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from 5000 BC to present day at Mutawintji National Park

NSW Department of Education and Training Sites and Scenes 1999

Time line

5000 - 3000 BC Estimated age of rockart at Mutawintji ranges from 8000 to 5000 years old. During this time, Mutawintji Historic Site was an important "cultural tourism" site, visited by tribes or language groups from surrounding areas. These groups included Wilijalia from Broken Hill area, Paruntji to the north-east, Malyangappa and Wanyuparluku to the west, Kungatitjito from the north, and Wonkumura from near the Queensland border. Mutawintji was also used for shelter and as a reliable water supply, because of the water stored in the rock holes.
   
5000 - mid 1800s Aboriginal people have continuous occupation of Mutawintji National Park area and surrounding area.
   
1788 European contact with Australia.
   
1829 Explorer Charles Sturt was the first white person on upper Darling River.
   
1830 Small pox epidemic in lower Murrary River area led to huge reduction in local population.
   
1860s Explorers Burke and Wills passed through Mutawintji on their disastrous Victorian Exploring Expedition through inland Australia.
   
1861 & 1863 Ernest Giles, later an explorer of inland Australia, travelled through Mutawintji whilst looking for suitable grazing land. He left inscriptions at Thaakalatjika Mingkana in 1861 and 1863.
   
1863 Mutawintji visited by Commissioner of Crown Lands for Albert (Wilcannia) District, who engraved the Government insignia of broad arrows on top of Mount Wright.
   
1870s Growth of the pastoral industry in the Broken Hill district. Henry Raines established at grazing property at "Mootwingee".
   
1880 Gold discovered at Mount Browne.
   
1881 Silver mined nearby at Umberumberka and Thackaringa.
   
1883 Mining began at Broken Hill.
   
1884 Crown Lands Act passed.
   
1895 Opals discovered at White Cliffs.
   
1901 Western Lands Act passed.
   
1905 Rockholes Hotel built to accommodate passing trade between Broken Hill and opal mining town of White Cliffs.
   
1907 Grazing property "Ravendale" established.
   
1916 Construction of second Rockholes Hotel.
   
1918 Rockholes Hotel delicensed.
   
1920 Barrier Field Naturalists Club established.
   
1925 The Field Naturalists Club of Broken Hill petitioned New South Wales Government to "proclaim the whole area in which carvings and paintings occur a reserve".
   
1927 Thanks to the efforts of the Barrier Field Naturalists Club, Mutawintji (or, as it was called to at the time, Mootwingee) was declared crown land reserve for the protection of Aboriginal sites.
   
1964 Fossils or archaeocyathes recorded for the first time near Mount Wright.
   
  Yellow-footed rock wallaby first recorded near Mutawintji, in the Coturaundee Ranges.
   
  National Parks and Wildlife Service took over management of Mootwingee Historic Site, which consisted of 486 hectares.
   
1970 Official opening of Visitors Centre by Mr M.L. Baillieu, Chairman of North Broken Hill Mines.
   
1974 National Parks and Wildlife Act (NSW) passed.
   
1970s Colony of yellow footed rock wallaby "rediscovered" in Coturaundee Ranges.
   
1979 Coturaundee Nature Reserve established, primarily for the protection of yellow-footed rock wallaby.
   
1982 National Parks and Wildlife Service purchased Gnalta and Mootwingee, old sheep grazing properties, and added them to Mootwingee Historic Site to establish Mootwingee National Park, consisting of 68,912 hectares.
   
1983 Western Division Land Council organised the blockade of Mutawintji National Park, from 4 to 8 September 1983; which coincided with the Centenary celebrations of Broken Hill Aboriginal Land Rights Act passed.
   
1984 Plan of management studies began for Mootwingee National Park, Mootwingee Historic Site and Coturaundee Nature Reserve, undertaken by Allen Fox and Associates.
   
1996 National Parks and Wildlife Amendment Act (Aboriginal Ownership).
   
1998 Mutawintji National Park, comprising 70,000 hectares, handed back to its original owners on September 5, 1998. Name change took place at this time back to the original and preferred spelling.


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