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Strap on your hiking boots, here are 4 ways to explore the Wet Tropics with an Indigenous guide

There’s no better way to explore the World Heritage-listed rainforests of Tropical North Queensland, than by following in the footsteps of a local Indigenous guide. Ditch your map, strap on your hiking boots and choose your own Wet Tropics adventure.

Discover the DaintreeJuan-Walker-Indigenous-Tour-Guide-Walkabout-Cultural-Tours

Tag along with Juan Walker on a Walkabout Cultural Adventures tour next time you’re up in Tropical North Queensland and see the Daintree Rainforest through the eyes of one who knows it best. Juan operates out of Mossman, Port Douglas and Daintree.

Hike through Tully GorgeSonya-Jeffery-Ingan-Tours

Place yourself in the hands of the Jeffrey family, owners and operators of Ingan Tours, and discover the spectacular landscapes and winding rivers of Tully Gorge National Park. Take a walking tour deep into the Tully Valley to reach the cascading waters of Echo Creek Falls, or opt for a ‘hike on water’ as you kayak along Bulgan Creek.

Learn about ritual and remedyPamagirri-Rainforestation-Wet-Tropics-Tropical-North-Queensland

Head to the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience just outside of Cairns to witness ancient rituals and learn about bush remedies as you explore the rainforest with a Pamagirri guide.

Take a Dreamtime Walk through Mossman GorgeNgadiku-Dreamtime-Walks

Visit sacred places and hear ancient stories about stunning Mossman Gorge as a Kuku Yalanji guide takes you along private Indigenous tracks on the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk.

Meet a Custodian of the Rainforest

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Juan Walker

For thousands of years, the Kuku Yalanji people have called Tropical North Queensland home.

We asked Kuku Yalanji man and guide Juan Walker to share his connection to country and what it means to be a traditional custodian of the rainforest today:

“I’ve always felt closely connected to the land, even from an early age. My grandfather was a Kuku Yalanji elder and he had a big influence, not just on my family, but our whole community. He wanted to make sure we knew what was around us, so he taught us from a very young age how to live off the land and find basic bush foods and medicines.

“Sharing my culture and connection to country is important to me. I want people to understand that it’s not just rainforest – it’s not just nature. It’s everything. If you look deeper into it, you’ll see that everything is connected.  That’s what inspired me to become a guide.

“For over 15 years I’ve been taking people into the Daintree Rainforest and showing them my home. I take pride in teaching people about the land and how important it is to respect and look after the rainforest and its inhabitants.”

“We’ve got everything in this region – rainforest, beaches, mangroves, coast – so I try to teach visitors about the different resources the land provides. Most people are amazed at how much we still use.  I like to show people a bit of everything: edible fruits you can snack on, how to make antiseptic and eyedrops out of local trees and bushes, even how to hunt for fish with a spear.

“It’s important to me that I pass on my people’s traditions. I love taking visitors out into nature and teaching them the things I learnt growing up. We really do live in a beautiful part of the world – and I want visitors to feel just as connected to it as I do.”

Want to learn more about Indigenous Queensland? Check out our free ebook and get inspired.

Have you explored the Wet Tropics with an Indigenous guide? Tell us about your experience.