Beyond the Rainbow: Aboriginal Rock Art
Duration: 3 1/4 hours
Tour Code: CTN-003
A celebration of indigenous Australian culture, this excursion visits Hope Vale, an aboriginal community where an elder will guide you into sacred areas once off limits to the public.
Depart from the pier in your 4WD vehicle and make your way inland to rural Hope Vale, an area of great significance to the aborigines. In 1986, the community was the first in Queensland to receive a Deed of Grant in Trust, allowing the aborigines to manage their own affairs and preserve their traditional way of life.
Upon arriving, you'll meet with an elder and story-keeper and receive an introduction to the aboriginal culture. In time, you'll follow him to an area in the hills above Hope Vale called Wangaarr-Wuri, site of the Nugal rock art. Created centuries ago, the art was painted on rocks inside a number of caves, which protected it from wind and rain.
The art tells the story of the Nugal-warra people by depicting different aspects of their society. Through your exploration of the Great Emu Cave and the Rainbow Serpent Cave, you'll learn about the mythical figures inside, aboriginal beliefs and even practical information on how the indigenous people flourished in the wilderness by maximizing their knowledge of local flora. For instance, the aborigines used the sap of the bloodwood tree as an antiseptic and the resin from grass trees as an insect repellent. After approximately two hours immersed in the aboriginal culture, you'll drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way into and out of the 4WD vehicle, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes re suggested. Tour may be operated with a driver-guide.