The Ominous Warning of Mount Warning

Since the early 2000s NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has been working to shut down the stunning bushwalk to the summit of the best preserved eroded shield volcano in the southern hemisphere, Mount Warning , known in the local Aboriginal dialect as Wulambiny Momoli (the Scrub Turkey). The walk attracts well over 100,000 visitors annually and properly managed could sustain many more. The real reasons behind the closure are, in my view, more likely due to NPWS laziness than falsehoods about safety, environment or contested demands of so-called Aboriginal custodians.

With the rise of authoritarianism brought about by governments’ shambolic management of the COVID-19 pandemic it seems the door opened as of in March 2020 for NPWS to finally get its warped wish.

Under the guise of false proclamations about safety related to the rock scramble below the summit and a complete lack of understanding of the nature of transmission of corona viruses in outdoor settings, NPWS closed the entire national park in March 2020. A locked gate was placed 3km from the base car park to deter visitors from entering, though a few brave souls did and reported the deteriorating condition of the trail and secret removal of the chain that formerly assisted climbers approach the summit.

ambit claim: An extravagant initial demand made in expectation of an eventual counter-offer and compromise.

Despite protests, the “temporary” closure was extended again and again. Over the years of the COVID pandemic the claims moved away from safety and settled on the need for NPWS bureaucrats to consult with the officially authorised Wollumbin Consultative Group (WCG) – a group of mixed-race Aboriginal men with highly contested claims on the mountain – to produce an Aboriginal Place Management Plan for the park. This arises from the 2014 declaration of everything above the 600m topographic contour in the Mount Warning National Park being an “Aboriginal Place”. This declaration, published in the NSW government Gazette, indicated there are at least eight separate Aboriginal stories about the mountain and its cultural meaning, with each story being equally valid and with no one story taking precedence[1].

As a side note in June this year the NSW Liberal government announced plans [2] to hand over control of all (yes, ALL) our NSW National Parks to Aboriginal Groups that live nearby. This includes the title to the land and not just management rights. Bizarrely, future management of NSW National Parks will be based on a Memorandum of Understanding between NPWS and as yet undetermined Aboriginal groups. The agreement would involve rent being paid and management plans and access for the public being at the whim of local officially authorised Aboriginal groups.


Last week we saw just how these plans and agreements will play out in the real world. For Mount Warning National Park listed as such in 1929 and “dedicated to the people forever” [3]”, the new Aboriginal Place Management Plan [4] approved by the WCG is devastating news. In short the plan:

♦ ignores dissenting Aboriginal voices (some groups encourage visitors to climb and challenge the rights of the WCG to be the sole negotiating agent with NPWS). The wonderful message of Late Ngaraakwal Elder Marlene Boyd left on the cutting room floor:

“I do not oppose the public climbing of Mt Warning – how can the public experience the spiritual significance of this land if they do not climb the summit and witness creation!” [5]

What happened to each story being equally valid and with no one story taking precedence”

♦ allows for closure of the entire park,

♦ bans all public access under the threat of $550000 fines,

♦ provides for the removal the summit lookouts, helipads and presumably the important geodetic survey markers – all trace of Western culture to be stripped though it’s hard to see how the well-constructed drystone walls built by volunteers from Murwillumbah in 1909 near the summit will be removed. Ironically all these structures described in the plan as being in “good condition”.

♦ allows for copyrighting the image of Mt Warning, and without the plan even being in force woke corporations are already falling over themselves to give away valued corporate capital – Stone and Wood’s Cloud Catcher Pale Ale will be discontinued to assuage the wishes of the WCG[6].

♦ extends Aboriginal management outside the designated Aboriginal Place to adjacent spurs and ridges and provides for “removal of infrastructure” in those areas that “could affect intervisibility to important cultural sites”. How many local residents with views of Mount Warning will need to relocate? How many power lines and communication towers will need to be demolished so a few are not offended?

