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Lurujarri means coastal dunes and these punctuate much of the journey. (Credit: Don Fuchs)

Culture shared on the Lurujarri Heritage Trail

  • BY Dallas Hewett |
  • December 13, 2012

Walk alongside the Goolarabooloo community on a journey that traces their 82km songline north of Broome, WA.

LURUJARRI MEANS 'COASTAL DUNES' and it is pronounced "Looroo-jaree" with an emphasis on the first syllable. The songline that the Lurujarri Heritage Trail meanders along is a kind of oral heritage map that follows the journey of the creation emu-like being, Marella. Stories told along the songline contain the 'law' for living. 

Volunteers, Goolarabooloo people and walkers travel the route annually. It takes nine days and covers 82km, mostly following the coastline north of Broome, WA. Walkers move leisurely through dunes, bush, mangroves and salt plains, as stories are told by the local Goolarabooloo community who run the walk.

Aboriginal life on the Lurujarri

There are many opportunities to help with hunting and gathering. Cooking is done on campfires and washing is done in the sea. A truck transports gear to campsites that have been in use for millennia.

The itinerary is dependent on weather, hunting, tides and the group number. Walked in dry season, maximum daytime temperatures average 30ºC, and nights are cool.

In the middle of the year, cockatoos and brolgas feed on bush onions. Osprey, honey-eaters and red-winged parrots are likely to be breeding. Black kites may be seen over the dunes, when the salmon are running. Lizards are generally hibernating but you may see fat pelicans, kangaroos and dugong. Humpback whales can often be seen migrating north.

The next walk is in July 2013 - click here for more information.

... Read the full story in issue 112 (Jan/Feb) of the Australian Geographic journal.

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