First Contact Walk

The Sydney bushland was the supermarket, pharmacy and hardware store for the Darug people. After 1788 the Europeans also had to forage for food and materials in the bush.  The variety habitats in the Field Of Mars Reserve make this an ideal place to find plants used for thousands of years in the Sydney area by the local Wallemattagal tribe and then by the English settlers who arrived in the First Fleet and in later years. In the saltmarsh can be found samphire and Warrigal Greens  which were used as green vegetables. Growing on the creek bank are mangroves which  were burnt to provide ash for soap. On the wooded slopes are native fruits such as the Geebung and bracken which was an essential source of starch for the Aboriginal people. Scrambling over rocks is native sarsparilla or bush tea which was used to prevent scurvy. In many places are lomandra and grass trees which had many uses for the Aboriginal people. These are just some of the many plants which will be seen and interpreted on this walk.

Length: 2.5 kilometres

Grade: Medium. Some steep ascents and descents, rough tracks

Duration: 3 hours

Warrigal greensGeebung Fruit

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