There has long been discussion about the trail that once linked the south eastern coast of NSW to the Snowy Mountains. It is called the Bundian Way. Prior to the invasion, Indigenous people moved between the coast, the Monaro Tablelands and the higher mountains. Nowdays called the Bundian Way, this route is a historical pathway between Targangal (Kosciuszko) and Bilgalera (Fisheries Beach) that connects the highest part of the Australian continent and the coast.
The following was written by Kristen Klepac.
Preserving Traces of History Along the Bundian Way
The traces of history left on earth can teach us incredible things. Thousands of steps marking the centuries of our humanity, such as those left along the Bundian Way, preserve the incredible and innovative survival of our species.
Taking care of these spaces and traces is priceless to our future. Not just the preservation, but what we can learn about the ancient way of life and culture can teach us how to appreciate what we have today.
Along routes such as the ancient Bundian Way, you can rediscover the natural vegetation that indigenous people called home. Follow the seasonal migration of Bogong moths, a trail once ceremoniously revered by our ancestors. Those fluttering moths seeking shelter in caves were, after all, a nutritious source of sustenance.
Better documented, is the relationship between Australia’s inland indigenous people, such as the local Yuin tribe, and killer whales. This tribe named these whales their totem animal. Their relationship was called “the law of the tongue.” After killer whales would help whalers capture baleen whales, they would proceed to eat the tongue and lips of the captured whale, leaving the rest for the Yuin people. This mutual relationship existed for many years. The tribes would even name the whales who helped them.
Incredible facts of how humans have worked symbiotically with their surroundings emphasize the importance of preserving these natural treasures. Luckily, historian John Blay has made it his mission to preserve this particular trace of Australia’s first people. The Bundian Way continues to attract interest despite having almost been erased in this new modern world.
As of right now, this 265km trail which stretches from Eden to Mount Kosciuszko isn’t fully accessible. While it is being prepared and developed, there are other shorter stretches available for hikers to explore. For those interested in visiting and learning more of the history, there are two sections open: The Whale Dreaming Trail and Story Trail.