The Indigenous Smoking Ceremonies of the Daintree Rainforest

The Indigenous Smoking Ceremonies of the Daintree Rainforest

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 07/13/2017

Reading time: 2 mins

Travelling to Cairns and north Queensland wouldn’t be complete without delving deep into the Aboriginal culture that has thrived here for thousands of years.

The ancestral past is still visible throughout the lush region, where centuries-old secrets languish amongst rainforest scenery and incredible landscapes.

There are numerous tribes that call the area home, particularly in the Daintree Rainforest, one of north Queensland’s most popular natural attractions. Here, there is unique coastal scenery thanks to the three diverse eco-systems. In a small area, you can expect to see sprawling white sands of beaches, mangroves, and coastal reef. There is truly something for everyone.

Each has their own traditions and ceremonies that you can learn about on a tour of the area. You can get a glimpse into daily life, and learn about traditional practices. See how the rainforest provides food, medicine and shelter.

The tropical seasons are a part of life for the local Indigenous people, and they use them to their advantage. They continue to prosper and thrive in the unique landscape, happily living side by side with nature.

Smoking Ceremony

Many tours of the region start with a traditional smoking ceremony, which gives you an insight into local life. The ceremony is conducted by the local people who have a specific cultural knowledge about the region that they will willingly share with you. The ceremony itself is a spiritual cleansing. It helps ward off bad spirits and welcomes you into these traditional lands.

Once the smoking ceremony is over, you’ll often have the chance to try out some other Aboriginal activities. On many tours, you can try your hand at spear throwing. This hunting technique is still used by some locals today. Alternatively, you can learn how to track and hunt fish, crabs, and mussels, as they languish through the lush mangroves. Or, try bush tucker meat and learn all about bush medicine and safe native plants.

When you leave the Daintree Rainforest, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of the people who have safeguarded it for centuries and the rich past that has made it the place it is today. With the smoking ceremony, you get to become a part of that fascinating history, if only for a short while.

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.