Old Pathways

There were various important pathways between Twofold Bay and the High Country of the Australian Alps.

These were used for thousands of years by many people and for many reasons, for example, by the coast Aboriginal people to go each year to the Bogong ceremonies, just as the inland people went to the coast for whale celebrations. Substantial parts of these ways still exist in wild country, in National Parks and State Forests.

Towamba River crossing at Kiah Inlet

It is of great significance that you can still walk from the highest part of the country to the coast through relatively natural surroundings following pathways traditionally used for millennia. The distance is only about 250 kilometres. A considerable part of the way today is away from made roads, the remainder along trails and minor country roads that essentially follow the route of the old ways.

Researches have focussed on the Bundian Way that goes from Twofold Bay through Towamba and the old Pericoe Road via the Bundian Pass to Delegate and Byadbo to the Snowy, thence the Pinch and on to either Omeo and Gippsland or the alpine country.

From research that included old maps and journals, a map was compiled of old path ways and trails in the Eden/Bega Valley region to show the general historic contexts.

Survey crew navigating through the Bundian Pass near White Rock

In summer Bogong moths cluster on the walls of granite crevices and caves along the crest of the Australian Alps. They were a significant food source and brought people from as far away as the coast to gather for important ceremonies.

The sub-alpine meadows and woodland about Dead Horse Gap were important camping places for the Kooris during the moth season in summer.

Murrnong (Microseris lanceolata) one of the yam daisies, was an important food source for people making their way to and from the moth ceremonies.

The full potential of this way in cultural and tourist terms is still being assessed, but when coupled with its biodiversity, which runs in one generally natural sweep from the coast to the highlands and its domination by a single genus, the eucalypt, it reveals remarkable variation along the way that could well be ranked as one of the gems of the world.

Work on this project has continued since a report by John Blay and Ben Cruse for Eden Local Aboriginal Lands Council in 2004.Researches have continued since the subsequent report from the 2010-2011 survey project, now available to dowload here.