The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park offers a fascinating insight into Australia’s diverse Aboriginal heritage. Visitors can discover the 40,000-year history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and experience the Tjapukai people’s arts, traditions, and foods.
Most visitors arrive at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park from Cairns, and there are plenty of options for half- and full-day tours. Standard entrance tickets include access to the Creation Theater, where Aboriginal folklore and myths are brought to life; the Cultural Village, which hosts traditional corroboree celebrations, live music, and dance shows; and plenty of fun interactive activities. A night visit is even more atmospheric with a lakeside fire ceremony, spectacular cultural show, and a delicious buffet dinner all included.
For the best value, combine your visit with a city tour of Cairns, nearby family attractions such as Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, or a thrilling ride on the Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which starts right next door to Tjapukai.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing to take part in the activities—sunscreen, a hat, and mosquito repellent are also recommended.
- There is a gift shop selling souvenirs and indigenous crafts sourced from across Australia, a restaurant serving a buffet lunch and dinner, and a bar and café on-site.
- Free Wi-Fi is available in the Cultural Centre building.
- Tjapukai is wheelchair accessible and has activities suitable for all ages and abilities.
How to Get to There
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is a short drive north of Cairns off Captain Cook Highway, next to Smithfield Station of Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Visitors can take advantage of an hourly shuttle service to and from Cairns, the northern beaches, and Port Douglas. Bus 123 also runs to the park from Cairns or else it’s a short taxi ride from the town center.
When to Get There
Tjapukai is open daily year-round and, like most Cairns attractions, it’s busiest on weekends and during the summer holidays (December–January). Shows, demonstrations, and interactive workshops are repeated morning and afternoon, so it’s best to arrive either at opening or before 2pm to enjoy all the activities, while night visits start from 7pm.
Tjapukai Cultural Activities
There are plenty of fun ways to get involved at Tjapukai. Sample bush tucker (foods native to Australia) at the Cultural Village, try your hand at spear- and boomerang-throwing, learn to play the didgeridoo, and dance around the campfire. Additional bookable activities include a guided tasting and demonstration of bush foods, native plants, and natural medicines; and a traditional handicrafts workshop involving boomerang painting, weaving, and jewelry making.