The First People of Yandina

Yandina 150
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The First People of Yandina

The original inhabitants of the Yandina area belonged to the Gubbi Gubbi language group which consisted of a number of tribes including the Nalbo, Kabi, Dallambara and Undabi.

The landforms of the district are featured in an Aboriginal Myth – the dream time story of the love affair between Maroochy and Coolum.

Many years ago, in the dreamtime, a beautiful Aboriginal girl named Maroochy was loved by another of her tribe, Coolum, a young warrior whose union to Maroochy had the approval of the Elders. One day a mighty warrior named Ninderry, who belonged to a fierce and warlike tribe, stole Maroochy while Coolum was out hunting.

When the sun rose the next morning, Ninderry woke to discover that Maroochy had escaped. Ninderry flew into a mighty rage, incensed all the more when he found tracks that Coolum had left as he aided Maroochy’s escape. Ninderry immediately set out after the fleeing young lovers, Coolum and Maroochy. When Ninderry caught sight of them he threw a huge nulla (club) at Coolum. The nulla knocked off Coolum’s head which rolled into the sea and became Mudjimba island. Coolum’s headless body turned into stone and became Mount Coolum.

Beeral, the spirit God, had been watching these events from his crystal throne in the sky and was deeply incensed by Ninderry’s foul deed, and struck down and turned him into stone and he became Mount Ninderry. After all, Coolum and Maroochy’s union had the sanction of their Elders and would have been respected.

Filled with sorrow at the loss of her beloved Coolum, Maroochy fled to the Blackall ranges where she wept so much that her tears flowed down the mountain range and became the Maroochy river. Eventually Maroochy decided she wanted to find Coolum’s spirit that had gone out of his body, and so that she could search for it, she changed herself into a swan. She still goes up and down the river and flies to swamps and lakes in her search, and so do her children and their children.

Visit for information about Sunshine Coast NAIDOC activities, celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and recognising the contributions made by Indigenous Australians.

Lyndon Davis and Tais (Les) Muckan are local Indigenous leaders

Lyndon, who established the Gubbi Gubbi Dance Troop ( in 1996, is a leading voice of Indigenous culture.

As a family elder and storyteller, Tais educates visitors about Indigenous history and culture through Biral Tours (

Their stories, in their own words, will be featured here later this month.