Learning about bushtucker
Campbelltown City Council has launched a series of bushwalking tours through the Dharawal National Park, an area rich with Indigenous heritage.
The project, run collaboratively with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, celebrates one of Australia’s newest national parks, its natural landscapes, rich biodiversity and strong cultural heritage.
Dharawal was proclaimed a national park in 2012, following seventy years of restricted public access that has kept the area largely undisturbed.
At 6500 hectares, the park supports a huge range of birds and animals, superb plant life – many of which are rare and threatened, and features steep-sided sandstone gorges, waterholes, tracks to walk or ride, along with scenic spots to relax.
‘Dharawal’ refers to the language group of the local Indigenous people who have continued their relationship with the area for more than 15,000 years.
Their long occupation of the area is evidenced by many Indigenous sites, making the area among the richest in Indigenous heritage,
in the Sydney region.
The guided walks, which are held on the second Saturday of each month from February to November, offer visitors a fresh look at the landscape from a Koori perspective.
The tours are led by National Parks Aboriginal Discovery Rangers, who share personal insights as they take participants on a cultural journey.
The tours give visitors the opportunity to explore the strong relationship the Dharawal people have with the land, water, plants and animals, by showcasing plants native to the region and demonstrating how they were used for food and medicine.
The cost of the walks is subsidised by Campbelltown City Council, to ensure that a low price point can be maintained and that access to this specialised interpretation is widely available for the community and tourists.
Additions to the bushwalk series in 2017 are two new tours – Strollabout Tours and Accessible Tours. The Strollabout Tours have been specially designed for parents with toddlers and young children in strollers; and the Accessible Tours have been created for people in wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
These new tours ensure that the park can be enjoyed by a wider variety of people, offering the opportunity to experience Campbelltown’s beautiful bush land in a way that was not previously available to them.
The sharing of Indigenous stories and culture through these tours, helps to nurture a deeper connection to the environment, educate about Indigenous heritage, and enhance the sense of place for not only visitors, but also the local community.