Visit Noosa
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  1. About Us
  2. Our custodians

Our custodians

Wunya Ngulum

welcome everyone to Kabi Kabi country!

Acknowledgement of Country

"Tourism Noosa acknowledges the ongoing connection to country of the traditional custodians of this beautiful region, the Kabi Kabi people. Visitors to Noosa can enhance their experience by learning of the region’s connection to the people and stories of the Kabi Kabi. We pay our respect to elders past, present and emerging."

The indigenous people of Australia have a rich culture stretching back at least 50,000 years making it the oldest living culture on Earth.

Every part of Australia is Aboriginal country and every part of that country has a series of stories and experiences that are unique to that place. What connects all indigenous people is a strong connection to its natural environment, landscapes and past and future generations.

Noosa is home to the Kabi Kabi people whose land stretches roughly 100km south and 150km north of Noosa. It is important that we all pay our respects to the traditional owners of this land – past, present and future – and their rich history.

You'll find information below to help you learn more about the culture, language and practices of the traditional people of Noosa.

The annual Booin Gari Festival on the banks of the Noosa River is a chance to immerse yourself in Australia’s First Nation culture through song and dance, art and craft, stories and yarning, bush tucker tastings and water craft. This 1-day festival held in September each year builds connections to people, country and culture.

Kin Kin General Store hills 3000w

Kin Kin

Kin Kin, the name of a small village in Noosa’s hinterland, is from the Kabi Kabi word kauin kauin meaning red soil. It also refers to a species of small black ant prevalent in the area.

FESTIVAL Feathers

Cooran

Cooran is the word for tall trees and a tranquil Noosa country town is now named after it. Once a year for two days, the Tall Trees Art Festival takes place in the village.

Custodians Beautiful noosa tree stump

Burial tree

An important landmark for indigenous people is the deciduous white fig tree that you’ll find while strolling through Tewantin’s Memorial Park. The enormous tree is over 30 metres tall and between 200 and 400 years old. It was once an indigenous burial tree.

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Cooroy

The name of Noosa’s hinterland town of Cooroy, originally spelt Coorooey, is derived from the language of the Kabi Kabi people, meaning ‘possum’.

Lake cootharaba sunrise jewelszee

Cootharaba

Cootharaba, the name of Noosa’s largest lake, is the Aboriginal word for the place where the wood used in making notched or studded clubs is found.

Mount Tinbeerwah sunrise couple jewelszee

Mt Tinbeerwah

In Kabi Kabi language, Tinbeerwah means place of grass trees or high hill climbing up. Mt Tinbeerwah, located just 15 minutes from Noosa Heads, is in the Tewantin National Park and you can easily get to the top, via Tinbeerwah Rd, Tewantin, for stunning views from the coast to hinterland.

Our tip: Get there in time for sunrise or sunset.

Custodians Visit Noosa Indigenous body art work

Bunya Nut Festival

For thousands of years, the Kabi Kabi people were one of the two host tribes for the great Bunya Nut Festival, which attracted many indigenous groups from distant areas and was an important social gathering. The Bunya Tree is an iconic tree of South East Queensland, bearing spiky, football-sized fruit which taste similar to chestnuts or potatoes. While the tree is nowadays referred to as Bunya Tree, it is known as Bunyi/Bonyi in the local Kabi Kabi language.

Booin Gari