“Nhi Nhi Kata dwank, listen! The Manitj (black and white cockatoos) are flying and calling, that means Ngari (salmon) are on the coast."

Wayne Wonitji Webb (Pibulman/Wadandi Custodian)

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The Wadandi people (‘salt water people’) are the Aboriginal custodians and traditional owners of Meelup Regional Park. The area was home to the Wadandi group of Nyungar people for thousands of years before the first Europeans landed in the area in 1801 and local settlement began in 1830. The Wadandi people relate strongly to the limestone coast and cave region, believing the spirits of their people live within the caves.

It is known that the Wadandi people camped in the freshwater lagoon above Meelup Beach and the landscape and natural features of the park are permeated with social and spiritual significance. The traditional owners maintain a central connection with the natural environment of the park. A Pibulmun Wadandi custodian, Wayne Webb, said that the Park supports significant features such as fresh springs, whales, rocks, trees, ceremonial ground, tharlu and quarry sites. Wayne said that “there is so much significance (in the park) that it continues to be used to this day”.  One important tradition still practiced today is “Ngari” Salmon Fishing. Salmon were an important seasonal food source for the Wadandi people and also indicated a change in the season. 

Indigenous cultural heritage exists throughout the land and water of Meelup Regional Park.  Conservation of this heritage ensures continued respect for Indigenous ancestors and the traditional owners.

“Nhi Nhi Kata dwank, listen! The Manitj (black and white cockatoos) are flying and calling, that means Ngari (salmon) are on the coast.

Wadandi people gathered in the shallows while others stood on the rocky outcrops, spotting the large schools of Ngari (salmon) on the move. With Gidjies ready the people gather around, waiting for the shout to begin fishing. Lots of excitement and laughter knowing there was plenty of food and stories to share around the Karla (campfire) tonight.”

Wayne Wonitji Webb (Pibulman/Wadandi Custodian)

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You can help preserve this special place in the following ways:

Stay on designated trails  |  Do not light fires in the park  |  Park in designated areas  |  Leave your pets at home  |  Use the bins and toilets provided  |  Do not dump garden waste  |  No Camping


Telephone: (08) 9781 0444
Email: city@busselton.wa.gov.au