The area now covered by Myall Lakes National Park is part of the Country of the Worimi Aboriginal people that extends south to Maitland and the Hunter River, north to Forster–Tuncurry, and west to Gloucester.
The Worimi occupation of the Myall Lakes area has left behind rich and varied evidence, including scarred trees, open campsites, burial grounds, stone arrangements, middens, rock engravings and a fish trap.
The Worimi lived a traditional fisher-hunter-gatherer lifestyle. They utilised many of the area's natural resources including the freshwater lakes, stone outcrops, the ocean and the native flora and fauna. The Worimi also used fire to alter their natural environment.
The first known contact that the Worimi had with Europeans was in 1790 when five convicts escaped from the Second Fleet. They were 'adopted' by Aboriginal people in the Hawks Nest area who thought they were the spirits of ancestors, and lived with them until re-captured by Captain William Broughton in 1795.
From this time on, the impact from Europeans on the Aboriginals' traditional way of life was substantial. It began with contact with cedar getters in 1816, then continued with the Australian Agricultural Company in 1826 and the arrival of settlers in 1831.
Despite being dispossessed of their land during the early European settlement, the Worimi have retained a deep-felt attachment to the lands within, and surrounding, Myall Lakes National Park and have an active interest in park management. The park in general, as well as specific sites within it, are important to the Worimi and many natural features throughout the park may also be of spiritual or historic significance to Aboriginal people.
Although only a small proportion of the park has been surveyed for Aboriginal sites, more than 61 are recorded in the NPWS Aboriginal Sites Register. Many more sites are likely to be found after systematic surveys are undertaken. Many of these sites are middens, showing the extensive use of the coast by Aboriginal people as both a food source and meeting place. Dark Point Aboriginal Place is one such site and can be visited in the park.
Archaeological sites and the landscape are important to Aboriginal communities as they are a testament to their culture’s great antiquity.