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Goanna Headland


(Goanna Headland)

Bundjalung Country

Geographical Information

Goanna Headland, located at Evans Head in NSW, is one of the most easterly points on mainland Australia.  The hardest and oldest rock outcropping just south of Evans Head town at the Half Tide Rocks is the Chillingham Volcanics. They are comprised of basalt and andesite (elsewhere in NSW Chillingham Volcanics are mainly rhyolitic in composition) and here at Evans show an uncommon rock called hayloclastite. The formation of hayloclastite in this area was the result of eruption of basalt into a coastal sea. Something you might see in modern day Hawaii or Iceland where lava flows directly into the sea.[1] 

First Nations Information

The Headland is believed by Bundjalung Nation Aborigines to be the body of the mythical Dirawong. When viewed from above, the headland has a rough outline showing the shape of a goanna, within which the spirit creature is believed to exist even today.  Bundjalung Nation oral tradition tells the story about a fight between the Dirawong (goanna) and the Rainbow Snake, that caused the creation of Goanna Headland. According to the legend, the Rainbow Snake had been very bad. Only Dirawong was powerful enough to deal with Rainbow Snake.  He chased the rainbow snake all over the region creating rivers, hills and islands. Eventually the snake fled to the sea, disguising itself as an island.  The goanna (Dirawong) still waits (as a headland) on the shore for its return.[2]

Dirawong is also associated with rain and there is a restricted rain cave on Goanna Headland where the elders went in the old days to organise ceremonies for rain.[3]

Goanna Headland is also a site of a huge massacre of around 100 Aboriginal people, mostly women and children.  The Bundjalung people believe ghosts wander amongst the banksias, grass trees, wild flowers and dunes of Goanna Headland. At dusk, if you wander along a lonely beach here, it is said, you’ll often hear the wails of over 100 women and children who were murdered. Despite being a wonderful spot, Goanna Headland is home to a harrowing past.[4] … Continue reading

Guided Meditation

Intuitively find your way to a quiet place to meditate either on the headland or looking at it. Trust where you feel drawn to. If you are visiting virtually follow your imagination to a place.

Journal/Contemplation Questions

What painful events in your life still have an emotional charge when you think of them or talk about them? Allow your hurt to be fully expressed on the page. (Note- this often requires many layers of expression.)

When you have released all of the hurt that is accessible today, open your heart to have compassion for the person/people who inflicted this hurt.  What unhealed pain may have caused them to project their hurt onto you?

What guilt do you hold towards your hurtful actions in the past?  Offer yourself the same compassion that you have offered others.

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

Environmental Support

Would you love to join a local action group who are preserving the marine life of Australia?  Click below to hear more and offer your support.