Bellambi Point | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Bellambi Point

Item details

Name of item: Bellambi Point
Type of item: Landscape
Group/Collection: Aboriginal
Category: Shell midden
Location: Lat: -34.370071 Long: 150.927783
Primary address: , Bellambi, NSW 2518
Local govt. area: Wollongong City
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Illawarra
Hectares (approx): 8.5
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
 BellambiWollongong City  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Why is it an Aboriginal Place?
Bellambi Point is considered a spiritual place by Aboriginal people and contains evidence of Aboriginal presence over a long period of time.

Why is it important to Aboriginal people?
Bellambi Point is recognised as being of special significance to the Illawarra Aboriginal community, to other local Aboriginal people and to the wider community. The area is highly valued by the Dharawal and Wodi Wodi peoples of the Illawarra region for its natural beauty. It is a place where elements of the vegetation, rock formations, coastal landscape, and nearby creek and lagoon add to the aesthetic and spiritual value of the place.

The area includes one of the largest Aboriginal shell middens in NSW, testament to its use as a place where resources were used and consumed over a long period of time. The area was also a bush schoolroom, where children learnt from their Elders. They were taught traditional stories and learnt about their history and traditional practices, including bush foods and natural medicines.

A burial site was found in the area in 1965 and the ancestral remains and artefacts were moved from Bellambi Point. These have since been repatriated back to the site.

In February 2005, the Illawarra Aboriginal community established a tent embassy at Bellambi Point to assert their right to be directly involved in discussions about the return of lands to public ownership. The tent embassy also drew the attention of the wider community to the cultural values of the area and the need to ensure that it is protected from ongoing coastal development.
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Physical description: What is on the ground?
The area contains a large Aboriginal shell midden which provides evidence of past Aboriginal camping at Bellambi Point. Outcrops of volcanic rock and wave-washed pebbles found in the area were used to produce edge-ground stone hatchet heads which were traded along the coast and inland to the mountains.

Nature of the environment
Though much of the native vegetation of the area is disturbed, the area is one of great natural beauty. The natural vegetation and wildlife provided a source of bush food for many generations of Aboriginal people.
Further information: Bellambi Point is rich in resources and contains evidence of Aboriginal presence over a long period of time.
Current use: Subjected to a high level of disturbance since the 1960s. In poor physical condition and will require sensitive and culturally appropriate restoration to be undertaken.


Historical notes: What is the land used for?
The Aboriginal Place is located in the suburb of Bellambi, approximately seven kilometres north of Wollongong. The area has been subjected to a high level of disturbance since the 1960s when a sewage treatment plant was built there. The lands forming the proposed Bellambi Point Aboriginal Place are in poor physical condition and will require sensitive and culturally appropriate restoration to be undertaken.

QUOTE: 'It is a place of our ancestors. It is a burial ground, tool site, meeting site and ceremonial site. It is a place of Dreaming stories and spiritual connections. This land is a part of Aboriginal people, our existence; it contains our heritage, our artefacts and middens.

This land belongs to Aboriginal people.'Bellambi Point is rich in resources and contains evidence of Aboriginal presence over a long period of time." Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Aboriginal cultures and interactions with other cultures-Activities associated with maintaining, developing, experiencing and remembering Aboriginal cultural identities and practices, past and present. (none)-


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
NPW Act - Aboriginal Place  01 Jun 12 572314

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Electronic 2012Government Gazette of the State of NSW No. 57 (1 June 2012) View detail

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5062846
File number: DOC 11/44568 & FIL 10/8197

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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