Warripari - An important travel route for the Kaurna people

Learn about the Kaurna people's connection to the Sturt River 'Warripari'

This information is part of Stories of the Sturt River, an interpretive trail where you can listen to the history of the Sturt River at six state-of-the-art signs along a 3km stretch of the Sturt River Linear Park walking and cycling trail from Warriparinga to Oaklands Reserve.


An Aboriginal Encampment

Alexander Schramm, An Aboriginal encampment, near the Adelaide foothills,1854;Courtesy of South Australian Government Grant 1976, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
 
Abundance of Warripari painting

 The Abundance of Warripari by Daphne Rickett 
 

River Serpent Dreaming

 River Serpent Dreaming, by Lauretta Coleman
 

Jamie and Allan Playing MusicJamie and Alland Playing Music
Music and singing celebrate Kaurna culture
Warripari is the Kaurna people's name for the Sturt River

Warripari means windy place by the river.

The Kaurna people have lived in the Marion area for many thousands of years. 

Their land extends from Crystal Brook in the north to Cape Jervis in the south.

 

A seasonal journey

During summer, the Kaurna people travelled from the Adelaide Hills to the sea.

Travelling along the Warripari was part of this seasonal journey.

 

Ancestral connections to land


The Warripari inspired law, knowledge and language for several groups of the Kaurna people.

Kaurna people continue to celebrate the ancient path of the river and their Ancestral connections to land, ‘Pankarra’, with song, dance and ceremony.

 

Karrawirra (Red gum forest)

Karrawirra partu Kaurna miyurnaku wirrawirrangka pirlta, wangku, kupi, kadngi, mai, tiwa, kardla, kuu, mudlirna kuma Parna mudlirna pintyathi wadlanangku.

The red gum forest was important for Kaurna people as there was an abundance of possums, grubs, white ants, food, honey, firewood, shelter and tools. The clans made weapons and implements from the wood.

Did you know? Where there are waterways, including the Warripari, the Serpent Creation Ancestor has journeyed.

These places are culturally and spiritually significant for Aboriginal people.

 

The abundance of Warripari

Even during the driest of summers, deep pools along the Warripari springs in the coastal dunes and shallow wells in wetlands provided fresh water for the Kaurna people.

The river was also home to fish, yabbies, ducks and other game. Kangaroos, emus, possums and a range of animals flourished on the grassy plains.

With such abundance the Warripari supported large gatherings for trade and ceremony.

 
Warriparinga and Living Kaurna Cultural Centre

Warriparinga is the Gateway to the Tjilbruke story
Warriparinga is an important sacred place for Kaurna people.
The spirit of Tjilbruke lives here.
The spirit of the wind visits here.
The spirit of the river makes us alive

 
Learn about Kaurna culture


Visitors from the wider community and tourists can come to learn about Kaurna culture and share in the special environment of peace that exists at Warriparinga.

 

Listen to all this on YouTube!

You can listen to all this on a video on YouTube:

VIDEO: Stories of the Sturt River - Warripari: an important travel route for the Kaurna people


History and Cultural Heritage


The City of Marion recognises the importance of preserving our cultural heritage, valuing the past and planning for the future.

Our cultural heritage is precious and irreplaceable. It includes stories, memories, events and traditions as well as landscapes and places, buildings and objects that have significance to our local community.