Nature Trails of the Macleay is a diverse collection of walking, biking and 4WD trails that span across the Macleay. Offering a natural experience for everyone, the network of trails are not just connected by their respective locations but also by their rich Indigenous roots.
Learn more about the history of Bellbrook, then journey out to experience it yourself by exploring the nearby trails and points of interest described below.
The Goanna on the Mountain
The old people told us about Dungga, the Goanna, who lived on the sacred mountain, Burrell Bullai and spend his time hurting the other animals. He had two big bags of poison hanging down each side of his neck, they gave him his power.
The animals were sick of Dungga’s bullying ways, they sat around to have a yarn and solve the problem. They decided the best thing was to steal his power while he slept, the questions was who could do it.
Wambuyn, the kangaroo, said that he would do it, but he couldn’t move quietly. Hearing the “Thump, Thump, Thump” of his big feet, Dungga would wake up, catch him, and punish him.
Dhawarr, the turtle, said that he would do it, but he moved so slowly. By the time he stole the first bag of poison, Dungga would wake up, catch him, and punish him.
They all looked at Mutu, the snake, he could move silently, he was fast, and his skin was smooth and cool.
That night, while Dungga slept, Mutu slithered silently into the burrow. Having no arms, he gently removed the bags of poison from Dungga’s cheeks, as he was retreating Dungga woke and attacked him. In fright, Mutu swallowed the poison and took off down the mountain towards Gimbisi, Kempsey.
Dungga is still on the mountain, looking towards the coast, waiting for the day Mutu returns and he can get his revenge. He is the guardian of the mountain. The men would bury their ceremonial tools up there, knowing that Dungga will keep them safe.
Goannas regularly attack and eat snakes, they say the snake cannot hurt them, they are immune to their own venom.
Story as told by Baba (grandfather) Bala (Uncle Keith Caldwell).
The Thunggutti name for Bellbrook is Wupu Manhatinuni meaning ‘Travelling Star’. Goanna graphic provided by Elwyn Toby.