North Coast Regional Botanic Garden

North Coast
Regional Botanic

Garlambirla Creek Walk

The Garlambirla Creek Walk features plants used by the local aborigines, the Gumbaynggirr peoples, for food, drink, shelter, medicines and weapons. Opened in October 2012, this well sign-posted 1.5 km walk starts in the Prime Display area at the pergola, follows the pathway through the picnic area, then continues along the creek, finishing at the northern end of the Rainforest.

Bush tucker plants include Blackbutt, Lomandra, Angophera, Kangaroo grass, Wallum beard-heath, Pink Bloodwood, Swamp water fern, Grey mangrove, Bracken fern, Square-leaved Grass Tree, Coast Banksia, Black She-Oak, Broad-leaved paperbark, and the Sandpaper Fig.

The Broad-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca quinquinervia) is one of the most important trees for the Gumbayngirr people. Bark was used to line baby carriers, baskets and coolamons, to thatch roofs, wrap injured limbs, to wrap sharp implements and fish. It is a “calendar plant” – when in flower, the bream are running and the possums are fat and sweet!

Look also for medicinal plants: The young leaves and shoots of pink lasiandra alleviate diarrhoea, while the soaked roots yield a mouthwash to relieve toothache. Native sarsaparilla leaves are high in vitamin C, and boiled can be drunk as a tonic for coughs and chest troubles.

Spear grass trees were highly prized as a food source and weaponry.  The rough leaves of the sandpaper fig were used to sharpen spear tips. Insect-free bedding can be made from the needles of the swamp she-oak covered with bracken. The old cones of the familiar Coastal Banksia are excellent for cooking fires, and to carry fire to the next campground.

Download Garlambirla Creek Walk Flyer