Northern Batemans Bay

The area to the north of the Clyde River contains a number of culturally significant places. A high proportion of these places relate to living, camping and the collection of natural resources. Those places, which have not become privately owned, continue to be utilised by the Aboriginal community.

As a child during the 1960s, Violet Parsons ventured around Long Beach, Batemans Bay’s North Head, and Yellow Rock, collecting seafood and other things [Violet Parsons 6.4.2006].

John Pender was only a baby [sleeping in a tomato box] when he first came to Long Beach to camp. They stayed with his mother’s sister, Eileen Pittman. His father was fishing at the time. The women rowed the boats out with the nets to the men who netted the fish upon Willy ‘Coolie’ Stewarts commanding Cooee [John Pender 4.5.2006].

At North Head Les Simon was shown by his ‘grand uncle’, his grandfather’s brother James Chapman, how to catch lobsters the traditional way using ones foot and hand. Les Simon last camped at North Head in 1985 [Les Simon 3.11.2005].

Terry Parsons and his father Cyril Parsons use to fish off the point at Square Head. This was our ‘main fishing place’ [Terry Parsons 18.12.2005].

Perriga’s Flat, within Chain Bay, at Maloney’s Beach continues to be a well-used, general camping area. It is well sheltered and a safe place for the kids. Access to the place was once quite direct, now one has to walk 3 km [Margaret Nye 15.11.2005].

Keith Nye camped at Perriga’s Flat often during the 1960s and continues to take his children to the area today. Access is now an issue, as one needs to walk 3km to the campsite, so it is hard for older people to camp with younger members of the family, as is the traditional way. It is a safe beach for kids, no rips and it is private. Aboriginal families from Batemans Bay have always used the area as a place to camp [Keith Nye 1.3.2006].

Between the ages of 11-12, Georgina lived with her mother and father at Timbara Cres, Surfside. Her father George Parsons collected all kinds of seafood within Batemans Bay including mussels. He also made a lookout using driftwood collected within the Bay. He used the lookout to spot fish swimming into the Bay. He made a figurine out of fish bones. He placed it on the headland and made the kids believe it was a spirit man; the phosphorescence which glowed from within the figure made the kids run in fear [Georgina Parsons 15.12.2005].

Surfside, Long Beach was always a good place to find pipis [Terry Parsons 18.12.2005].

Keith Nye has camped and fished at Surfside throughout his life [Keith Nye 1.3.2006].

Holmes Mountain / Lookout, offers a view of the Clyde River, Gulaga [Mt Dromedary] to the south and Dittol [Pigeon House Mt], to the north. The mountain, rocky outcrop and carved trees in the vicinity are mythologically associated with Gulaga, Whittakers Creek, [the Two Sisters] and the Deua River, Moruya [Les Simon 3.11.2005].


Excerpt from "Stories About the Eurobodalla by Aboriginal People", 2006. Story Contributed by Martin Ind from Moruya High School.