Categories > Guides and Tips

Indigenous Tours in Brisbane You Must Try

Indigenous Tours in Brisbane You Must Try

Now, I know Brisbane’s known for its stunning skyline and sun-soaked beaches, but have you ever wanted to venture off the beaten path and delve into the vibrant world of indigenous culture?

Well, you’re in for a ripper of a treat because we’re about to uncover the best indigenous tours in Brisbane. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill tours; they’re like a passport to a world filled with ancient traditions, mesmerizing stories, and breathtaking landscapes.

So, ditch the ordinary and join me on a journey to uncover the rich tapestry of indigenous history woven into this sunny city. Get ready for the ultimate indigenous experience in Brisbane!

What is an Indigenous tour?

What is an Indigenous tour
Image Source:

An Indigenous tour in Brisbane offers an extraordinary departure from conventional city excursions. It’s a captivating odyssey that unveils the profound cultural heritage of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Unlike standard tours, these experiences provide a unique lens through which to explore the city, emphasizing the ancient traditions, captivating stories, and magnificent landscapes that carry centuries of history.

To prepare for this enriching adventure, travelers should come with an open heart and mind, ready to absorb the wisdom of Dreamtime legends, discover the secrets of bush tucker, admire traditional art, and connect with deeply rooted Indigenous communities.

1. Nyanda Cultural Tours

Address: 52 Childs Rd, Nudgee QLD 4014


Contact Details: 0435 795 337, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 AM–4 PM

Entry Fee:

  • Adult – $99
  • Child – $69
  • $299 – Family of 4 (saving of $40)
  • Every additional child will be charged at a reduced rate.

Nyanda Cultural Tours offers an enriching and interactive cultural journey led by knowledgeable Brisbane traditional owner guides. This immersive tour invites guests to explore the deep connection between Aboriginal people and the natural environment.

Just a 15-minute drive from Brisbane’s city center in Nudgee, this cultural excursion helps participants appreciate the waterholes’ significance to the Jagera people and gain insights through storytelling, weaving, and cultural demonstrations.

During the 1.5-hour tour, participants become part of the Nyanda family and engage in activities such as a smoking ceremony, fire making, and a deep dive into bush foods and plant species found in the local environment.

Guests will learn Yagara language words, listen to the captivating sounds of a bull-roarer at a sacred bora-ring, and even try their hand at boomerang and spear throwing.

The experience culminates in native bush food tasting, allowing visitors to savor traditional delights like wattle seed damper and lemon myrtle cordial.

Nyanda Cultural Tours caters primarily to groups, including schools, conferences, and corporate outings, and also offers private tours by appointment.

Pro tips: Be punctual and arrive at the designated meeting point on time to ensure you make the most of your cultural experience. Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes suitable for outdoor activities, as you’ll be participating in various hands-on experiences.

2. Spirits of the Red Sand 

Address: Beenleigh Historical Village, 205 Main St, Beenleigh QLD 4207


Contact Details: 1300 259 016, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Daily – 6.30 PM

Entry Fee:

  • Adult – $120
  • Children (5-9 years old) – $25
  • Children (10-15 years old) – $65
  • Students/Seniors – $99
  • Family – $320
  • Group – $114 pp

Spirits of the Red Sand offers a truly exceptional indigenous cultural experience that stands out in Brisbane. This unique two-and-a-half-hour interactive live theater show and dinner immerse guests in the rich history and culture of Aboriginal Australia.

It’s the only experience of its kind in the country, set within the authentic 19th-century surroundings of Beenleigh Historical Village.

Led by direct descendants of Jarrah and his brothers, the experience transports visitors to 1800s Australia, where the collision of British and Aboriginal worlds is vividly portrayed.

Master storyteller Mike Tamaki, known for Tamaki Maori Village, crafts this groundbreaking journey, making Spirits of the Red Sand a pioneering attraction in southeast Queensland.

This extraordinary experience combines storytelling, indigenous song and dance, a hearty Australian-style buffet, and the chance to interact with the cast and crew.

It’s easily accessible from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, offering transfers from convenient pick-up points. Bookings are essential, and ample off-street parking is available at Beenleigh Historical Village.

Pro tips: Queensland weather can be unpredictable. Consider dressing in layers so you can adjust to any temperature changes throughout the evening. While dinner is included, if you’d like to enjoy some drinks from the licensed bar, make sure to have some cash on hand.

