Mount Gulaga (formerly known as Mount Dromedary) is one of the highest mountains on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. It rises above the village of Central Tilba and is within the Gulaga National Park. At its highest point, it measures 806 meters above sea level.
Gulaga is the place of ancestral origin within the mythology of the Yuin people, the Indigenous Australians of the area. Gulaga itself symbolises the mother and provides a basis for Aboriginal spiritual identity, the mountain as well as the surrounding area holds particular significance for Aboriginal women. For the Yuin people it is seen as a place of cultural origin. The Mountain itself is regarded as a symbolic mother-figure providing the basis for the people's spiritual identity.
The surrounding area also incorporates Wallaga Lake National Park, land that was given back to the Aboriginal people in May 2006. An agreement was signed by the New South Wales Environment Minister and the Yuin people to solidify the occasion.
The first Europeans to sight the mountain were the crew of Captain Cook's ship, HMS Endeavour on 21 April 1770. Endeavour passed the mountain at a distance of 15 miles (24 km) offshore. Cook named it "Mount Dromedary", as its figure reminded him of the hump of a camel.
Mount Gulaga is a National Park and therefore it serves as a site for public activity as well as a place of significance for the Aboriginal peoples. The National Park provides walkways along the mining roads, which provide views of the coastal lakes. The hike from Tilba to the summit is approximately 11 km. This generally takes about half a day to complete. Though it is steep in a few places along the way, it is a fairly leisurely hike, requiring no special hiking equipment.
The Natural Landscape
When Mount Gulaga was an active volcano over 60 million years ago, its peak was approximately three kilometers in height. Though the peak has fallen due to shifts in the Earth's crust, the peak can still be seen from virtually anywhere in the Tilba region. It is also visible across from many lakes, such as Wallaga Lake National Park or Lake Corunna.
Mount Gulaga is made up mainly of a Cretaceous- age Igneous rock complex. Mount Gulaga ascends from this rock complex to 797 meters above sea level. The mountain itself is made up of banatite rock with an outer rim of Monzonite.
In the mid-1800s, Mount Gulaga, then called Mount Dromedary, became a prominent site of gold mining. Rev. W.B. Clarke first found traces of Alluvium gold in Dignams Creek in 1852. Gold mining then became a common activity in the area. A significant amount of gold was found in deposits along streams coming from Mount Gulaga's slopes. Between 1878 and 1920 approximately 603 kg of gold was found in its slopes.
Near the crest of Mount Gulaga, reefs were discovered in 1877 that allowed for gold mineralization. These Pyrite-rich veins (which range in size from 15 to 45 cm) were mined by the Mount Dromedary Gold Mining Company.
- "Mt Dromedary gold". Minerals. New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. 1997. Retrieved 2006-05-23.
- "Tilba Online: Gulaga/ Mt Dromedary".
- Foster, Warren (2006). "Gulaga told by Warren Foster". Stories of the Dreaming. Australian Museum. Retrieved 2006-05-22.
- NSW Minister for the Environment, Debus, Bob (2006). "Formal handback of Biamanga and Gulaga national parks to Aboriginal community: Media release - Friday, 3 February 2006". Media releases. Department of Environment and Climate Change. Retrieved 2006-05-22.
- Beaglehole, J.C., ed. (1968). The Journals of Captain James Cook on His Voyages of Discovery, vol. I:The Voyage of the Endeavour 1768–1771. Cambridge University Press. p. 300. OCLC 223185477.
Tilba Online "Mount Gulaga/ Mount Dromedary" http://www.tilba.com.au/gulaga.html