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Cultural Ways is an invitation from Ballina’s Aboriginal community to gain a deeper understanding of this place and its community. Cultural Ways passes near sites and story places that have great significance to our local Aboriginal community.

These sites and places, oral histories and memories, together with early accounts of non-Aboriginal people coming to the region help to build a greater understanding of this rich landscape and its people.

Cultural Ways endeavours to interpret the cultural knowledge and contemporary experiences that have been shared with us to foster a greater connection to place and caring for Country.

WARNING: This material contains the names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal people.


Exploring Cultural Ways

Cultural Ways is a connected series of paths running along the coast between Angels Beach at Ballina and Lennox Head.

The southern 2.4km section between Angels and Sharpes beaches follows part of the Coastal Recreational Path as it travels through the East Ballina Aboriginal Place.

The northern 3.6km section from Sharpes Beach, through Boulder Beach / Iron Peg and up to Lennox Headland follows the Coastal Walk for its entire length.

Coastal Walk

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Coastal Recreational Path


Language on Country

Local Nyangbul Elder and language teacher, Rick Cook, explains that "language goes with Country; they go hand in hand. Knowing language helps us better understand Country."

Rick Cook has provided a selection of local language words to describe the signage nodes and themes along the Cultural Ways.

The Aboriginal language words presented here are based on the broader Bundjalung language and include some words specific to the Nyangbul of the Lower Richmond. As such some spelling and pronunciation may vary from the neighbouring language dialects.

More information on the meanings of these names and how they are pronounced is provided at ngamgirr blag-gan-mee-baa (Headland Gathering Place (Node 15).

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About this webapp and pathways for further learning ...

In accordance with the local Aboriginal community's wishes that learning about Country should happen on Country wherever possible, the only published portals into this webapp are the QR code links included in the signage along the Cultural Ways.

If you are interested to learn more about Aboriginal culture and connection to Country, cultural tours are available from local Aboriginal community members through their own websites. You can also find information about local cultural tours and experiences on the Discover Ballina website or at the Ballina Visitor Information Centre located at the corner of River St and Las Balsas Plaza, Ballina. (T:1800 777666)

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We acknowledge the Nyangbul peoples as the custodians of this land on which this path traverses and we acknowledge that much of the Ballina Shire is Nyangbul Country that forms part of the greater Bundjalung Nation which stretches north of the Gold Coast from Ormeau down to Yamba and just east of Tenterfield joining Yuggera to the north, Ngarabal to the west and Gumbainggir nations to the south. The Aboriginal people of the Ballina area including this Coastal Walk are known as Nyangbul, a coastal Bundjalung dialect spoken within the Bundjalung Nation.

The material gathered and presented here has been a collaboration between members of the local Aboriginal community, the Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council and Ballina Shire Council.

Council acknowledges the extensive community input provided towards the preparation of the material presented here and on the interpretive signage panels presented along the Coastal Recreational Path and Coastal Walk.

The Ballina Shire Council acknowledges the intellectual property rights of the Aboriginal people whose stories and artwork are featured in this material.

Ballina Shire Council also acknowledges the inclusion of research, quotes and images originally sourced from the Office of Environment and Heritage publication "Aboriginal Women’s Heritage: Ballina and Cabbage Tree Island" (2007) and "Object of the Story: Reflections of Place" 2013 (complied by Michael Aird and Mandana Mapar - published by Keeaira Press) and "Coastal Cyprus Pine in the NSW North Coast Bioregion" (DECC 2009/167).

Additional sources include: "The astronomy and songline connections of the saltwater Aboriginal Peoples of the New South Wales coast". PHD thesis. Robert S. Fuller, University of NSW Sydney August 2020, research from Ian Fox and Associates and whale information from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Parks Victoria whale watching signage.

Research, quotes and images from these publications have been reproduced for this interpretive material with permission from the author and relevant participants.

Stage 1 of the Cultural Ways project (Angels Beach to Sharpes Beach) was funded by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and the Heritage Council of NSW.

Stage 2 of the Cultural Ways project (Sharpes Beach to Lennox Headland) is an Australian Government Bushfire Recovery Initiative.


The information on this website is presented in good faith and on the basis that Ballina Shire Council, nor their agents or employees, are liable (whether by reason of error, omission, negligence, lack of care or otherwise) to any person for any damage, cost or loss whatsoever which has occurred or may occur in relation to that person taking or not taking (as the case may be) action in respect of any statement, information or advice given in this website.


This content has been produced through consultation with the local Aboriginal community including Jail Local Aboriginal Land Council and coordinated by Ballina Shire Council.

The Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) rights or copyright of the Aboriginal content reproduced in this material is held by the Indigenous contributor/s. Permission to reproduce elsewhere should be sought from the relevant custodian/s. All other rights reserved.

The reproduction of extracts of original non-Aboriginal content that appears in this interpretive material is allowable for personal, in-house, non-commercial use or professional research or report production purposes without formal permission or charge.

All other rights reserved.

If you wish to reproduce, alter, store or transmit content appearing in this interpretive material for any other purpose, a request for formal permission should be directed in the first instance to Ballina Shire Council by email