♦ allows for ongoing access to the mountain for a select group of the WCG mixed race men, with access presumably to be provided at the tax payers expense.

What was once billed internationally as a magnificent walk to witness the first dawn in Australia will soon be the exclusive property of a small group disgruntled extremists who, like Tolkien’s Golem, want to keep the Precious for themselves. If this is a taste of things to come the public will no longer have any National Parks in NSW to enjoy.

Oddly, NSW Environment Minister James Griffin has accepted the WCG plan without question and his NPWS minions are now using it as a basis for developing a Memorandum of Understanding to manage the park. Though with no public access one can only wonder why. This farce ranks alongside Yes Minister’s award-winning hospital without patients [7].

In times past a politician would be able to recognise an ambit claim as blatant as this and treat it accordingly. Credit to the savvy members of the WCG in recognising the NSW Liberal government consists largely of spineless, unprincipled twits who will buckle and hand over  everything. How surprised they must have been that their exaggerated claims would be met with a meek “yes” from our mouse-like government!

If the minister were governing for the majority of NSW citizens the starting point for any negotiation would be to maintain the status quo perhaps with including options for further development in the park to increase economic activity in the area including via feratta routes on the mountain’s magnificent northern rock face; a circuit walk around the base; hang gliding from the summit and perhaps a café serving local treats in a car park patrolled by rangers to prevent angry locals slashing tyres [8].

Given a bit of to and fro, perhaps the end point of this negotiation would be for continued public access with some better toilets and bins and regular maintenance by NPWS, and perhaps a week long “Cloud Catcher” festival where the mountain could be closed to celebrate those eight  indigenous stories (including the one encouraging visitors to the summit).

What is certain is that without pushback from the public this decision will stand and will set the precedence for management in all our national parks. Please lend your angry voice to object to this nonsense and write to your local, state and federal government member.

Better still, jump the gate and exercise your own cultural rights.


[1] https://gazette.legislation.nsw.gov.au/so/download.w3p?id=Gazette_2014_2014-66.pdf P.2830

[2] https://spectator.com.au/2022/09/paying-the-rent-with-our-national-parks/

[3] http://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2022/06/mt-warning-in-limbo.html

[4] https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/park-management/community-engagement/walking-tracks-and-trails-in-national-parks/wollumbin-national-park

[5] http://righttoclimb.blogspot.com/2021/01/mount-warning-aboriginal-claims-about.html

[6] https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/beer-maker-moves-after-wollumbin-verdict/news-story/c1bdf9ae1977257b42168e965f801666

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAk448volww

[8] http://www.tweedvalleyweekly.net.au/mt-warning-tyre-slasher-strikes-50-cars/

14 thoughts on “The Ominous Warning of Mount Warning

  • Ian MacDougall says:

    Thus the hidden agenda of ‘Treaty.’ Endless opportunities for rent-seekers (inevitably of mixed ancestry) to set up shop as a would-be hereditary aristocracy and live in style at everyone else’s expense.
    But it does pose some problems. Without the arrival of Cook in 1777, or of Phillip in 1788, none of our modern ethnically-blended Aboriginals would be around to make any claims at all.

  • Daffy says:

    Many years ago friends and I walked to the summit of Mt Warning, camped there overnight and…ran down to the base the next day. My hips do still protest at that indignity inflicted upon them! No more such fun I guess.
    Speaking of rangers. Our park rangers are unarmed. Will stop no one. OTOH in US parks I’ve thought that I’d been plunged into a war zone. Every ranger was ‘carrying’.