3. Yura Tours 

Address: 15 Mooloomba Rd, North Stradbroke Island QLD 4183


Contact Details: +61 438 882 033, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 9 AM–5 PM

Entry Fee:

  • Ultimate Minjerribah Cultural Experience – $150
  • Sand Beneath my Feet Tour – $79
  • Whale Watching Cultural Walk – $89

Yura Tours offers an authentic indigenous experience on Minjerribah, also known as North Stradbroke Island, just a ferry ride away from Brisbane.

This 100% Aboriginal-owned and operated business, led by Elisha and her family, invites visitors to immerse themselves in the Quandamooka Culture. Through their tours, you can gain a profound understanding of the island’s rich Indigenous heritage.

The Sand Beneath My Feet Cultural Walk takes you on a journey where you’ll learn about the Quandamooka Aboriginal uses of plants and trees, all while enjoying the pristine coastal scenery.

The Land-Based Cultural Walking Tour at Mulumba (Point Lookout) offers breathtaking views, a glimpse of the majestic yallingbilla (whale) performances during migration season, and encounters with local wildlife like dolphins, kangaroos, and turtles.

The Minjerribah Cultural Experience – Driving Tour provides a comprehensive exploration of the island, from Bummiera (Brown Lake) to Capemba (Myora Springs), with stops at art galleries and significant cultural sites along the way.

Whether you’re interested in traditional stories, local flora and fauna, or the island’s deep-rooted history, these tours offer a meaningful and enlightening experience that connects you with the land and its people.

Pro tips: Follow the principles of “leave no trace.” Respect the natural environment, cultural sites, and sacred spaces you visit. If you visit art galleries or have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs during your tour, consider supporting local artisans and artists as a way to contribute to the community.

4. Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre

Address: 1711 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220


Contact Details: +61 7 5525 5955, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 AM–4 PM, Saturday: 9 AM–12 PM

Entry Fee:

  • Jellurgal Walkabout
    • Adult – $39
    • Child (5-14 years old) – $20
  • Jellurgal Little Explorers
    • Child – $25
    • Adults – Free (maximum one adult per child)
  • Local School Tours
    • Student – $19.50
    • Teachers/Helpers – Free

For a memorable and educational adventure into Aboriginal history and culture, Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre is a must-visit destination on the Gold Coast, offering a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage and significance.

Located along the beautiful beachside rainforest walkway surrounding the mystical Jellurgal mountain, this tour offers a profound journey of discovery.

Here, you can delve into the rich Aboriginal history and culture of the Gold Coast as you listen to Dreaming stories intricately linked to the creation of Jellurgal.

You’ll also gain insights into traditional life, including bush tucker, fishing, hunting, and the enduring ecological practices deeply rooted in the Yugambeh-speaking people’s connection to the land over thousands of years.

Designed to cater to international travelers, interstate visitors, and locals eager to explore the region’s Aboriginal heritage, this experience offers a unique opportunity to connect with Australia’s indigenous roots.

The Jellurgal Walkabout Tour, spanning approximately 2 hours, unveils ancient sites used by the Yugambeh-speaking people, such as an ancient midden.

Pro tips: Be respectful of the cultural practices and traditions shared during the tour. Listen actively and ask questions to learn more. Bring along sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. The Australian sun can be quite intense, even during walks.

Address: 300 Adelaide St, Brisbane City QLD 4000


Contact Details: +61 451 387 492, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday: 7 AM–2 PM, Tuesday-Friday: 7 AM–8 PM

Birrunga Gallery & Dining is a place where art, cuisine, and culture come together, inviting everyone to explore and celebrate the richness of indigenous heritage in Brisbane’s heart.

This unique venue, open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays and extending into late Friday evenings for entertainment, offers a delightful fusion of indigenous flavors and contemporary Aboriginal artwork.

Founded by Wiradjuri artist Robert Henderson, Birrunga Gallery has a rich history of showcasing indigenous and outsider artworks.

It serves as a creative hub, fostering talent through training programs and supporting artists, especially those of indigenous backgrounds.

The gallery dares to challenge audiences and celebrate diverse talents, featuring regular and founding members’ artworks alongside exhibitions of new works by different artists.

