Welcome to one of the most beautiful and vibrant living cultural landscapes in Australia - the traditional country of Rainforest Aboriginal people, the Traditional Owners of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area!
Talk to any Indigenous person across Australia about where they are from and you will hear them refer to country. This does not mean the country of Australia. “My country is up that way – Kuranda way” - which is an indication to where that person is connected by the tradition, ancestry and cultural lores of their tribal group or clan to the landscape / seascape.
There are six languages spoken by 18 Rainforest Aboriginal tribal groups - currently over 20,000 people - who are deeply connected to the lands and waters in and around the World Heritage Area.
For thousands of years, Rainforest Aboriginal people have enjoyed, suffered and met their spiritual, cultural and everyday needs from living in and caring for the myriad resources of the Wet Tropics rainforests. Still today being on country, eating bush tucker, using plants and animals for curing sickness and disease, telling visitors creation stories and practicing traditional and contemporary ways of looking after country are critical to enriching the livelihoods of Rainforest Aboriginal people.
Rainforest Aboriginal people from the Wet Tropics are connected to different places according to their clan, family or tribal group. It is country to which people belong, it is country for which people yearn and it is country which enables Rainforest Aboriginal people to practice culture and maintain spiritual, physical, emotional and socio-economic health.