Brown Lake Stradbroke Island

A natural perched lake, pure rainwater tinged brown by the native teatrees, Brown Lake, or Lake Bummiera, is a hidden treasure. The lake itself is a prominent part of the landscape for the people of Quandamooka, particularly the Dandrubin-Gorenpul and Noonucal Aboriginal groups. They associate Brown Lake with women and children, where only women are allowed to speak for the natural wonder and are responsible by law to care for and manage the lake and its resources. Brown Lake is one of the two largest and most culturally significant lakes on Stradbroke Island (it’s also known as Bummiera, alongside its counterpart, Kaboora). It’s thought to be home to a large spirit snake referred to as Yuri Kabool. The spirit snake is said to be able to travel from one lake to the other without any hindrance

Legend has it that the Quandamooka people warned against visitors swimming in the lake without approval from the elders as the natural pools of water needed to be approached with special acknowledgement beforehand. Elders would sing out before visitors got too close to the waters and made them stand back to wait for a sign that they could approach – usually, this signal came in the form of calm waters.

To the local community, this ritual of stopping, singing out, and waiting for a sign became common practice when approaching either of the two largest lakes on Stradbroke Island, including Brown Lake, in order to show respect for Yuri Kaboo, the spirit snake.

Today, the lake is still imbued with a fascinating cultural history that spans generations, but it is also a popular hotspot for visitors looking for the perfect place to picnic or soak up the spectacular scenery that this part of Australia has to offer. The picturesque backdrop that surrounds the lake lends itself perfectly to a day spent kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying some fresh food. After that, you can explore the native bushlands and the other popular attractions on North Stradbroke Island

Published by Ladymaggic

Artist, Traveller, Researcher and Writer, currently living on Macleay Island., where I photograph and share experiences and events around the Islands and Island Life until I am able to travel again. Travel photos and videos about many places in Australia​ and the world

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