The Gumgali track celebrates Gumbaynggirr language and the Dreaming story of gumgali the black goanna in this place where the Great Dividing Range reaches out to meet the ocean. There are a number of lovely hardwood sculptures and colourful murals along the walk, all featuring the goanna. The street art is by local artists Yowa and Snarl – you can see more of their work on the Coffs Street Art Walk.
The Gumgali Track ends at Korora Lookout with views north over banana and blueberry farms towards Sapphire Beach, and the Solitary Islands out to sea.
Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience
By far the best way to walk the Gumgali Track is with the Gumbaynggirr people. Their award winning tour includes music (didgeridoo, clapsticks, singing) and dance, damper making and eating with Aunty Jenny, a bit of bush tucker and stories about the Gumbaynggirr mob and Country. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the dances were a highlight as were the stories about the Moon man who guards Muttonbird Island and the rock the goanna pushed underground that you can still see at the end of Macauleys Headland (I’m going to have to take a walk for another look!).
Interpretative signs at the start of the walk explain that the Gumbaynggirr people, the first mob, named this place Niigi-niigi meaning charred or like charcoal. Cool burning fire was used to manage the forest. The ocean gaagal is the totem of Gumbayggirr people and Korora lookout offers a sweeping ocean panorama north towards Moonee. Sea eagles ngangaar nest in the area, and a resident koala dunggir may be seen in the trees. A sculptural tallowwood seat along the walk provides a place to rest and commemorates a local elder.
The Giingan Gumbyanggirr Cultural Experience along the Gumgali Track is offered once a month, on Saturday mornings. Check the Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) website or Facebook page for tour information and bookings.
Find the Goannas
There are a number of goanna sculptures and paintings on the Gumgali Track. How many can you find? Some might be hiding so look hard!
Continue on to Sealy Lookout and the Forest Sky Pier for views to the south. If you have time, stop at Bruxner Park Flora Reserve for the Rainforest Walks.