A few weeks ago Melody and I stayed overnight at the Bay of Plenty Lodges, at the tip of the Bherwerre Peninsula in Booderee National Park. From the nearby escarpment, rainfall drains via Tomerong and Wandandian Creeks into St Georges Basin, and then escapes with the tide to the sea through Sussex Inlet at the end of Bherwerre Beach.

The traditional owners of this land, the Yuin people, had names for this place that seem far more enchanting, than postcolonial remembrances of places half a world away. Bherwerrae, the lake, and its nearby beach, mean simply Bay of Plenty, or place with a “lot of fish”. Surrounding the lake, and in the peninsula between it and the sea, are sand dunes, marshes, and woodlands recovering from fires. I suspect that in the darks of summer, when the moon is new, there are plenty of prawns to be caught in the lake and estuaries. At other times, the sea birds and fishermen are intent on making the most of this paradise to find a feed.

Yet for me there is an emptiness still. I want to know more of its history before European settlement: the names of things, places animals and plants; what it must have been like before its indigenous people were decimated by introduced diseases spread by colonisation; when stories of this place where told in other tongues embracing the knowledge, experience and history of the previous 20,000 years.



May 2014 OM1 Superia tetanalC41 5


May 2014 OM1 Superia tetanalC41 6


May 2014 OM1 Superia tetanalC41 10


May 2014 OM1 Superia tetanalC41 11


May 2014 OM1 Superia tetanalC41 12




May 2014 OM1 Superia tetanalC41 15


May 2014 OM1 Superia tetanalC41 14


Photos taken using Olympus OM-1 with G Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 lens on Fuji Superia 100 and developed in Tetanal C41 two bath rapid kit.

3 thoughts on “Bherwerre

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