Welcome to Currawinya . . . The Meeting Of The Rivers
Currawinya is a rural community of over 6200 acres surrounding the junction of the Clarence and Cataract Rivers in Northern New South Wales, Australia. It was purchased from Tom Hamilton in 1976 by a group of idealistic people from Sydney and Perth. It was to become a place for the shareholders to live a family oriented alternative lifestyle. Currawinya is a designated wildlife sanctuary and is accessible to the public by invitation only. The property is held in trust on behalf of the shareholders by the non-profit company Currawinya Pty. Ltd.
Each share is entitled to select a 20 acre area for a home site, which is then approved by the company. The rest of the land is in common for shared use. Certain areas are off limit for home sites, as they are seen to be essential common use areas (eg. places of significant beauty or ecological value that are treasured and accessible by all).
The access is 22km along Paddys Flat Road, which begins at the Bruxner Highway at Tabulam. It is gravel road with some tarred sections. It is easily driven with 2 wheel drive vehicle, although it can be slippery in places during the rainy season.
We agreed all those years ago that we would restore the property to its' former balanced bush / forest condition and reverse the ravages of logging and cattle grazing that resulted in the loss of a safe environment for the native flora and fauna.
This is a place where people have gathered for thousands of years. Before the settlers came the people of the Bundjalung Nation lived in harmony with this environment for at least six thousand years. They hunted and fished here, and held their sacred ceremonies around the junction of the rivers. 200 years ago after the first European settlers came, everything changed. The early European settlers were not in tune with the area, or concerned with protecting the environment. They began by logging the cedar, hoop pine, and hardwood, and then set about ring-barking most of Currawinya to make clear paddocks for grazing. The local Bundjalung clans were ejected and treated as enemies. During the Gold Rush in the mid 1800s there were hundreds of eager miners living and dying on Currawinya in search of the "motherload". Some were successful, most were disappointed.
In 1976 our turn had come. We were a disparate group of people from Perth and Sydney. When we purchased Currawinya we agreed via our Articles of Association to honor this land, to respect the sacred places, to restore the forests, remove the grazing herds, and to live up to the ideals which we found to be encapsulated in the prayer of Chief Seattle, which can be seen lower on this page. There have been many periods of difficulty during the 35 years of our ownership of this 6200 acre magnificent property. At times there has arisen discord and futile attempts to take over control. These periods of discontent come and go, and yet we are still a vibrant and committed community that will continue to strive to be at peace on this place, and do our best to honour our responsibilities as the current custodians of Currawinya -The Meeting of the Rivers.