Mount Canobolas in snow

Cultural heritage

Because of its prominence, the mountain is of significance to the Wiradjuri people, past and present, and out of respect to traditional owners should be conserved appropriately.

The scenic grandeur of Mt Canobolas must have impressed the indigenous people as its Wiradjuri name clearly relates to the mountain’s visual profile. Canobolas comes from ‘coona’ meaning shoulder and ‘booloo’ meaning two, which the Wiradjuri pronounced Ghannabulla, no doubt referring to the two prominent peaks now known as Old Man Canobolas and Young Man Canobolas.

As a major Wiradjuri place, Mt Canobolas was an important occupation site used for the sourcing and sharing of food, medicines and tools, and for corroborees and ceremonies particularly relating to men’s business. To the Wiradjuri people Ghannabulla is a place of spiritual connection through worship of Baiame (the Creator God and Sky Father) and through the dreaming story of Ghannabulla as one of three feuding brothers. Such dreaming stories are known by some people with a strong traditional connection to Orange, but they are not in the public domain.

Initiation ceremonies (burbung) were once held on Mt Canobolas and scatters of stone tools and engravings can be found near the Old Man Canobolas peak. The Wiradjuri people camped on the mountain during these major ceremonies and the Federal Falls Picnic Area holds information about cultural activities that took place on the mountain. Initiation ceremonies may have continued on the site as late as the 1930s and Mt Canobolas remains an important site of traditional knowledge and significance to the Wiradjuri people.

There is every likelihood that the Wiradjuri people would have had a hand in influencing the vegetation that evolved on the mountain by encouraging species of importance for food and medicine. On the colder tablelands, possum furs were fashioned into cloaks for use during the frigid winter months so some Wiradjuri populations may have lived permanently on the mountain or nearby.

Mt Canobolas – Local Geology and Flora by Orange Regional Museum

Federal Falls Picnic Area and The Walls lookout

  • This area holds information about cultural activities that took place on the Mountain
  • Artefact scatters around the picnic area shows evidence of Aboriginal use.

Mount Canobolas Summit and Young Man Canobolas

  • Significant to initiated men, remains of a man-made structure in the summit area and flakes
  • Scarred tree also on the summit