Join in interactive activities and watch theatrical performances during a special evening of Aboriginal culture. Learn about the traditional customs of Australia’s indigenous Tjapukai people as they share stories of the rainforest during an enthralling dance show. Enjoy canapés and a buffet dinner. Upgrade to include a welcome drink and lakeside ceremony plus hotel pickup and drop-off from Cairns and Northern Beaches.
Tjapukai Aboriginal cultural show and dinner
Dramatic night-time Welcome and Lakeside ceremonies
Experience the magic and theater of Aboriginal culture
Pickup and drop-off from central Cairns and Northern Beaches hotels
Start your Aboriginal Tjapukai cultural experience with hotel pickup from Cairns and Northern Beaches and be welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine on arrival at the venue (if option selected). Follow the resonant call of the didgeridoo across a flame-lit bridge to the rainforest theater, where the Tjapukai people — whose name means ‘rainforest’ — take the stage. You’ll see a dynamic spectacle with an inimitable blend of humor, music and dance. The Tjapukai Dreamtime story unfolds as you hear legends about Queensland's wet and dry seasons. Upgrade your cultural experience to include a lakeside ceremony before dinner. You’ll form part of the Rainbow Serpent Circle and take part in an Aboriginal celebration of music, chanting and dance that culminates in a fire-making ceremony. An illuminating fireball is sent across the lake while the Tjapukai people appear in a flame-lit canoe to escort guests to the dining venue. You'll feast on canapés infused with native flavors and enjoy an international buffet dinner that includes sumptuous dishes accompanied by dessert, tea and coffee. When the lights dim, the performers invite you to join them by the campfire for photos and an intimate chat. Before returning to your hotel (if option selected), there is time to explore the award-winning Tjapukai Fine Art Gallery.
CANAPES Daily selection from a range of canapes
• Braised emu with pureed sweet yam • Kangaroo koftas • Lemongrass-scented tuna on cucumber • Sugarcane skewered crocodile BUFFET DINNER MENU Please note that menu is subject to change due to seasonal availability
• Freshly baked damperSoup
• Red miso soup with traditional condiments • Butternut pumpkin soup with sour cream and shallotsSalads
• Freshly prepared local salads • Roasted sweet potato and macadamia salad • Banana flower salad • A selection of assorted condiments, chutneys and dressingsSeafood
• Mussels in Davidson plum • Prawns with lemon myrtle aioliHot Selection
• Grilled rib eye dusted with mountain pepper and forest mushrooms • Lemon aspen braised chicken breast on wilted greens • Steamed fish with ruby grapefruit and dill cream • Roast pork with accompanying sauces • Roasted chat potatoes • Seasonal vegetables • Steamed riceDessert
The buffet was really good but this is not where you really learn about culture. There were three separate experiences. First, they tell you about the musical instrument they use. This took about 5 minutes and was interesting. The second took about 20 minutes and they paint your face with stripes to represent a tribe, They show you how to start a fire. You spend a lot of time in a circle standing. It was okay. The third is when you go in to eat and they have a show. This is where you are supposed to learn about the culture. It felt like five guys making up a show as they went along. You couldn't understand what they were saying. Our large group left saying, "What was that all about?" Again, food was good and a large selection. But it was several hours where I hoped to really learn about the culture and just didn't.
We enjoyed the start, the fire making ceremony is enjoyable and a little interactive but things got, for lack of a better word, corny after that. After the ceremony you are treated to a buffet, some available foods are very good, some are average or bland, not a bad meal but not great either, the buffet lasts about 45min and around the end of this time my entire table was sitting around wondering if there was anything else happening. the performers came back onstage for a final 20 minutes and while I do not want to be insulting towards any of their culture or traditions, that final porting is very hokey. All of the sound quality is bad, the speakers crackle and are muffled when the performers speak or sing. I enjoyed when they were playing the didgeridoo, but then they inexplicably began playing a terrible piano recording on top of the performers playing. We left the show feeling like we could have spent our time much better.
I wanted very much to visit the outdoor gallery of aboriginal art near Laura, north of Cairns, but we couldn't work out the logistics of getting there and back from Cairns. We wanted some direct experience with the first nation people of Australia, and the Aboriginal Culture Tour was a nice alternative for us. The performers at the beautiful, new performance center outside of Cairns were very good and very engaging. We truly enjoyed every moment of the performance. The meal which followed was also very good. The Tjapukai Center also has an excellent gift shop.
This was one of our favorite experiences of our trip. We booked this somewhat last minute, and so glad that we did. The excursion includes pick up and drop off from the hotel. When you arrive, there are complimentary drinks and face painting. When the show begins, the dancers call everyone to the area by blowing a conch shell. From there, you are lead by torch to the arena to watch the dancing. The performers were excellent and were very passionate about the culture. We attended another's Aboriginal show in Kuranda a few days later. This show blew the one in Kuranda away! I can still hear some of the songs in my head as I write this. The buffet dinner is great with a huge variety. If you want a great culture experience, this is a great opportunity. I highly recommend to anyone visiting Cairns.
This was our first activity in the area. And it was a good way to start. However, the setting was maybe a bit bigger than the performance for me. Due in part to my expectations. Some of the performers lacked my preconceived Aboriginal look. What they did was good. The story they told, however, was a bit hard to keep up with. They buffet with all the various meats, kangaroo, emu, croc ribs, was very good.
It was a great tour, but we did the day tour earlier in the day, so most things were the same except for the dinner. The food was great and I got a chance to try kangaroo and crocodile. I think it would be advisable to tell people that the Night tour is almost the same as the day tour.