeridoo lessons, and talks on bush tucker and natural medicines. You can buy Aboriginal artworks, artifacts, and instruments (including didgeridoos) on-site; buffet lunches and four-course dinners are also available. One
of Australia's most informative cultural attractions, it's also one of the few that returns profits to the indigenous community. Ticket options include Tjapukai by Day and Tjapukai by Night, the latter a nightly four-course buffet dinner/performance package.
Cairns Western Arterial Rd. (next to Skyrail terminal), Cairns, Queensland, 4878, Australia
Apr 17, 2013
My spouse and I visited the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park one afternoon during our stay in Cairns in late August 2012, arriving there via Skyrail from Kuranda village. (We traveled to Kuranda on the Kuranda Scenic Railway.) When we arrived at Cavonica Terminal, we followed the signs to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, which is located right next to the station. Our Tjapukai show began at 2:10 pm, in which we experienced indigenous Australian
culture, dance, and history through storytelling and performances. We debated about going to Tjapukai when we planned our day trip to Kuranda, but we decided to go because we wanted to learn more about the native Australian people. (Perhaps, if as part of our Australia itinerary, we had traveled to a location such as Uluru/Ayers Rock, we could have learned about native people, and thus, we could have skipped Tjapukai, but we did not have time to add a fourth location to our program.) Your entrance time assigns you to a group, which moves through the various attractions together at the same pace. Our group was the only group on the property at the time, so it was very quiet. We first sat in an outdoor theater where staff members danced, sang, played the didgeridoo and drums and made fire. The staff is quick to tell you that they are descendants of native people, but they do not hide the fact that they live modernly. Then we moved to a small outdoor shelter where they taught us about bush medicines and food and weapons (like boomerangs). We then got to try boomerang throwing, and later spear-throwing. Our tour ended up indoors, seeing two different shows in the Creation Theatre and the Dance Theatre. There is a restaurant/bar and gift shop on site. Besides visiting during the day, you can take an evening tour, which includes a buffet dinner and some campfire activities. Although we thought that Tjapukai was a worthwhile experience, we do not consider it a “not-to-be-missed” attraction. (Please see our other reviews of the Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for related information.)