The conversation about The Salt Water People from the Bundjalung Country started over breakfast.

Noah knows so much more about our local Indigenous culture, thanks to his Preschool and Nature Explorers. He loves finding out how Aboriginals used to live and were able to survive with just what nature gave them.

He is fascinated by their hunting and fishing techniques, their dances and stories. He also loves to learn their language (I must confess he knows more Budjalung words than me and Paul, it’s quite amazing!)

Anyway, the conversation started because Noah found some small tracks on our veggie patch…

Too small for a snake, no circle or tail tracks for kangaroo or wallaby…Too small for goanna… It must be from a lizard! I bet he is the one that eats our tomatoes!

Noah decided to do a dance for the lizard so it didn’t come back… but he needed ochre to paint his face.

And so, we got our bikes and went in search of ochre at our local beach.

The Search For Ochre

I have never seen ochre on this particular beach, but who am I to say there isn’t!?! Noah was so keen to search. He climbed up, down and around the cliffs. He looked close to shore, under big rocks… No ochre to be found!

Noah was devastated… I hugged him and asked him to think about a solution. It’s heartbreaking seeing your child devasted but I believe there are important lessons with disappointment. Dealing with disappointment and failure builds resilience and inspires creative thinking to solve problems!

And while we hugged… Noah found a solution!

Get The Money Box

We quickly rode home, Noah raced in and grabbed his money box. All coins earned while playing his guitar and busking on our street or at home.

Let’s buy some orange clay! We can make things with it and also paint my face.

We Have Clay

We got clay! As soon as Noah touched the clay, the conversation changed. No more mention about face paint.

There’s something special about clay that takes us to a different place. A place that we become totally absorbed by the texture and smell. It’s hard to explain – but I find it extremely soothing for children (and adults)!

Noah moulded into different shapes, added water, smoothed the corners and changed again and again.

After a while, he decided to create an echidna, and with that, his thoughts about Bundgalung culture returned.

Booninybah | Place of the Echidna

He shared a story about the Booninybah — place of the echidna, in Fingal.

Fingal is a place close to our home. A place with natural beauty amongst ancient lava flows. The headland itself is an amazing basalt rock formation that was formed around 23 million years ago by ancient lava flows from the nearby and extinct shield volcano, Mt Warning. Mt Warning is also known as Wollumbin to the local Aboriginal people and it is one of the world’s largest and best examples of an erosion caldera with a diameter of over 40km. 

Noah explained to me that:

Fingal is a special place for the Indigenous People. “Booning: means echnida. The big rocks in the final are from the lava, and are for remembering the echidna spike and that’s why they called it that!

Noah made an echidna and I was delighted to hear his story about such important facts of our local indigenous community.

Again, it all started with the need for some face paint and quickly become a day adventure with bike rides, rock climbing, money exchange, modelling clay and Indigenous Culture. All child led!

Thank you Noah for keep teaching me so many important things!

This post is part of our Wonderschool Adventure.


I’m Sofia, a Portuguese native, who, quit my job, packed 20 kg of my life into a backpack and moved to Australia. I have been fuelled by my new life to experience more adventure rather than settle, pursing even more my desire to travel, explore and being outdoors.

This blog aims to inspire, intrigue and encourage readers around the world to travel further, longer and wider and also to share my passion for an outdoor lifestyle.

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