Monday, April 22, 2013

Bush Tucker.....a little history lesson......

While most of the kids in NSW are on holidays right now. We were up in the bush learning a little something (as one does). Take a little history, science, Humanities, religion, Food Tech, Survival skills and an Indigenous Bush Ranger called Gary to guide you and what do you get? Well a whole lot of FUN...and of course a great deal of learning (shhhh don't tell the kids). 

We began our little trek in amongst the pines which is a bit like a mini rainforest in the middle of the national park. It was wet and mushy and there were a lot of leeches around despite the fact that they do not usually frequent this area so much.  Lucky for me, I had something on my feet for once. (I would like to thank the local parcel delivery guy for that one. He told me about the leeches and suggested I be wary, so I borrowed Gemma's gum boots and was so glad that I did). 

Before we got walking though. Gary gave us a bit of a history lesson about the Awabakal people who were the true custodians of this land. Now there is a bit of a dispute about that around here as the Darkinjung got their claim in first and are recognised legally. We won't go into all that but Gary enlightened us to the truth and then told us all about the culture, the traditions and customs of local tribes and also embellished with some wonderful stories to keep us all interested. 

He introduced us to all we would need to survive in the bush......and some little luxuries too....

Did you know that with just one stick you can make fire, hunt, fish, and even mend it if it breaks using tree resin? He told us how to make these tools, what they were for and even how to use them. (Although we did not go ahead and hunt on this occasion. We were too busy learning about the plants).

Next he took us for a wander, "Remember to watch your step and be aware that deadly brown snakes live here" (Why thank you for that advice while you have us walk straight across this perfectly camouflaged area! Really!) Of course snakes were soon forgotten when we started to see those blood sucking leeches jumping up everyones legs. There were lots of squeals and jumping about by people as well. LOL The kids on the other hand were quite enjoying the leeches and comparing how long they could stand having them suck their blood before pulling them off....EWWWWWW...

Now of course we were not just taking a walk we stopped every few steps and he pointed out a useful plant which could be used for food, water or even for medicine. Personally, I could have stayed all day and would loved to have had a private tour so I could take notes. LOL However, I did manage to observe quite a lot and remember a fair bit of it. And Zak absorbed far more than I thought he would too! (Mission accomplished :-)). 

Fern......its everywhere around here......did you know that the leaves are a natural insect repellent. You can crush them and rub them on your arms to ward off mozzies and flies. You can also use it after the bites to help stop the itching. The roots and seed pods are edible provided you soak them in water for a few days first. 

Here we have a paper bark tree. The powder from the dryer parts is used to dry an open wound. You can then take a larger piece from near the bottom which should be a little mouldy and wrap it around the wound. (Natural penicillin) finally you take some larger dry sheets from the top and wrap to form a bandage. 

Got a headache? No worries, just chew some of this......

We slowly made our way through the trails....

Through the pines .......

Jumped across a stream...

And up the hill...... through the shrubbery......

It was about at this point that my camera battery died. Argghhhh. I had taken my little camera which I have not used for ages and the battery was obviously not up to it. So I took a couple of shots with my phone.  We emerge to the bush that is more like home around here. 

Lots of gum trees....

Gary told us stories from the dreamtime, talked about sacred sites and gave us quite an impression on his political views too. Would love to catch up with him sometime again. He was a wealth of interesting information. All in all, a very educational experience and a wonderful time in nature for those of us who are that way inclined. 

The kids are keen to go camping up there in the near future. Sounds like a great idea to me! Although its getting a bit nippy at nights now and no fires allowed in the national park. Maybe in Spring. 

Love and Light to all xoxox


  1. What a great thing to do with kids, very interesting and informative. Smart move with the boots, I've had leeches on me, they're horrible.

    1. Unfortunately for me, one did sneak into my boot and I did not notice till we were half way home. Did not feel a thing until it flipped and the slimy back touched me. I was more freaked out by that, than the fact it was sucking my blood and had grown quite big and fat. LOL Lucky for me one of the kids removed it and tossed it out the window. It was all quite interesting really. Amazing how much one can bleed once they let go. Took about an hour to stop.

  2. How fantastic! Adventuring and learning lots of new things! Two of my favorites!
    I would love something like that!


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