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Thanks Marc for this depressing news coverage. We’ll be copping a lot more of this if the voice ever gets up.
    Words are changing all the time now ; I saw a small article in the paper recently where some poor fool was fined for throwing biscuit out of his ute window on Fraser Island when he was waiting in line, to a dingo that was in the know for handouts and hanging around the que, only it was no longer a dingo, having morphed into some asinine word that’s supposed to be of the so called local aboriginal group. I had a beautiful piece of Red Snapper for dinner a few weeks back at the Coral Sea resort at Airlie Beach, only it’s now got an aboriginal name. The word only really means good to eat, in some central NSW tribal language or other anyway, not a particular fish, and this fish is only found on tropical reefs……not in NSW. Most people fall for the whole scam though, so we can definitely look forward to more of it. My advice to myself is, if I want to maintain my sanity……keep all my old dictionaries.
    Also expect dobbers to increase……the fool throwing the biscuit was dobbed in by some woman in a car behind him in the que.

    • NarelleG says:

      @Peter – how scandalous.

      I realised Fraser now had an aboriginal name K’gara.
      Would expect them to rename the dingo – funnily enough like ‘koala’ they are both aboriginal names.
      It is just absurd – were the restaurant owners aboriginal?

      The gumbayngirr tribe around here have ‘renamed ‘Bellingen’ which is an aboriginal word in their language anyway lols
      They are actually canceling their own culture which was recorded by explorers and early anthologists.

      I haven’t seen this blatant canceling of Marc by the bureaucrats anywhere else before and I have a research group looking into all these things.

      Say goodbye Australia and keep your dictionary handy.

      • DougD says:

        This nonsense is popular in the Queensland bureaucracy. A little while ago, a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service regional director issued a public safety warning saying that some campsites were being closed “to reduce the potential for further negative interactions and ensure the long-term viability of the wongari population on K’Gari,” This was provoked by a dingo attack on a child holidaying on Fraser Island. The warning was not understood (except perhaps by the handful of people who knew some Butchulla words}: the warning was soon followed by two more similar attacks there.

  • Paul W says:

    This is the most depressing thing I have read all year. Everything else pales in comparison to this. It is open racial segregation and it uses religion/spirituality as a justification. Traitors and racists.

  • Peter OBrien says:

    Thank you Marc, for another brilliant expose of the creeping malaise that is infecting our society. It’s hard to comprehend how any government, let alone a supposedly conservative one, could collaborate (and I use the word quite deliberately) with this kind of subversion.
    I picked up my 4 year old granddaughter from her pre-school today and every wall I looked at had either Aboriginal themes or a recitation of this particular ‘early learning’ centre’s ‘sustainability goals for 2022’.

    • NarelleG says:

      [I picked up my 4 year old granddaughter from her pre-school today and every wall I looked at had either Aboriginal themes or a recitation of this particular ‘early learning’ centre’s ‘sustainability goals for 2022’.]


      Child abuse – the parents won’t object because they have already been brainwashed as is anyone under the age of 40.

      The childcare centre is grooming – plain and simple.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    I have a very strong personal attachment to the outlined rim of the blue mountains viewable from St. Mary’s hill in Sydney’s western suburbs. They are deeply impressed in my childhood memories and psyche and form part of my life-long ‘dreaming’. I think I should claim them as mine alone, and charge all others for even a glance as well as declaring all of those mountains off limits for anyone else. to visit
    That seems fair, doesn’t it?

  • Brian Boru says:

    Whenever you remain silent at a “Welcome to Country” you have acquiesced in this sort of thing. If you don’t agree, say so aloud.
    If you do that you may convince others that we all are migrants in this land and we have equal rights no matter in what order our forebears arrived.

  • Dallas Beaufort says:

    Given the timely economic limitations exposed via the Climate Change instruments and Covid mandates will the Indigenous council managers encourage electric vehicle recharging stations to open the ridge lines to adventurer’s wanting to digest Dreamtime examples and understanding, Or will the result be a video presentation. On a land management issue, Who will do the work necessary to sustain the natural beauty Australian’s need to identify with this wonderful nation. Closed shop?