The cafe/restaurant at Birrunga Gallery & Dining offers modern Australian cuisine enriched with a wide range of Australian native foods and flavors, including kangaroo and crocodile. It also offers live music and entertainment.

As a fully licensed cafe, it’s a fantastic spot to unwind, enjoy a meal, and savor indigenous-inspired cuisine.

Pro tips: Check their schedule for upcoming art classes. Participating in these classes can be a great way to express yourself creatively and learn about indigenous art techniques. Birrunga Gallery & Dining is committed to supporting indigenous artists. Consider purchasing indigenous art or souvenirs as a meaningful keepsake of your visit.

6. BlackCard Cultural Tours

Address: Stanley Place, South Brisbane Queensland 4101


Contact Details: 0437 066 028, [email protected]

Entry Fee:

  • Brisbane Aboriginal Cultural Tours – $99
  • Kurilpa Point and Cultural Precinct Walking Tour – $99
  • Cultural Tour and Weaving Session with a Bush Tucker Tasting – $140

With daily tours available, BlackCard Cultural Tours provide an eye-opening and transformative experience, unveiling hidden gems of indigenous culture, art, and history in Brisbane’s heart.

Each of their tours includes a mesmerizing live cultural performance featuring the hauntingly beautiful sounds of the didgeridoo.

One option is the 90-minute Cultural Precinct and Kurilpa Bridge Walking Tour, which provides a captivating introduction to the city’s Aboriginal art and culture.

This tour lets you explore the abundant Aboriginal public artworks, meander through the Cultural Precinct, and cross the iconic Kurilpa Bridge into Meanjin (Brisbane City).

It also encompasses renowned sites like the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Kuril Dhagun (State Library of Queensland), Queensland Art Gallery (QAG), and more.

For a deeper dive into Aboriginal art, the 2-hour “All about Aboriginal Art Walking Tour” takes you on an inspiring journey through local galleries, exhibitions, and public art installations.

Featured artists include luminaries like Lilla Watson, Albert Namatjira, Judy Watson, Fiona Foley, and Tony Albert, among others. Here, you’ll gain a profound understanding of the rich Aboriginal artistry that thrives in Australia’s New World City.

Alternatively, you can embark on the 2-hour Riverside and Parklands Walking Tour for a cultural immersion along the Maiwar (Brisbane River) and the city’s lush subtropical parklands.

This tour also introduces you to the diverse world of bush tucker, sharing ancient knowledge about Australia’s most nutritious food sources.

Pro tips: Show respect for the natural environment and cultural sites you encounter. Follow your guide’s instructions on how to do so properly. Brisbane’s parklands and riverside areas can be home to various wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for native birds, animals, and plants along the way.

7. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Address: 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin QLD 4223


Contact Details: +61 7 5534 1266, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 9 AM-4 PM

Entry Fee:

  • Adult – $59.95
  • Concession – $49.95
  • Child (Ages 3-13 years old) – $45.95
  • Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) – $189.95
  • Infant (Under 3 years old) – Free

Nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a treasure trove of natural wonders and cultural richness.

While it’s renowned for its vibrant wildlife, from koalas to lorikeets, the sanctuary also offers a deeper connection to the region’s Indigenous heritage.

At the daily Aboriginal Culture Show, led by Luther Cora and the local Yugambeh people, visitors have the unique opportunity to celebrate the rich traditions and history of the Gold Coast’s first inhabitants.

Through captivating performances, dance, language, and storytelling, this show sheds light on the enduring legacy of the Indigenous people.

Beyond the cultural experience, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary invites you to explore its lush 27-hectare rainforest, where you can interact with kangaroos, cuddle koalas, and witness remarkable wildlife displays.

Whether it’s the wild lorikeet feeding, free-flight bird shows, or a journey through the exotic Lost Valley, the sanctuary offers an unforgettable blend of nature, culture, and conservation.

Pro tips: Remember that Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a not-for-profit organization committed to wildlife conservation. Consider making a donation or supporting their conservation programs to help protect Australia’s unique wildlife. If you’re traveling with children, don’t forget to take a ride on the miniature train, a fun way to tour the sanctuary and keep the little ones entertained.

