The Ngaraba-aan Trail concept has been developed by local elders and members of the Illawarra Aboriginal community since the 1990s. It includes stunning views of the area’s most significant natural features and places of great significance to the Aboriginal community, including the Five Islands, Lake Illawarra and the escarpment linking Mt Keira and Mt Kembla.
The Ngaraba-aan Cultural Trail will run from Heritage Park at Port Kembla and along the back of MM Beach before heading up an existing walking trail on the north side of Hill 60. It also includes a side track out to the end of the beautiful Boilers Point. The track then runs from the top of Hill 60 to Port Kembla Surf Club, over the hind dunes and through coastal vegetation, then links to an existing walking track around the edge of the Coomaditchie Lagoon. All of the area the Trail passes through is highly significant for its cultural value and includes many middens and artifact sites, permanent camp sites, fishing and hunting grounds, and ceremonial areas.
A detailed action plan for the reconstruction of the Trail was put together by the Illawarra Community Development Employment Program and Coomaditchie United Aboriginal Corporation in association with the Korewal Eloura Jerrungarugh Tribal Elders Aboriginal Corporation. The Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council received $388,393 through the Port Kembla Community Investment Fund program to implement Stage 1 of the project in 2017.
The first stage of the project includes:
- Track clearing and bushland restoration along the route
- Sandstone track construction
- Community field days, including Bushcare as well as sharing Aboriginal history of the areas
- Community art days with local aboriginal artists to produce material to be used along the trail
- Restoration of existing Aboriginal artworks along the trail
- Development and installation of interpretive signage along the trail