Ngaro Cultural Site | Tourism Whitsundays QLD - The Whitsundays QLD
The Whitsundays, Queensland.
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The Ngaro indigenous people have fished and hunted in the Whitsundays islands for over 8,000 years. A nomadic people with no permanent settlements, the Ngaro left evidence of occupation at several sites in the Whitsunday Islands, including fish traps, middens and rock art at the Ngaro Cultural Site at Nara Inlet. Stone axes and cutting tools have also been found in a stone quarry on South Molle Island.

Also known as 'the canoe people', the Ngaro were skilled at spearfishing, boatcraft and navigation, using the abundant marine environment to their advantage. Early European explorers described seeing simple bark canoes made from a single sheet of bark, or larger canoes made of three sheets of bark tied together with fibrous roots. These larger canoes were capable of travelling long distances, with European sailors reported seeing Ngaro paddle from Double Cone Island to South Molle Island, a distance of 21 km.

Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail

One of the best ways to experience this cultural tradition is to follow the Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail across the islands and visit the Ngaro Cultural Site at Nara Inlet on Hook Island. The Ngaro Sea Trail was created by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and integrates some exciting tracks on Whitsunday Island with established walks on South Molle Island and the track to the Ngaro Cultural Site on Hook Island.

Travel from sea to summit with varying grades of difficulty and follow in the footsteps of the original inhabitants of the area. Walks range from as little as 170 metres one way, to 7 km hikes across an entire island. The largely self-guided Sea Trail is dotted with campsites and vantage points, and is accessible by boat or kayak. 

Ngaro Cultural Site

The track begins deep inside Nara Inlet on Hook Island — an excellent overnight anchorage. Short and initially steep, the stepped track leads up the side of the inlet to a viewing platform at the cave’s entrance. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, Ngaro artwork adorns the fragile rock surface. Allow at least an hour to immerse yourself in the cultural stories of the site, and to experience the ancient tradition of the Ngaro people.

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