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Burning Mountain

Mt Wingin

(Burning Mountain)

Wanaruah/Wannarua Country

Geographical Information

Burning Mountain, the common name for Mount Wingen, is a hill near Wingen, approximately 224 km north of Sydney.  It takes its name from a smouldering coal seam running underground through the sandstone.[1] 

More recent geological studies have shown that Burning Mountain is made of marine and coal-bearing sediments dating back to the early Permian period (around 300 million years ago). It appears that two coal seams, around 16 km to the north of Burning Mountain, somehow ignited and have been burning at a rate of about a metre per year. The distance it has travelled suggests that the underground fire began at least 15,000 years ago, although taking into account periods when the burning may have been much slower, the fire may be a great deal older.[2]

First Peoples Information

Traditionally, Burning Mountain was part of a vast territory owned by the Wanaruah people, which stretched from Broke to the Liverpool Range. Wanaruah mythology, passed through generations, tells the story of Burning Mountain like this: one day, the Gumaroi people, north of the Liverpool Range, sent a raiding party south to steal Wanaruah women. The Wiradjuri people to the west warned the Wanaruah, who sent their best warriors out for a great battle. One of the Wanaruah wives decided to wait for her husband to return, settling down near the Liverpool Range. When he didn’t come back, she was devastated. Crying, she asked Biami, the sky god, to take her life. Instead, he turned her into stone, and as she did so, her tears became fire and set the mountain alight for all eternity.[3]

Click below to watch an animation of the Wonnarua dreaming story for Burning Mountain.

Guided Meditation

Journal/Contemplation Questions

What wisdom does the mountain have for you today? Trust what arises.

Environmental Action

Inspired to support the endangered forests around Goongerah?

Click below to hear more about the endemic Errinundra Shining Gum and how you can offer your support.