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Den of Nargun

Den of Nargun

(Mitchell River National Park)

Brayakooloong (Gunai) Country

Geographical Information

The national park surrounds the spectacular Mitchell River where it has cut its way through rock strata creating high cliffs and several gorges.  In some of the gorges are found remnants of warm-temperant rainforest, the southernmost occurrence of this type of forest in the world. It can survive here as the steep walls of the gorges protect it from the annual drying summer winds and the bushfires that occasionally rage through the area.[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_River_National_Park_(Victoria)

Within the national park lies the Den of Nargun. This cavern has resulted from the erosion of fine shattered mudstone occurring beneath more resistant sandstone and pebbly sandstone, the latter forming an prominent overhang. Several large stalactites mark the entrance of the cavern. Smaller stalactites within the cavern have been extensively damaged by vandalism. The cavern entrance is masked by a waterfall during periods of high rainfall and Woolshed Creek has excavated a plunge pool at the base of the falls.[2]http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/egregn.nsf/pages/eg_lf_sites_significance_8322_5

First Peoples Information

A Nargun, according to Gunai/Kurnai tribal legends, is a fierce half-human half-stone creature that lived in the Den of Nargun, a cave under a rock overhang behind the small waterfall.

Stories were told around campfires about how the Nargun would abduct children who wandered off on their own.  The Nargun could not be harmed with boomerang or spears.  These stories served the dual purpose of keeping children close to the campsite and ensuring that people stayed away from the sacred cave.

The Den of Nargun is a special place for women and may have been used for women’s initiation and learning ceremonies.  Mitchell River was a major stop-off point for First Nations people travelling from the high country to the lowlands. Den of Nargun is part of the Bataluk Cultural Trail. [3]https://batalukculturaltrail.com.au/den_of_nargun.php

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References

References
1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_River_National_Park_(Victoria
2http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/egregn.nsf/pages/eg_lf_sites_significance_8322_5
3https://batalukculturaltrail.com.au/den_of_nargun.php