THE SPIRIT OF PORT DOUGLAS
‘Welcome to Kuku Yalanji country. The area you are travelling through has great spiritual and cultural significance to our people’
A visit to Port Douglas isn’t just about delicious food, fantastic scenery and a stunning tropical climate. Port Douglas is also a site of Indigenous significance and is considered healing to all who visit. It is also the spiritual home of the the Kuku Yalanji people.
The entire Daintree-Cape Tribulation/Bloomfield region is a small part of the Kuku Yalanji tribal area. As a whole, this extends from Mossman in the south to Annan River in the north and as far west as Laura and Palmer River. The Kuku Yalanji people are a single tribal group as distinct from the neighbouring Kuku Yimidhirr to the north and Jabugay/Yirrigandji to the south.
To share in this connection, and the history of the region, is something that we at the QT are very proud of. Our guests are encouraged to learn about the connection to the land, and the narratives of the Kuku Yalanji peoples, which tell the story of some our most beautiful landmarks.
Kuku Yalanji mythology and presence in this region originates from the actions of the Rainbow Serpent (Kurriyala) and its creation of the environment as we see it today. Many prominent features of the region have a complex mythological component and these may be either animal-like, human-like or an element of the universe. As a result, story places or cultural sites represent past activities or current residence beneath the surface and have a very high cultural significance, so are often considered dangerous to approach or take resources from, except in prescribed ways or by the right person. The mythology and other powerful properties attributed to most story places are the reason why the Kuku Yalanji regard damage and destruction or inappropriate management as not acceptable.
When you are planning your next visit to our beautiful region, set aside some time to immerse yourself in one of the oldest cultures on the planet and partake in the rich histories of our region. We personally couldn’t recommend anywhere better to do this than at the Janbal Gallery, with local artist Brian Binna Swindley who is of the Kuku Yalanji people. This is a place where you can learn not only about the spiritual history of Port Douglas, but you can contribute to it by making art with Binna.
For more information on the Kuku Yalanji and the Janbal Gallery,. Visit their website here.