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Activities and Excursions:

Excursion to Bennets Gorge

Gundabooka National Park, stretching from the banks of the Darling River to the Gundabooka Range in outback NSW, is nature at its most beautiful and raw. The park, featuring woodlands, floodplains, sandhills and the rugged Mount Gundabooka that rises 500m above the park and is of great significance to the local Ngemba Aboriginal people. It is as sacred to the traditional owners of the area as Uluru is to the Anangu people of Central Australia.

Bennets Gorge

The range provided a vital resource for Aboriginal people living in the area in dry periods. Creeks in the range are one of the few locations on the Cobar Peneplain that provide water in times of drought. The mountain and nearby Yanda Creek form part of an extensive travel network that linked the mountain with other waterholes, creeks and the Darling River.

Way sign

The land and waterways, and the plants and animals that live in them, feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture - including recreational, ceremonial and spiritual and as a main source of food and medicine. They are associated with dreaming stories and cultural learning that is still passed on today.

"I could tell almost immediately that this was a very special place. I forgot the hustle and bustle of my daily life and gazed in awe."

On Day 3 of our retreat we will be getting up early to travel the short distance to Bennets Gorge by minibus. Bennets Gorge walk, also known as the Valley of the Eagles walk, is an easy 1km stroll through magnificent red Earth and spinifex country. This short and easy walk that we will do in silence will take us to the base of Mount Gundabooka (it's suitable for all fitness levels). As the sun rises over Mt Gundabooka, we will take in the stillness and the vastness of the land around us. We might observe huge Eagles rise on the currents warmed by the morning sun. We will pause and tune in to the rhythm of this ancient land that is just waking, connecting deeply to it and ourselves.

Tread quietly while you walk – you're likely to see and hear a range of birdlife on this lovely walk; if you're lucky you might see a pink cockatoo, hooded robin or the diamond firetail'.

Bennets Gorge



Movie under the Stars

As the stars begin to sparkle, you will be invited to a special screening of a wonderful “Movie under the Stars” in the specially set up outdoor "cinema" (nothing flash-just a simple projector screen). Against the backdrop of the "outback by night" and in the company of its creatures we will be watching a movie together.

The title of the movie will be advertised soon.



Excursion to Mulgowan (Yapa) Art Site

We will be travelling in the afternoon by minibus to the Mulgowan (Yapa) Art Site. An easy 20 min walk along a well-constructed bushtrack leads from the car park to the base of a rocky incline from where it leads into a dry creek bed that is the Mulareenya creek. The ledge where the art is located is just off the creek bed. The site is accessible by a walkway which provides easy access right up to the paintings which are separated by a fence but affords close intimate observations of up to a few feet away.

Guide



We will have a local guide who will share with us some of the stories and significance of the site and the paintings. The Gunderbooka Range is a significant place for the Ngemba and Paakandji Aboriginal people of western New South Wales. It features prominently in the consciousness of Aboriginal people today, in particular the people of Bourke and Brewarrina. There will be time to take in these ancient rock paintings and time to be with the land and its stories.

Art Site



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