We are always keen to discover and sample new local authentic experiences that we can recommend to our guests. Recently we had the opportunity to be taken on a tour by Tim Selwyn of ‘Girri Girra Aboriginal Experiences‘.
The traditional custodians of the Wollombi Valley are the Darkinjung people. Awabakal and Wonnarua nations are also an integral part of the area. The meaning of Wollombi is ‘meeting place’ and it is, indeed, an important indigenous ceremonial meeting place. There are a vast number of historic Aboriginal sites throughout the Valley which is thought to have been visited by people from hundreds of kilometres in making their way to Mount Yengo – a place of great significance throughout the ancient nations of eastern Australia. As well as Mount Yengo, within the Wollombi Valley there are over 300 significant Aboriginal sites and this entire area is of great sacred importance.
Tim Selwyn’s ancestor’s lore, language, and connection to the land has sustained his culture for countless generations. Today, Tim is dedicated to this cultural continuation by loving it, living it and sharing it. Tim understands that the best way to share his culture is by allowing others to experience it.
With a goal to encourage Aboriginal cultural understanding, awareness and unity in the local, national and global communities, Tim began our tour by purifying our souls through an ancient smoking ceremony which was as fascinating as it was beautiful. And then, with enlightening commentary, Tim guided us to Finchley Trig, which offers 360-degree views over Yengo National Park, a wild area of steep gorges and rocky ridges. The Park forms part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area. It was here, looking across the valley to the beautiful Mount Yengo that Tim explained the mountains powerful sacred importance to his people.
Captivated, we moved on to view an area of extensive rock engravings, sharpening grooves, hand stencils, tribal markings and other images. These artworks served as signage for ancient visitors to this area. Tim provided timeless stories giving these amazing engravings meaning as they seemingly came to life. These little-known ancient relics were created more than 13,000 years ago. Contextually, Stonehenge was built about 5000 years ago, and the Pyramids of Giza date back about 4500 years. And yet, here, in our own backyard we have incredible ancient works of art from the oldest continuous culture on earth.
Concluding the tour, Tim demonstrated authentic totemic song and dance to further ensure we felt the power of mother earth and the spirit of his ancestors. His hope was to ground our feet and lift our souls, and he was utterly successful.
David & Murray