Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Coorong dreaming

I've just returned from a wonderful camping trip to Ngarrindjeri sea country - the Coorong in South Australia, which I last visited in 2005. Words cannot describe the beauty of the place, or the profound sense of timelessness and spirituality gained from walking across vast middens - the gleaming white remains of 6,000 years of aboriginal communities meeting and eating and just living their culture, in country.

So much has changed, and the Coorong really seems to be dying. A dramatic shift in values, attitudes and actions is urgently needed to save the ecosystem and the ancient culture of the region.

Shells and bones on the 6000-year-old middens

Digging for cockles (pipis) and trying not to be caught by the massive waves!

I camped with a great group of people - the stories told within the group and by Ngarrindjeri elder Tom Trevorrow and local educator Steve Heyes provided wonderful food for thought. We saw lots of pelicans, swans, ducks, terns, stints, and gulls, as well as kangaroos, emus, snakes, stumpy-tailed lizards, crabs, and a Port Jackson shark egg.

I love pellies!

Beautiful tiger snake

Ancient aboriginal fish traps, made from circles of stone. The fish would be herded into the traps and then speared or netted.

Salt-encrusted remains of ancient vegetation, no wood remaining - this is an eerily beautiful landscape

Can you spot my fabulous four-pronged marshmallow-toasting stick?


BigCat said...

What an amazing looking place. It sounds like a great holiday. Makes me think about getting the tent out and taking off.

m. heart said...

what a fantastic place. the first photo is just gorgeous. is that 10th shot down a whole fish, or just a fish head? or is not a fish? i feel silly asking, but i won't be able to stop wondering about it now that i've seen it. what big eys!

Juddie said...

Hi Cathy and M.,
thanks for your comments!
The fish is a little (entire) puffer fish, unfortunately dead when I took the photo, but still very cute. They're very poisonous fish; I love to see them when I'm diving though. It's worth doing a Google image search on 'puffer fish' to see some really great pics :-)

Serena said...

Wow, they're some great photo's Juddie...

The puffer fish freaked me about a bit, because I once nearly stood on one, and they're poisonous

Jennifer said...

Beautiful photos, and your respect for and awe of the place come right through. said...

Great photos Juddie. It's really sad to see such a magical place as the Coorong dying like this. But it still manages to look so wonderful. I remember flying over it in a light aircraft a dozen years or more ago and being entranced with the pristineness of it all. And the wildlife!

tuna, arorangi

muralimanohar said...

That place is so cool. I wonder if there is any area like that around Sydney?? (Not being from this place, I have no idea, lol) I am the other half of the mom team that does a boys class for our homeschool group, and I am trying to organize some native cultural activities..that would be so perfect! :D

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