  • gilmay97 says:

    The Tweed Valley of northern New South Wales were never the part of the Bundjalung language speakers’ area.
    Most of the local aborigines died out from dysentery and a ‘fever’ in about 1875, as I was told by pioneering families, leaving only a few remaining members; they had their last full ‘Boori’ recorded in this area in 1870.
    My knowledge of this area came from lengthy discussions with Ray & Hannah Baker — wonderful friends, both children of pioneers, Ray still had his WW1 uniform; Bill Godden; Vince & Nan McMahon; ‘Stumpy’ Alexander; Red McKenzie; Ian Stoddart; Heck & Snowy Butler; Clary Vidler; George James; Bruce and Jack Bray, where Brays Creek is named after their family; and many other very interesting pioneering families of the Tweed.
    These were all descendants of pioneering families that I had a long friendship with, and many long hours of listening to the histories as told by their families and others.
    When the soldiers returned from WW1, they brought with them a bad flue which the natives had no resistance to, it killed many of those who remained. The sadness of this was their deaths happened so quickly in a short space of time, their important local knowledge was lost with them.
    There were two sisters that had left the Tweed before that time and went to live elsewhere. Their descendants are still living today, one of whom still lives in the Tweed (a family friend of many years). He expressed his disgust at the current lies being told claiming fictitious ownership of Mount Warning.
    The Aboriginal claim to Mount Warning appears a rat’s nest of inaccuracies and baloney, Wollumbin was the northern ridge, the Mount Warning peak was very dangerous to climb with no food nor water, so they had no reason to go there or consider it a sacred place, the moss-covered rocks in the moist air are very slippery and dangerous to climb, so a chain was installed for climbers’ safety.
    Mount Warning was never a sacred site — quite the opposite, it was considered a dangerous area to keep away from, where the Mountain Rock-Spirits would kill you with fire.
    The old pioneering families told me the original Aboriginals were scared of the mountain, they knew it was a very dangerous place where the ‘Rock-Spirit’ makes fire to warn people away and it will kill you with fire, the fire jumps in the air trying to escape (lightning) and starts big fires that kill all the food to keep them away — they had seen many many times the ‘Rock Spirit’ throw fire in the air — even in rain the fire still burns; not like our fire that stops.
    The local aboriginals knew they had to keep away from the Pumpenbil Pinnacle, Bald Mountain and Mt Warning — Or the Rock-Spirits there would kill them with fire.
    The many lightning strikes on the mountains were frightening to the pioneers who lived in valleys around all sides of the mountain, they spoke of repetitive fork lightning strikes and sheet lightning that covered the summit during monsoon storms and dry lightning during dry hot atmospheric times flashing over the peak at night.
    The frequent Lightning strikes on the top and northern face of Mt Warning where the entire northern face can be a sheet of fire, for 38 years we watched many storms that created repetitive lightning strikes in a row, several times we saw the entire peak and north face appear on-fire with sheet lightning —the Palm lilies (Doryathes palmeri) growing in cracks in the rocks were burnt, turning from green to brown.
    There are over 8 million lightning strikes every 24 hours worldwide, 4 times per second: In severe storms at Tyalgum we have seen continuous strikes run all over the peak of Mt Warning and around the Calder Rim. If in any doubt about these words, speak to the older residents in the area.
    At other times during dry heat and charged particles in the air caused dry lightning around the peak, where at night flashes of dry lightning would illuminate the peak and northern face.
    We had a clear view of these from our home, where we watched lightning strikes on the Pinnacle, the Western Caldera Rim, Mt Warning and Bald Mountain.
    We have sat on top of Bald Mounting, the Pinnacle and Mt Warning — We sat on top of Bald Mountain and ate our lunch; we could see the burnt rock seared black from many lightning strikes with a strong burnt smell.
    The aboriginal tribes outside would see the air-fire and were terrified of the area as the thunder in low storms would appear to shake the ground reverberating up the valleys. Your house, and items in your house would rattle.
    Newly arrived aboriginals hearing half a story with confused thinking and overzealous imagination, claimed there was a spiritual ‘energy’ only the old people knew about in the triangle of the Pumpenbil Pinnacle — Mt Warning — and Bald Mountain, making them all sacred sites. Total fabricated baloney from fertile fantasy imaginations with no facts.
    That is invented theoretical baloney — they have a tendency to over exuberate when the see triangular features and rocks.
    The Bunjalung language speakers of the south made great hero status and claimed the Mount as their traditional heritage — It was never their heritage; the claim is fraud. This contradicts what I was told by Red McKenzie (and others), the son of a man who befriended the original aborigines and had a close friendship with them, he owned the property called ‘Wollumbin’ between Mount Warning and Eungella. Grandson James McKenzie a friend of many years still lives on the family property.
    Sadly, disease had decimated the local tribes, the two remaining sisters had moved away, a son later returned; they appear the last genuine part aborigines of the Tweed – Wollumbin area.
    In later years an influx of part aboriginal people moved in from other areas falsely claiming it had belonged to their ancestors and made a variety of claims of ownership, which were based on heresay, theory and just plain baloney.
    The embarrassing stupidity is governments and their employees fell over themselves to believe this nonsense and agree to demand, showing how they understood their indigenous brothers and appearing to provide unjustified taxpayers money for a variety of concocted issues.
    Their needs to be a DNA study, and ancestral genealogy of where they were born and their parental line evidence-based decisions, which must override the fictitious baloney stories being told and claims to land — prove it or remove it. All land claims must be on establish rigorous DNA — Not heresay, and genealogy evidence-based facts of the same standard used by the Supreme Courts, beyond all reasonable doubt.
    Extracted from a book I am writing on ‘The real unknown story of hominid occupation of Australia’.

