Cultural Immersion: Experiencing the Indigenous Heritage of the Sunshine Coast

Three indigenous Australian men participating in a cultural ceremony, with one playing a didgeridoo and the others seated nearby in a forest setting on the Sunshine Coast.

Tourism on the Sunshine Coast is more than just seeing beautiful places and tasting delectable food and wine. This region of Queensland, Australia, has something more to offer, especially for those who want to dive deep into the region’s culture. 

From the ancient indigenous history of the Kabi Kabi people to the fine arts that are part of the Australian Aboriginal cultures, the Sunshine Coast indigenous heritage is worth exploring.

Art, culture, heritage; you name it, and we have it in this part of Southeast Queensland.

Indigenous Heritage of Sunshine Coast.

It is believed that the original inhabitants of the Coast and Noosa in Queensland were the Kabi Kabi or Gubi Gubi people and the Jinibara people. The Jinibara people considered the Kabi Kabi people their neighbours and addressed them as Mwoirnewar, the Saltwater people.

Apart from these two groups of people, there were hundreds of indigenous people and other groups living in this region, as per a record dating back to the 1860s. But their number gradually declined owing to the laws passed by the Queensland Government. 

The peculiarity of the Noosa region is the abundance of waterways and rainforests. Because of this, the indigenous people did not find the need to move away from their settlement as the food resources were available aplenty. 

The remnants of Kabi Kabi activity were found in the Noosa in the form of stone tools, bora rings and scar trees. These remnants were mainly found on the banks of the Noosa River and Cootharaba lakes. 

Indigenous Heritage tours worth exploring. 

Cruise tour by Saltwater Eco Tours

A group of people on a sailboat enjoying a breathtaking sunset cruise.

Saltwater Eco Tours offers coast-to-culture marine experiences that leave lasting memories. You can travel in a heritage-listed vessel and explore the indigenous places of the Sunshine Coast.

The marine tour involves a cruise through the Mooloolaba Canal with an engaging cultural commentary. You can enjoy the local food and wash it down with craft beer and wine while enjoying the region’s scenic beauty. 

Private charters are also available where you can host weddings, engagements or other social get-togethers. 

Bush Walkabout tour by Biral Tours

A woman walking down a wooden walkway.

Do you want to explore tribal lands and experience a unique cultural adventure? The Bush Walkabout tour by Biral Tours offers just that. 

The tour takes you on a visit to five sacred sites of the Kabi Kabi tribal nation, apart from a class on boomerang dot painting and a special family water ceremony. 

The tour is a guided walking tour headed by the original tribal owner, Tais K’Reala Randanpi, who even shows you how ancestral beings hunted during their times. 

Learn about tribal life at the Tribal Link Activity Centre

Located on 54 acres of lush land, this activity centre provides a culturally enriching experience to visitors. Apart from having traditional food, you can watch traditional dance and listen to interesting stories and songs of the tribal community. 

The activity centre offers different tours like The Dreaming Tour, Connection to Country and Journey to the Bunya, where you can experience activities like ochre/clay painting, rainforest walk, and big mud challenge. 

The Greenhouse in Buderim Forest Nature Refuge.

The Buderim Forest Nature Refuge is a 10-hectare rainforest track. Apart from a walking track, the rainforest also has memorial gardens and public installations that add to the region’s beauty.

The main walking track is called the Dundalli Way, with various bark paintings, carvings, and statues hidden among the trees.

The Goompi Trail

The Goompi Trail provides a glimpse of the Aboriginal people’s artefacts, their boomerang throwing, local bush tucker, and medicines.

You can also see a Rock Fish Trap, a 10,000-year-old remnant.

Salt Water Murris Quandamooka Art Gallery.

This beautiful art gallery showcases the cultural artefacts and paintings of the Quandamooka people.

The gallery also conducts several art and cultural workshops where students and tourists get a glimpse of the culture and history of Quandamooka.


Do you want to connect to the land of the Sunshine Coast? Do you want to experience the rich cultural tapestry woven by the past generations? Then, you should embark on an indigenous heritage tour of the Coast. 

These tours are a wonderful way to understand the art and culture and the rich connection the indigenous peoples have with their land. 

Who were the first people on the Sunshine Coast?

The Aboriginal people, Kabi Kabi and Jinibara peoples, are considered the ancestors of the Coast by the Coast council of Queensland.

The Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the country of Kabi Kabi to be a place of cultural, social, and economic significance in Mainland Australia.

What Aboriginal nation is Sunshine Coast?

The Sunshine Coast is the Aboriginal nation of the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara people, considered the traditional custodians of the land.

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council also considers the important role of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait people in the coastal community.

 Where is the Gubbi Gubbi tribe?

The Gubbi Gubbi or Kabi Kabi tribe lives on land located in South East Queensland. They are the traditional owners or custodians of this land.

The land covers places like the Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Maryborough, Moreton Bay and Gympie.




Experiencing the Sunshine Coast: Day Tours
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Pick-up location as requested
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Availability : Wednesday & Saturday
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Full Day
Availability : Tue, Fri and Sun
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