· Evidence suggests Aboriginals have inhabited Australia for 40,000 years and in the Whitsundays for at least 8150 years.
· For 8000 years prior to European settlement, Aboriginal groups belonging to the Ngaro tribe inhabited the Whitsundays.
· Largely self-sufficient group with possible trade links to tribe in Proserpine.
· Seasoned maritime hunters and gathers as well as navigators, paddling from Island to Island in three-piece bark canoes now called “outriggers”.
· Outriggers were mainly used as transportation or to hunt larger sea animals.
· Outriggers were constructed out of 3 pieces of bark, 2 sides + bottom. They used fibrous roots of plants and trees to sew together, and used a sapling on the inside of each rim to stiffen the boat.
· Large deposits of shellfish indicate that shellfish were an important part of their diet.
· They used leftover sharp shells to make tools.
· Geological evidence show aborigines were using Nara Inlet 2500 years ago. It is still used as an ideal site for protection in weather.
· Much aboriginal rock art is found on ledges or in caves as they served as ideal shelters from weather.
· Art in Nara Inlet cave is one of the Whitsundays only examples of Rock Art and its 500 years old.
· Conservation of the Paintings – please don’t touch!
· The Dreaming – Many aborigines believe people have been in Australia since the beginning, known as The Dreaming.
· Based on the belief that the ancestral spirit came down from the sky and up from the earth to create everything around us – rocks, people, animals, mountains, rivers etc.