Brisbane’s First Nations tourism is growing.
Home to the Turrbal and Jagera people in the city area, the Quandamooka people of Brisbane’s coastal areas, bay and islands, as well as the Gabi Gabi peoples to our north, the Yugambeh people to the south, the region offers tourism experiences and attractions that showcase the vibrant living cultures of these millennia-old cultures.
This October, Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) celebrated national Indigenous Business Month through highlighting the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives.
This year’s theme was Powering the Indigenous Economy aimed at forging connections between and across First Nations businesses.
The Brisbane region offers a range of experiences, from on-country immersions overseen by traditional owners, to First Nations arts, stories and culture in a contemporary setting.
In this Queensland Year of Indigenous Tourism, BEDA is building these initiatives.
Here are some of Brisbane’s best First Nations’ tourism experiences on offer, where your delegates can learn and deepen their connection to Brisbane’s indigenous history and contemporary culture.
This award-winning tourism experience puts your team at the centre.
From welcome to Country experiences to cultural awareness workshops, these team-building programs will engage, activate and empower your colleagues with knowledge of pre-colonial and early colonisation activities.
You can also have your group playing the oldest wood instrument in the world, the didgeridoo.
During the day, Spirits of the Red Sand offers engaging cultural connections in the Tribal Challenge Experience, fun-filled interactive activities for half or full days.
In the evening, a dinner show with live roving theatre performance depicts the clash of cultures in the 1800s Australia in what is deemed “a true cultural awakening that will open your eyes to the history, beauty and vibrancy of the Aboriginal people”.
The Spirits of the Red Sand attractions can be customised to suit your team and your needs. It is located in Beenleigh, about half an hour’s drive from Brisbane’s CBD.
The only First Nations owned and operated cultural hub in Brisbane’s city centre, Birrunga Gallery is an art space that offers storytelling and bush foods.
Located on Adelaide Street in the heart of the central business district, the gallery features resident artists and makers.
An on-site café and wine bar serves bush tucker offerings alongside the usual favourites and is available for private hire.
Private group tours can be tailored with artist and curator Birrunga Wiradyuri where you will see beyond the canvas and understand the significance of culture and country.
Less than half an hour from Brisbane’s CBD you can participate in a smoke ceremony, taste seasonal bush foods and find witchetty grubs, and listen to a traditional bull-roarer.
Nyanda Cultural Tours at the Nudgee Waterholes holds on-Country experiences that showcase local stories, history and culture.
Founded by descendants of Australia’s first Aboriginal elected to the Australian parliament, Neville Bonner, Nyanda blends the ancient history of a sacred bora ring site with contemporary insights.
The traditional owners also conduct tailored cultural awareness training for conferences and corporate workshops.
The Quandamooka people have lived on picturesque Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island, for more than 7000 years.
Just half an hour from the Redlands by car ferry, or 15 minutes by fast passenger ferry, the island has retained a strong First Nations heritage and culture.
Quandamooka man Matthew Burns has a passion for sharing this. From guided walking tours to dance and didgeridoo workshops and boomerang throwing, he will explain their cultural significance.
Tailored packages and workshops can cater for small tours or large groups.
Exclusive tours are held in the evening for groups of between 30 and 50, visiting the gallery’s Indigenous Australian Art collection before an interactive creative activity.
This spans contemporary art from across the country including paintings, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and installation, with a focus on fibre art.
The event – which can also be tailored to smaller groups – also includes contemporary dining using native local ingredients.
The Three Little Birds menus use local native ingredients, created with traditional techniques that highlight First Nations food culture.