Journey with the Olkola people and Intrepid Travel

31 July - 5 Aug 2017 | 14 - 19 Aug 2017

Experience Olkola country for yourself

Your trip to Olkola country is not just a holiday.

It's an experience of a living country and culture, and of an ancient, beautiful home. It is also an opportunity for you to help the Olkola shape a future for the Cape that respects the traditions of their ancestors and ensures it can continue to support generations to come.

The ACF community has supported the Olkola on this journey for years. Now you can share the story and journey firsthand. Be welcomed to Olkola country in northern Queensland. Walk the land with the Traditional Owners. Search for the endangered Alwal (Golden-Shouldered Parrot) near their termite-mound homes. Share a yarn over tea and damper by the campfire, and sleep under a billion stars.

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Each part of the Olkola landscape has its own unique story and values. From the sandstone escarpments to the floodplains of the major rivers, Olkola history is everywhere. Photos: Kerry Trapnell (top), Graham Tupper (bottom).


  • Be welcomed to Olkola country by its Traditional Owners during a traditional Olkola welcome ceremony
  • Learn about the Olkola’s efforts to preserve their land and culture
  • Search for the endangered Alwal (golden-shouldered parrot) near their termite-mound homes
  • Go on guided walks with your Olkola hosts to learn about the area’s history and landscape
  • Listen to traditional stories around a campfire
  • Visit Aboriginal rock art and ceremonial grounds

Read reviews and highlights from our first trip.



Freshwater ecosystems such as permanent springs, wetlands, lagoons, floodplains, creeks and rivers are a feature of Olkola country. Rich birdlife lives in each habitat. Photos: Kerry Trapnell (top), Kathryn McCallum (bottom).

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Trip 1: 31 July - 5 August 2017 | Trip 2: 14 - 19 Aug 2017

Cost: $2845 | Departing: Cairns, Qld | Group size: 10

Includes: Transport from Cairns to Olkola country and return, camping and all meals on Olkola country, guesthouse in Cooktown

Not included: Accommodation in Cairns on the last day of the trip*, dinner in Cooktown, sleeping bag while camping

*As we depart Cairns early on the first day of the trip and arrive back in Cairns late on the last day, we recommend booking pre and post accommodation in Cairns and suggest the Acacia Court Hotel, or Holiday Inn or Cairns Queenslander on Lake Street Cairns – allowing for a walk along the Cairns Esplanade and easy pick up and drop for the tour.

Visit Intrepid's website for details. As Intrepid has reserved these trips exclusively for ACF supporters, these are marked as "fully booked" on the public website.

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The ACF community has supported the Olkola people on their journey for years. Now, you can share in the story and journey firsthand. Photos: Jaqueline Donaldson

The Olkola story

It took thirty years of hard work, but on December 10, 2014, the Olkola people were handed back 633,630 hectares of their ancestral homelands in south-central Cape York Peninsula.

This was a life-changing result. Now the largest non-government landholders in the region, the Olkola are playing a huge role in determining the future of Australia's Cape York and its people.



By joining this journey to the Olkola’s ancestral lands, you are helping create a thriving future for the Olkola and Cape York—one that values land and culture, and in doing so provides long-term economic opportunities for the region. Photos: Ian Montgomery (top), Jaqueline Donaldson (bottom)

Under the handover, the Olkola National Park was also created - an area covering 269,830 hectares of extensive wetlands, rare and unique tall open forests, rainforest remnants and savanna woodlands, which is jointly managed by Olkola and the Queensland government.

The park protects ancient bora grounds, rock art and other cultural heritage of great significance to the Olkola people. It houses the critically endangered Alwal (golden-shouldered parrot) and other rare and threatened species and safeguards the Kimba Plateau - the headwaters of five vital river catchments at the top of the Great Dividing Range.  Read more about the Olkola story.

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