Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Kangaroo Island Mythology


Ngurunderi was a creation being in the Dreaming of the tribes of the lower Murray River, lakes and Coorong of South Australia. These tribes believe that the spirit follows the path taken by Nguruderi to Naroongowie (Kangaroo Island ) after death, where they travel to the Waleruwar (the spirit world) in the Milky Way.

One of the stories of Ngurunderi is about his pursuit of 2 of his wives who ran away.

2 of his wives ran away and he followed them across Lake Albert and along the beach to Jervis Bay where he saw the 2 women wading across the shallow channel that connected Naroongowie to the mainland. He punished them by ordering the water to rise up and drown them. The rush of water carried them back towards the mainland. They tried to swim against the current but drowned. Their bodies are now 2 rocks off Cape Jervis that are now called The Pages or the Two Sisters.

He swam out to the island, and as it was a hot day, for shade, he made a she-oak tree that was the largest in Australia. He tried to sleep under the tree but the wailing of his drowning wives kept him awake. He walked to the end of the island where he cast his spear into the sea. The rocky reef that resulted is still there. He threw away all his weapons and moved to his home in the Milky Way, where the people who follow the laws he gave them will join him when they die. It is said that anyone who sleeps under a she-oak tree will hear the wailing that kept Ngurunderi awake.

Sources & Further reading

Flood, Josephine, 2004, Archaeology of the Dreamtime, JB Publications.



Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated  30/09/2011
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