Located in Cairns, Tropical North Queensland, Tjapukai has been sharing the authentic culture and traditions of the local Djabugay people for the past 28 years, providing employment opportunities for their people and giving the performers immense pride in demonstrating their culture. More than 3 million people around the world have discovered how to shake a leg by joining in traditional performances drawn from Djabugay corroborees, they have learnt how to make fire without a matchstick and been enthralled with the haunting sounds of the didgeridoo.
From its inception, Tjapukai's mission has been about giving Australians and international visitors the opportunity to experience the authentic Aboriginal culture and interact with Traditional Owners. That mission now includes authentic Torres Strait Islander culture. Tjapukai was founded in Kuranda in 1987 by international theatre artists Don and Judy Freeman, David Hudson, an Ewamian man who was brought up among the Djabugay people, and his wife Cindy. They combined their performance expertise with the cultural knowledge of six Djabugay men Willie Brim, Alby Baird, Wayne Nicols, Irwin Riley, Neville Hobbler and Dion Riley to create a one hour play incorporating the dance rich culture of the Djabugay people who had lived in the rainforest around Kuranda for tens of thousands of years.
In 1996 Tjapukai moved to a 25-acre site next to Skyrail Rainforest Cableway at Caravonica and expanded to include interactive cultural demonstrations and performances, a cultural village, restaurant and retail gallery. Tjapukai performers were in demand at world events as an authentic example of Australia's Indigenous culture. These included the Welcome Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Torch and the bid for the Gold Coast to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018. In 2002 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's Australian visit included Tjapukai.
Meals: Lunch All transports: Skyrail or Shuttle bus Art of My People, face painting Tjapukai Creation story History and Heroes journey Bayngga traditional oven demonstration Tjapukai Aboriginal dance performance Bush foods and medicines presentation Hunting and weapons demonstration Didgeridoo show Boomerang and Spear throwing
By day, the park is filled with interactive experiences to give you an authentic insight into Aboriginal culture. In the Cultural Centre, witness the ancient dreamtime story of the Tjapukai people's belief in the creation of the world through live performance and the world's most technologically advanced visual effects.
Gain an understanding of the impacts of the stolen generation and be inspired by Indigenous heroes past and present as you wander through the History and Heroes walk. The Art of My People talk will guide you through a variety of art styles as you learn about the differences between the Aboriginal clans throughout Australia.
Across the lake, join the world famous Tjapukai Aboriginal dancers in a corroboree celebration and fire making ceremony in the Cultural Village. Gain an insight into the gathering and cooking of bush foods and the medicinal values of native plants, learn first hand from a warrior about traditional hunting methods and tribal law.
Throw a spear with the help of a traditional milay spear thrower and learn the art of throwing a returning boomerang. Journey through the complex techniques of playing the didgeridoo, then be tantalised by the smell of the meat being unearthed from the Bayngga underground oven and enjoy a delicious taste test.
A sumptuous buffet lunch with native tastes and fresh salads is available in the Flame Tree restaurant while being entertained by our vibrant Tjapukai performers.
Enhance your day at Tjapukai with our talented artists and make your own souvenirs, creating natural rainforest style jewellery, intricate weaving and painting your own returning boomerang in traditional Aboriginal style. In addition, journey through the parklands with an Indigenous Guided Bush Food Walk learning about native plants and their culinary and medicinal significance.
Finish with a taste of native fruit jams with damper and billy tea overlooking the lake.
To participate in the Cultural Creations activity, we recommend you attend the 09:00, 13:00, 13:30 or 14:00 guided tour. To participate in the Guided Bush Food Trail activity, we recommend you attend the 09:00, 09:15, 09:30, 10:00, 10:30 or 14:00 guided tour. Our restaurant serves lunch from 12:00 midday to 14:00 daily. Our Gift Shop is open from 09:00.
There are various packages that you can choose while booking this tour like General admissions, General Admission plus Both Activities plus Cultural Creations plus Guided Bush, Annual Pass, Exclusive Experience, The Tjapukai and Sky trail Combo Ticket, Tjapukai Full Experience, Cairns creatures plus cultures, General admission plus Guided Bush Food Trail are some of the packages.
Tjapukai offers a morning, afternoon, and evening shuttle transfer service to and from your Cairns and Northern Beaches accommodation. The 09:15 and 13:00. Arrival times are linked to bus pickups, however, if you are making your own way to Tjapukai, feel free to arrive at anytime between 09:15 and 16:00. Public transport connects with Tjapukai via Translink Route 123 from the Cairns city place bus stop and returns from the Tjapukai bus stop. Departure times can be found at the link.
Conditions: Skyrail will close on the following dates. Tjapukai will remain open and operating our regular scheduled tours and activities over these dates. Monday 16th of April and Monday 23rd of April 2018, Monday 14th of May and Monday 28th of May 2018, Monday 4th June, Monday 11th June, Monday 18th June, Monday 25th June 2018. Child rates are applicable from 4 to 14 years and adult rates are applicable beyond that. Family bookings are also available for this particular tour. Optional extras paid on arrival: Buffet Lunch for adults at $30, for children at $15 and for the family at $75.