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 about 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 stories and experiences that are unique to that place. What connects all indigenous people is a strong connection to their 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.
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.
Cooran is the word for tall trees and this tranquil Noosa country town is named after it. Once a year for two days, the Tall Trees Art Festival takes place in the village.
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.
The name of Noosa’s hinterland town of Cooroy, originally spelt Coorooey, is derived from the language of the Kabi Kabi people, meaning ‘possum’.
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.
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.
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.
The Booin Gari Festival is held on the banks of the Noosa River - 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 watercraft. This 1-day festival builds connections to people, country and culture.