Delve into these inspiring experiences
The Gumbaynggirr people of the Coffs Coast were known by other Aboriginal people as the “sharing people”, so generous were they with the bounty of their rivers, mountains and floodplains. That generosity continues today, with the Gumbaynggirr sharing their culture through a range of activities and experiences.
Here are our favourite options.
Hit the water
The Gumbaynggirr people didn’t just live off the land – they also travelled along the region’s many waterways, which provided them with abundant sources of food. Now you can travel the waterways with their descendants on a 2.5 hour Wajaana Yaam Adventure Tour. Gliding along the tranquil waters on a stand-up paddle board, you will hear ancient stories about how the ancestor spirits shaped this land, as well as learning about how the Gumbaynggirr lived and thrived here, and how life changed after colonisation.
“Gliding along the tranquil waters on a stand-up paddle board, you will hear ancient stories about how the ancestor spirits shaped this land.”
Feast on bush tucker
Ancient flavours get a contemporary update at Nyanggan Gapi Café, which is located at the Sealy Lookout in the Orara East State Forest. Managed by Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation, the crew at this café serves up tasty treats such as wattleseed brownies and muffins made with lemon myrtle and mixed berries. The coffee is local too, roasted by Blackwhite Espresso. Grab a bite here and you won’t just get a good meal, you will also be doing good, with all profits going to local programs such as school learning centres.
Take a walk
They say that sometimes the shortest journeys are the most interesting, and a stroll along the Gumgali Track proves the point. This 400-metre walking track leading to the Korora lookout is lined with art, murals and signage that tell the story of the ancestor spirit Gumgali, the black goanna. There is plenty to look at along the way, including some spectacular large-scale sculptures, but don’t forget to keep one eye on the striking views.
Get inspired by indigenous art
There are all sorts of things to explore at the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Corindi Beach, but our first stop is always the Wadjar Regional Indigenous Gallery. Its walls and surfaces are covered with colourful works created by the area’s talented indigenous artists, everything from paintings and ceramics toprints, photos and sculptures. You can also pick up crafts, clothing, books and gifts to take home.
Join the celebration
The Gumbaynggirr traditionally shared their knowledge and their culture not just through stories, but also through song and dance. At the Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience in the Orara East State Forest, you are invited to join in the celebrations. The experience starts with a traditional smoking ceremony and a welcoming bite of damper made with seeds of basket grass – a literal taste of country. This experience is held only once a month – more frequently during school holidays – so plan ahead.
“Reflections Holiday Parks Moonee Beach is just a stone’s throw away from the beautiful Indigenous culture of the region.”
Where to stay
Involve the entire family in the experience and book your accommodation at the Reflections Holiday Parks Moonee Beach. It’s the perfect place for the family to explore the coastal playground of the Coffs Coast. The park features cabins with pet-friendly options, powered sites for the RV or caravan or connect with nature and pitch your own tent.
Set among the gumtrees, there is plenty of green space for the kids to play and reconnect with nature.
Reflections Holiday Parks Moonee Beach is just a stone’s throw away from the beautiful Indigenous culture of the region.