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Wulgurukaba Country

The approximate area of interest for the Wulgurukaba Traditional Owners is all lands on Magnetic Island and west to Reid river to the south to the Haughton River and north up to Rollingstone. The Wulgurukaba Traditional Owners group is part of the Nhawalkaba Wulgurukaba Aboriginal Corporation which has been operating since 1998. It is the primary Traditional Owner land and sea management organisation supporting the Wulgurukaba Traditional Owner people.


Aboriginal axe-grinding grooves are oval-shaped indentations usually in sandstone. Aboriginal people made the grooves when they shaped and sharpened stone axes by grinding them against the sandstone. Flat fine-grained sandstone was used to give the stone axe heads a sharp cutting edge. Sometimes Aboriginal people also carried small pieces of sandstone for sharpening axes.

Aboriginal people used axe-grinding grooves to finish partly made axes (known as 'axe blanks') or sharpen axes that were worn or chipped. Axe blanks are pieces of stone that Aboriginal people chipped into a basic axe shape at stone quarries and sharpened by rubbing the edges over sandstone. This rubbing action left grooves in the surface. Aboriginal people often sprinkled water on the sandstone as a lubricant for the grinding process. Axe-grinding grooves are almost always found along the edges of rivers, creeks, lakes and swamps, or near dry or drained water bodies.

Elder Story

"This story about Wulgurukaba was told to me by my uncle Alex White when I was a lad about 14 or 15 years old. Wulgurukaba means canoe people. The canoes were made from the corkwood tree as the bark was thick and light. I was born on the 9th May 1928 in Ayr; I am not a Traditional Owner from there as I am Wulgurukaba and Gurang Gurang. My mother and father were sent away when I was 3 years old to Palm Island and then onto Woorlbinda then to Cherbourg. Now I live on Magnetic Island. I have done the full circle." - Elder Arthur Jonson, Wulgurukaba Traditional Owners Group

Contact Details

Wulgurukaba Aboriginal Corporation
30 Kelly Street
Nelly Bay
Magnetic Island QLD 4819
Phone: (07) 4758 1071
Fax: (07) 4758 1331
Email: wulgurukaba@bigpond.com

Wulgurukaba Traditional Owners approximate area of interest
Wulgurukaba Traditional Owners approximate area of interest

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