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Kooparoona Niara Tours

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The connection of Aboriginal people to kooparoona niara dates back more than 40,000 years; the pallittorre clan of the North Nation were based around the Mole Creek and Meander region. To the ancestors, the Great Western Tiers was known as kooparoona niara, or Mountains of the Spirits. This region is culturally significant as it was the meeting place of three Aboriginal nations. Kooparoona niara is especially symbolic to Trawlwoolway man, Greg Murray based on his personal connection and upbringing, with his focus now on sharing the stories and knowledge of the Tasmanian Aboriginal history to ensure its protection for generations to come. 3 tours are available, of 3 hours each. Half day Cataract Gorge, half day kooparoona niara and a customised tour can be arranged. Proud Trawlwoolway man, Greg Murray grew up in the kooparoona niara region - a stone's throw from the river and spent the summer afternoons of his youth in the Meander River, swimming and enjoying the freedom of childhood. It's no surprise that half a century later, Greg was the instigator of the cultural trail that begins below the bridge. Opened in 2015, it marks the traces of older, ancient pathways, those of the nine nations of Aboriginal people that lived on this part of the island. After taking on a role with Colony 47, a change-making not-for-profit group working with young people in the community, Greg found himself on his old stomping ground once again. Spending an hour down at the river, he wondered how the infrastructure already present could entice visitors to linger there for longer. With a passion for bush tucker and bush medicine, it came to him that native plant beds along the river path, and a storyline to follow, might keep them engaged. What more natural place to tell the story of the seasonal journeys made by his ancestors, who made their homes in the mountains during summer and came down to the coastal regions for winter, passaging between the two on foot or in bark canoes, following the rivers between. This was the inspiration for the kooparoona niara Cultural Trail, its name meaning 'mountains of the spirits' in language, the Aboriginal term for the Great Western Tiers, which have long formed the cool, ancient blue backdrop to everyday life here. After the trail officially opened, Greg opened up Kooparoona Niara Tours and now dedicates his time to sharing stories of culture and country that he once heard as a boy. He is now able to retell them which has brought the unknown resonances of kooparaoona niara bubbling to the surface. - Words by Fiona Stocker, author, extracted from her article On the Cultural Trail.

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