Quandamooka Festival

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: June 20, 2019

Reading time: 3 mins

Celebrating the Culture, Country & People of the oldest surviving culture in the world

Held over a 3-month period from the 1st of June to the 31st of August is the Quandamooka Festival that celebrates the oldest surviving culture in the world. Immerse yourself in the experience of learning the beliefs and traditions of the Nughi, Nunukul and Goenpul clans of the North Stradbroke Island area. Each year’s theme is different, with last year’s festivities focuses on ‘Language’, a theme was chosen based on the United Nation’s decision to make 2019 the international year of Indigenous Languages. Over the 91 days duration of the festival, there will be 7 major events, workshops and 2 evening concerts. Some activities include whale watching, cultural tours, boat tours, basket weaving workshops, art exhibitions and cultural discussions. The aim of the festival is to connect modern-day people with the country’s sands, seas, sacred lakes, soil, and creatures found within the Redlands and Moreton Bay region. Seeing these increidble natural wonders from the Quandamooka Peoples perspective, and socially engaging in the caring for the country.

  • Yura Opening Event

    On the 1st of June, join the Quandamooka people on this day of celebration. Listen to the ancient Dreamtime stories told by the elders, watch traditional dance performances, try native food created into contemporary dishes and exactly how to throw a boomerang. There will be activities for the family including a bush tucker tour as well as a market with unique Indigenous arts available for purchase. If you can’t make the opening event, never fear as there are over 55 events coming up to choose from.

  • Yura Yalingbila Yalingbila (Welcome the Whales)

    For over 60,000 years the Quandamooka people have welcome the humpback whales on the journey of migration from Antarctica. They do this by ritual dances, which this year is being led by Elder Josh Walker. There will also be a collective weaving circle, food trucks around the sites and arts and crafts activities that will get the whole family involved. The Quandamooka people will happily teach you about their sands, lakes and creeks as well as the creatures that live in the sea and on the traditional land of the Quandamooka people.

  • Goomp Kunjiel (Corroboree) Evening Concert

    As the festival comes to a close, Australian superstars Jessica Mauboy and Dan Sultan will perform in a small, intimate concert set under the stars. Discover the new voices emerging on the Australian music scene and take a final browse at the Indigenous marketplace picking up unique pieces of jewellery and art. The closing event finishes on the 31st of August and spans across 5 locations with an annual average visitor attendance of 15,000 attendance though this is predicted to rise this year.

The festival is a great platform for the Quandamooka community to pass on their stories, language and knowledge to the younger generations. The event is also concerned with environmental issues and making sure that their carbon footprint is as minimal as possible to protect their land. So what are you waiting for? Book your flights and head to the region for one of the greatest cultural experiences in Australia!

Related article: The Different Personalities of Brisbane’s Southbank

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.