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welcome to the weeli wolli creek

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the home of the Yurduba rainbow serpent…

“Weeli Wolli is where the Rainbow Serpent came up in the Dreamtime from the desert
to the east. He is in the water that flows from the Springs. He goes north along the
Creek underground and comes up at a place in the Fortescue Marsh. He travels from
the river to Millstream. The Springs are very special and sacred to us. It’s dangerous to
go there and nobody can swim in the water. The stories for the Springs are restricted
under our law and culture and I can’t speak about them to people who are not initiated
under our law and custom. Under our laws and customs you can’t interfere with that
water from the Springs that flows through Weeli Wolli. Drilling down into that creek
would interfere with that Rainbow Serpent and the Dreaming. We the Fortescue
Banyjima people have always looked after Weeli Wolli with the Nyiyarparli people. We
held meetings and ceremonies in the Creek bed. To this day we hunt camp and travel
along the creek.”

Timmy Parker, Fortescue Banyjima people
Native Title affidavit dated 15 September 2006

Cultural significance of the Creek

There Weeli Wolli area has several sites of sacred and spiritual significance for the
Banyjima and Nyiyaparli people. The springs are linked to the spirit of the Yurduba
rainbow serpent who is the guardian of permanent waterholes. Yurduba are the
snake-like spiritual beings that inhabit the landscape and draw their sustenance from
the springs.

In addition to the ethnographic heritage, a number of ancient engraved panels on the
weathered rock faces are physical markers to the long presence of Aboriginal groups in
this area. The Weeli Wolli area continues to be a special meeting place where
surrounding traditional owner groups gather at certain times to participate in Law and
Culture ceremonies.

Camping is not permitted as Weeli Wolli is a protected site and local Aboriginal people
believe that it is dangerous to be in the vicinity of the Spring area after dark due to the
presence of the spiritual beings that inhabit the Creek. People are not encouraged to
swim in the Creek and women especially are not permitted to walk alone along the Creek.

The physical beauty of Weeli Wolli

Situated on the Weeli Wolli Creek is a series of permanent pools and small waterfalls
forming a location known locally as Weeli Wolli. The clear waterflows for almost five
kilometres providing a haven for fish and bird life unique to the area. Majestic
paperbarks and river gums growing to 30 metres high line the watercourse, especially
around the Spring.

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