Discover Indigenous Australia in northern Queensland’s Olkola country

Olkola people would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land in which we travel through and our partnership with Eastern Ku Ku Yalanji and Rinyuirru Traditional Owners.

Welcome to the home of the Olkola people, the traditional owners of more than 1 million biodiverse hectares located in northern Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula. The Olkola people have recently reacquired their land and are working to preserve their culture and landscape, and to bring their people back home. While here, be introduced to some of the hundreds of plant and animal species found in this unique environment, learn about traditional lifestyle and culture, discover what life is like for many Olkola people today and be guided by Indigenous hosts who are passionate about their land and sharing the stories of their people. Add to this sunsets over an expansive landscape, walking the land with traditional owners, enjoying damper and tea cooked over open fires, searching out bush tucker and hearing stories told each night around the campfire and you have one of Australia’s most unique cultural and travel experiences.

Start
Cairns, Australia
Finish
Cairns, Australia
Countries
Australia
Themes
Explorer, Short Breaks
Code
POBJ
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 4 Max 10
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • - Join the Olkola people's long journey home, and help them preserve their culture and landscape by building a sustainable future through eco-tourism
  • - Be part of the rediscovery of almost two million acres of traditional Olkola land on a pioneering adventure, where every day can bring a new surprise or unpredictable encounter
  • - Journey through a living cultural landscape, an incredible environment that gains greater meaning through authentic experiences and authentic stories from the traditional custodians
  • - Their return to country helps safeguard the history and knowledge of the Olkola people and their lands – learn about the backbone of their culture firsthand

Itinerary

Olkola people would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land in which we travel through and our partnership with Eastern Ku Ku Yalanji and Rinyuirru Traditional Owners.

Leaving Cairns, we’ll travel out to Laura, a small town located on North Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula. Along the way, enjoy a quick break at Mareeba, the final stop on a muster route from which cattle would be transported across Australia and overseas. Setting out on The Willy Long Way, we arrive at Killarney homestead, settle into what will be your base for the next three days. Meet your hosts, then enjoy a delicious dinner and hear the story of this land around a campfire.
Set out on a walking tour of Killarney. Led by your Olkola guide, learn the stories of different Olkola clans and gain an in-depth understanding of the area’s history and pristine ecosystem. Refuel with morning tea before travelling on for lunch at Mariannes Yard, stopping off along the way to find bush tucker and get an insight into traditional life. Visit an outback waterhole, learn the art of making billy tea and damper over a fire, then watch the sun set from a mountaintop while sharing stories and dinner with your hosts.
Visit Jungle Creek, where waterways split in five directions to traverse the Cape York Peninsula before emptying out into the sea. Be taught traditional bush treatments and medicines by your Olkola hosts and enjoy a lunch overlooking the mountain range. Search out the area’s recently discovered rock art and marvel at the intricacies of this ancient art form. Sip on some billy tea heated over an open fire, then head back to camp for some hand-made damper, and dinner and a night sleeping under the stars.
Emerge from your tent for another day in this beautiful part of the world. Travel to the Alwal National Park for a walk around the area, learning about the alwal (an endemic and endangered golden-shouldered parrot). After lunch, pay a visit to this special little bird’s woodland habitat (its nests can usually be found in termite mounds) and search for bush tucker. Back at camp, gather around a fire for dinner and listen in to more wonderful yarns as told by your hosts. The significance of the alwal and ancient methods for managing the countryside are some of the stories likely to be shared.
Leaving Olkola Country, we set out through Rinyuirru (Lakefield) National Park CYPAL and then along Battlecamp Road on the journey to Cooktown and relax at a local guesthouse, our accommodation for the night, and soak up the expansive surrounds of northern Queensland.
After breakfast we visit Cooktown’s local market and weekly meeting place for locals. Follow the Bloomfield Track – arguably the best coastal drive in Australia – to Cape Tribulation, stopping at the iconic Lions Den Hotel to check out this quirky pub. Then be dwarfed by towering canopies and surrounded by verdant greenery on the Daintree Rainforest palm walk. Take a ferry across the Bloomfield River on the return to Cairns, perhaps choosing to have a final dinner together.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nights), Guesthouse (1 night)

Dates

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Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Reviews

Our Journey into Olkola Country trips score an average of 4.67 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Journey into Olkola Country , September 2015

Journey into Olkola Country , September 2015