8. Yarriba Dreaming 

Address: 1093 Upper Logan Road, Mt Barney Lodge, Mount Barney, QLD 4287


Contact Details: +61 75544 3233, [email protected]

Entry Fee: $1895

Yarriba Dreaming offers an exceptional Indigenous cultural experience in the heart of Scenic Rim Country, recently recognized by Lonely Planet as one of the Top 10 Regions in the World to Visit in 2022.

Led by Gurruhmun, affectionately known as “Old Man Kangaroo,” a knowledgeable Ugarapul and Bidjara man deeply connected to the land, Yarriba Dreaming provides an immersive journey that allows visitors to truly connect with nature.

At the core of Yarriba Dreaming is a three-day cultural tour that encapsulates the Goori way of life.

This experience is an opportunity to slow down, establish a profound connection to the land, and learn about ancient survival techniques and traditional Indigenous culture.

Activities range from participating in a traditional smoking ceremony and hearing captivating stories around an ancient birthing water hole to gaining insights into traditional bush tucker and hunting skills.

The tour even includes a virtual initiation, providing a comprehensive understanding of Indigenous Australian culture and practices.

What sets Yarriba Dreaming apart is its commitment to preserving and sharing Indigenous heritage in a genuine and respectful manner.

The tour invites visitors to leave with not only a deeper connection to the breathtaking landscape of Scenic Rim but also a profound appreciation for the rich culture and spirituality of Indigenous Australia.

Pro tips: Prepare for Yarriba Dreaming by packing essentials like comfortable clothing suitable for outdoor activities and weather conditions. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, a hat, and sturdy walking shoes for outdoor adventures. Be adventurous with your palate and sample traditional bush tucker offered during the tour. It’s a chance to savor unique flavors and gain insight into Indigenous food culture.

9. Aboriginal Art Co.

Address: 89 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101


Contact Details: +61 493 498 729

Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10 AM-6 PM

Located in the heart of South Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct, Aboriginal Art Co. is a remarkable testament to First Nations culture and artistic expression.

This unique space, led and managed by First Nations individuals, serves as more than just a gallery; it’s a multifaceted hub that encapsulates a retail shop, boutique gallery, serene outdoor courtyard, and an artist-in-residence studio.

Here, visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the authentic history, rich diversity, and captivating artistry of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

As a not-for-profit Art Centre, it goes beyond commerce by supporting artists from all corners of Australia, including those from Aboriginal art centers and independent practitioners.

Furthermore, it actively engages with the local First Nations artists through various programs and community initiatives.

By choosing to patronize Aboriginal Art Co., you’re making an ethical choice, as the proceeds empower First Nations artists and their communities.

Pro tips: Check the gallery’s opening hours and any special exhibitions or events before you go. It’s best to visit when you have enough time to explore without feeling rushed. Besides art, the store offers a range of Indigenous-made products. Consider buying gifts or mementos that directly support the local community.

10. QAGOMA’s First Artists: Cultural Experiences

Address: Stanley Place, South Brisbane Queensland 4101 


Contact Details: 07 3842 9255, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10 AM–5 PM

Entry Fee:

  • First Artists: Exceptional Indigenous Art & Dining Experience – $4199
  • First Artists: Evening Indigenous Experience for Groups – $590

QAGOMA’s First Artists: Cultural Experiences program, crafted in partnership with Blaklash Creative, introduces two distinct and enriching encounters that shine a spotlight on First Nations art, music, native cuisine, dance, culture, and storytelling.

The Exceptional Indigenous Art & Dining Experience opens with a poignant Welcome to Country and an exclusive after-hours gallery tour led by a First Nations storyteller, artist, and curator.

Guests are then treated to a curated dinner, a collaborative masterpiece by Koori Chef Chris Jordan and QAGOMA’s Head Chef, Aaron Holt.

This experience is designed for intimate gatherings of 10 to 25 guests, offering a profound exploration of Indigenous artistry and culinary innovation.

On the other hand, the Evening Indigenous Experience, designed for a minimum of 30 guests, also encompasses a private tour and culinary delights prepared by these two talented chefs.

In addition, participants engage in a hands-on, interactive activity guided by a local Indigenous artist, deepening their connection to the culture and heritage of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Pro tips: Don’t be hesitant to try new foods and participate in interactive activities led by local Indigenous artists. It’s a chance to expand your horizons and learn. During the Welcome to Country, listen attentively and show respect to the Indigenous Elders conducting the ceremony. It’s a significant and meaningful part of the evening.
Related topics