Location: Cairns

After catching up on some much-needed sleep at Hotel Nomad that had been lost on the dive boat, we awoke to a late breakfast in our suite that included sandwiches, granola bars, muffins, and some other foods. Afterward, the GoBeyond team met at the pool to get an assignment: write letters to each person within the group detailing all the nice things we can think of for that person. For me, I was very excited to get the opportunity to do this since I’ve made life-long connections and want everyone to know how much I have appreciated them throughout this trip. We got free time to work on our letters, play cards, and converse before boarding a bus at noon.

We arrived at our destination a short bus ride later; the location was called Tjapukai, an aboriginal cultural park. The group and I walked in the huge building and immediately saw beautiful artwork displayed on the walls. We got to have time to shop in the gift shop that was filled with numerous items decorated with local artist’s designs. The designs were so amazing. Walking out of the shop, we met with our tour guide Mya. She was dressed in the traditional clothing that had been splattered in tribal painting. She was also barefoot. She brought us out to a large field where we saw long sticks in the grass. She explained to us that these were spears and taught us how to throw them. Each one of us got to practice. It was more difficult than it looked; I really give credit to the tribe for using them for hunting. Boomerang throwing was next. We all had looked forward to this and were very eager to try and throw them. All of us succeeded in throwing the boomerang but probably couldn’t kill a bird like the tribal men can.

Continuing with our tour, we were shown different weapons that the tribal people used for both hunting and punishments. It was very interesting to see and learn about the culture. The group and I then continued onward and watched a folk story come to life that was acted by a few of the employees. We also got to see all of their traditional dances and instruments. We ended the day, thereby getting our faces painted with tribal paint and got on the bus to go home where we sang numerous songs together. Today we got to immerse ourselves in the history of Australia and learn about the time before Europeans. It truly was a blast from the Aussie past.