Our Aboriginal Heritage…

The Sunshine Coast, and in particular the Hinterland, has an astoundingly long, amazingly rich and largely undiscovered Aboriginal history. This area has always been a place of cultural, spiritual, social and economic significance for the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara peoples. A great many of us are very interested in learning about Aboriginal cultures, especially the spirituality side of Aboriginal culture, but where do you start?… where can you learn not just historically, but about our contemporary culture?

Secrets on the Lake feels this connection to the world’s oldest living culture deeply. Before Lake Baroon came to be, we had a 50 acre farm in Baroon Packet and there was a Bora Ring on our farm. Secrets is located right next to the campfire circle stones used in the traditional Baroon Pocket gatherings for local tribes to feast on the Bunya Nut bounty during the ceremonies and trade, and mock ‘war games’ of these tribal gatherings. Did you know that the Bora Rings of earth and stone were made by the women, and a second smaller Kippa Ring was usually located a small distance away for men’s educational and ceremonial purposes?

There are not many Aboriginal owned and operated educational tours educating tourists and local communities about the traditions and significance of our area. Recently we networked with Tais K’Reala (aka Les) from Biral Tours who offers authentic aboriginal cultural adventures and experiences with a spiritual twist. He was a real Aussie Larrikin and we are sure his tours would be not only interesting and informative, but you’d probably have aching sides from laughing so hard. Check him out at or on their facebook page

When you stay with us at Secrets on the Lake, there are several easy to reach locations that played significant roles in local Aboriginal history…you just have to know where to look! To book your next getaway at Secrets on the Lake please call our friendly staff on (07) 5478 5888 or email or visit

Scar Trees, Mapleton

Only ten minutes drive along the Blackall range to Mapleton National Park lies a significant Scar Tree, similar to trees found in Nambour, and somewhere between 200-400 years old. Experts and Historians don’t know whether it’s marking a pathway, a boundary, or it might even be a signal to tell people to turn right to head up to the Baroon Pocket for the Bunya Festival. Tribes cut the gashes or shapes with stone axes but they didn’t destroy the tree, then they used the ash from the cut to heal their own wounds and to heal the tree after they’d taken the bark out of it.

Grinding Grooves, Landsborough

Just 20 minutes drive from Secrets on the Lake…take Old Gympie Rd exit just outside the centre of Landsborough, and the 200 million year old sandstone Little Rocky Creek has over 80 different Grinding Grooves that show a glimpse into ancient lives. They were used by the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara people to make and sharpen tools for their axe and spear heads, to build canoes, and to find and crush food.

Glass House Mountains

Just 25 mins drive from Secrets are the ancient Glasshouse mountains aptly named by Captain Cook as he chartered the Queensland coastline. The mountains took shape after a series of volcanic eruptions 25 million years ago. The 12 mountains are Queensland’s most iconic Aboriginal landmark due to their geographical and historical significances, but also because of the unmatched climbing opportunities they offer. Please be respectful to the wishes of local tribes and do not climb Mount Beerwah.

There is also a Bora Ring in the Glasshouse Mountains area just off Johnston Road on the Bruce Highway. It is about 2.8km off the road down a dirt track between Mt Cooee and a pineapple farm. A fence guards the Bora Rings fragile earth from damage. Please be respectful of this barrier and the significance of this site to local Aboriginal peoples.

The Aboriginal Dreamtime legend explains that Mount Tibrogargan and the biggest mountain, Mount Beerwah, are husband and wife, and that the remaining mountains are their children. In fear of the incoming floods, Tibrogargan gathered his children to flee to safety, sending Coonowrin, the eldest, back to help his pregnant mother. Coonowrin disobeyed, however, and instead ran to safety on his own. This angered Tibrogargan, and he chased his son down and beat him with a club, dislocating his neck. This injury would be permanent and explains Mount Coonowrin’s skewed peak. Tibrogargan refused to forgive Coonowrin for his actions despite his son’s many pleas, and cried heavy tears that formed a stream leading out to sea. Finally, Tibrogargan cemented his feelings of shame for his son by turning his back and vowing never to look at him again.

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