    • NarelleG says:


      Keen to read the book you are writing – when will it be published and where can I find it.
      Have you written other books – your post is a fascinating read and I would like to read more.

  • gilmay97 says:

    The Wedding on the Mountain
    As a Marriage Celebrant I went wherever people wanted to be married— just for fun — from cities, seasides, country homes, mountain tops, rainforests, waterfalls, wherever they chose — as these places were of special importance: I headed off early on the morning of 8 November 2002 to conduct a wedding on the mountain—for a young couple to fulfil their dreams of being married where they first met—on the summit of Mt Warning — I believe that was the only time a marriage had been solemnised there, we had made special history for that young couple and I shared their wonderful experience.

    The Dawn Wedding in the Rainforest
    They wanted a dawn wedding in the rainforest of Mt Warning.
    We arrived in the dark by torchlight and walked into the forest where we gathered, many held candles and in the pre-dawn glow I read the marriage service by candlelight, as the sun rose on the horizon, I pronounced them to be Husband and Wife. With that everyone cheered and in response there was a loud cacophony of bird calls echoing through the forest valleys with such volume it caused your eardrums to vibrate and everyone had Goosebumps. Everyone fell silent standing there in amazement at the volume of sounds all around them — then silence as the bird calls stopped.
    Everyone stood quietly for few moments, I explained we had triggered the early morning bird chorus a little earlier than usual and if we wait quietly as a little more sunlight appears, in a few minutes they will all start again, just as I finished my words it started — the mountain suddenly echoed with the voices of hundreds of birds, then a short silence — then the individual songs from many different birds welcoming the day. A truly inspiring experience to those from the suburban areas who had never heard the daily early morning bird chorus before.

    Now these and other wonderful memories are denied to the people — through sheer mongrel minded dictatorial, unnecessary concocted baloney from the invading indigenous white people — and politicians to gutless to stand up against apartheid divisions they are now supporting — maybe it’s time the people banned indigenous people from our towns, and our sites of cultural significance — sports grounds, parks, beaches, public BBQ’s and pubs? And replaced politicians who have obviously outlasted their intelligence.
    Vale common-sense, decency, and democracy — lost to deceit, distorted history and apartheid.
    Over 100,000 people climb the Mount Warning summit each year, we hope they and their families have words about apartheid and race bias, with their local MP’s & Senators.

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