Above Aboriginal rock paintings at Kakadu National Park, and below, Indigenous cultural display at a wetland on the south coast of New South Wales

 

 

 

 

Respecting places of cultural significance

 

When out enjoying our rivers it is possible you will encounter places of cultural significance to the Indigenous Australians, or the early European setters.

 

For Indigenous Australians, rivers and floodplains were often important places and it is not uncommon to find scar trees from which canoes or shields were taken, middens, tool making sites, burial grounds or even rock paintings or engravings.  Even fish traps can be seen in some locations when river levels fall.

 

Early European heritage might include remnants of early homesteads, stock yards or paddle steamer activities.

 

As responsible users of our rivers, and their surrounding lands, it is important to respect the importance of these places and any relics or artifacts you may find.  The golden rule is to not interfere with these places or what you find there.

 

 Importantly, if you think you've stumbled across a place that may have cultural heritage significance, report it to a local land manager or the traditional owners. 

 

It is also important that before you venture out you check on your access rights and as necessary get permission to travel where you plan to.  This will help to tell you if you are going near known areas of cultural heritage significance.

 

It all comes down to respect.  Senseless acts of vandalism will only result in further restrictions being placed on where and when we can all go along our rivers.

 

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