The Mirlgalgi clan, of the Gumbaynggirr peoples, have lived in the Corindi area for at least 6000 years. On a sparkling mid summer’s day I joined a group bush tucker and bush medicine tour offered by the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre.
Uncle Milton and Steven were our guides, and generously and joyously shared stories of lolly trees, calendar plants, and more. You could do this walk yourself, but you would miss out on so much, so sign up for the tour.
The walk heads through No Mans Land to Pipeclay lagoon. Culture and language survived the 20th century because people lived in camps outside the reserve, on the other side of the fence, in No Mans Land.
Our first stop was a grass tree (Xanthorrhoea), a plant of many uses, including to make a glue. Nearby a red bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) oozed resin with antibacterial and astringent properties, useful for bush medicine. Leaves from the red ash (Alphitonia excelsa) can be lathered up with water as soap, or crushed to stun fish.
As we walked, our guides continued to share more stories: the scarred swamp turpentine that was a boundary tree marker (visitors please wait here), the paperbark tree that can be used like foil on a BBQ or to make sandals, the beach morning glory stems that can be bruised and wrapped around the head to chase away that headache.
After the walk, we settled in at the Bush Tucker Cafe for lunch. I’m not sure what was in the green drink, but it was delicious and refreshing.
I also spent some time looking at the intriguing Cleverman exhibition in the Wadjar Art Gallery – on view until mid April 2021.