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Warri-Pari, an earlier name for what is now known as Warriparinga, means Windy Place by the River and is a Kaurna ceremonial meeting place and European early settlement site.

Kaurna Aboriginal

Tjilbruki Dreaming

The Dreaming is a complex and multi layered story that tells of creation, the law and human relationships.

Tjilbruki was an ancestral being of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide plains, whose lands extended from Parewarangk (Cape Jervis) in the south to Crystal Brook in the north. Tjilbruki's much loved nangari (nephew) Kulultuwi, his sister's son, killed a kari (emu) which was rightfully Tjirbruki's but he forgave him for this mistake. However, Kulultuwi was subsequently killed by his two part brothers, Jurawi and Tetjawi supposedly for breaking the law.

Tjilbruki, being a man of the law, had to decide if Kulultuwi had been lawfully killed. He determined Kulultuwi had been murdered. Tjilbruki avenged the crime by spearing and burning the two nephews, killing them. This happened in the vicinity of what is now called Warriparinga.

Tjilbruki then carried Kulultuwi's partly smoked dried body to Tulukudank (a fresh water spring at Kingston Park) to complete the smoking and then to Patparno (Rapid Bay) for burial in a perki (cave). Along his journey he stopped to rest and overwhelmed by sadness, he wept and his luki (tears) formed the freshwater springs along the coast at Ka'reildun (Hallett Cove), Tainba'rang (Port Noarlunga), Potartang (Red Ochre Cove), Ruwarung (Port Willunga), Witawali (Sellicks Beach), and Kongaratinga (near Wirrina Cove).

Saddened by these events Tjilbruki decided he no longer wished to live as a man. His spirit became a bird, the Tjilbruki (Glossy Ibis), and his body became a martowalan (memorial) in the form of the baruke (iron pyrites) outcrop at Barrukungga, the place of hidden fire (Brukunga - north of Nairne in the Adelaide Hills). Tjilbruki was a master at fire-making.

The Warriparinga Project has given the Kaurna people an opportunity to protect and maintain the site as an important place to celebrate the Dreaming.

Tjilbruki Gateway

This installation was commissioned by the City of Marion as part of the Local Councils Remember Program, a partnership between the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the Australian Local Government Association. Warriparinga, the location of the work, has been developed by the City of Marion in conjunction with the Kaurna community as a site of significant cultural heritage.

The concept of Warriparinga, adopted in June 1995, includes artworks as an integral part of its interpretative component and function. Adelaide artists Margaret Worth, Sherry Rankine and Gavin Malone were commissioned to develop this significant work.

It is a multi-layered artwork about the Kaurna Ancestral Being Tjirbruki, the changes brought about by colonisation, and conciliation - between people, their cultures and the land. It is presented through a collection of symbols that signify place and events.

Circles around the tree trunks symbolise the fresh water springs formed from Tjirbruki's tear drops. Flow Paths, in coloured sands, refer to the gully winds for which the area is known, as well as the flow of the river and of life. They symbolise the pathway of knowledge, the pathway of justice, the children’s pathway to cultural inheritance and the pathway of dance, a universal language.

The burn marks on some of the trunks symbolise Tjirbruki’s power with fire and responsibility in carrying out the law. The stones are from Brukunga/Barukungga and they symbolise the earthly remains of Tjirbruki’s body. The wings of the ibis on the highest tree trunk symbolise the spirit of Tjirbruki leaving the Earth.

The materials used include coloured sands from the Red Ochre Cove area, Stringybark Morthi tree trunks salvaged from plantation timber, and eucalypts, felled for Stage 1 of the Southern Expressway. The tree trunks refer, amongst other things, to the clearing of the land for agriculture and commerce.

The process for achieving the artwork was one of mutual respect and consensus between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants – a process of conciliation. Tjilbruki Narna arra The Tjirbruki Gateway was officially opened in October 1997 by the then Governor-General, Sir William Deane and Dr. Lowitja O'Donaghue in the presence of Kaurna representatives Vincent Copley, Doris Graham and Garth Agius. Ceremony and dance was presented by Georgina Williams, Nangki Burka, Kaurna, and the Tjirbruki Dancers; Karl Winda Telfer, Stevie Goldsmith, Andrew Lindsay and Nikki Ashby. New trees, propagated from the existing River Red Gums Karra, were planted at the opening in a gesture of belief for the future.

Native Flora and Fauna

The Sturt River or 'Warri-Pari' was a natural transport corridor for Aboriginal clans moving from the hills to the coast. It provided an abundant food source from both the river plants and animals in and around the river environment. The Kaurna took fish and yabbies from the river and hunted other animals that existed around it such as ducks and other wild fowl, possums, kangaroos, wallabies and other small marsupials. They used many plants both for food and for making tools, implements and weapons.

Scar tree

The Scar Tree at Warriparinga was probably cut with a stone axe to create a large dish or shield. The First Nations people also made canoes usually from the bark of the Red Gum but unfortunately, the tree at Warriparinga is one of the few remaining on the Adelaide Plains. 'Scarring' trees has recently been revived by Paul Dixon (deceased) at Warriparinga, to make shields in the traditional Kaurna fashion.


The Kaurna built substantial wurleys (or wodli) from foliage,grass and bark, around the base of hollowed Red Gums. The trees also provided shelter in the cooler winter months and were a good source of possums, which were eaten and their skins dried for making cloaks and rugs.

Native revegetation site or Wirra

The Friends of Warriparinga environmental group have been collecting seed of local indigenous species and replanting since 1990. This thriving area is now a living and growing testimony to their empathy with Aboriginal principles of ecological land management.

Gathering place

The oxbow of the river provides an ideal location for the gathering of people and is probably one place where the people of the big camp at Warriparinga held their ceremonies.

Scatter sites

Archaeological activity in the Sturt River area has identified scattered sites of Aboriginal implements and burials. Artefacts discovered at Warriparinga such as flints were made out of quartz materials and provide excellent evidence to there being large camps of Kaurna people at Warriparinga over long periods of time.


On the grassy plains and open woodlands around Warriparinga, the Kaurna people hunted kangaroos, emus and wallabies with nets and spears. In the more scrubby areas around Warriparinga, small marsupials were netted at the mouth of their dens or smoked or dug out. Several groups may have joined together to drive kangaroos into the nets particularly where large quantities of meat may have been required for meetings and celebrations.

Karra Wirra

The Karra Wirra (red gum forest), is a stand of mature Eucalypts which had great importance for the Kaurna people. The survival of this stand is representative of the many uses of River Red Gums to the Kaurna such as food and the materials to make tools and weapons.

Native foods and their uses

Minnokoora - Bulrushes (Typha domingensis): A staple food source for people throughout south eastern Australia.

Cumbungi (tubers of Typha domingenis): The roots were steamed in earth ovens or roasted in fires, the edible portions consumed, then the tough fibres that remained were scraped with mussel shells and made into twine.

Reeds (Phragmites australis): Roots were used for food, shafts for spears and leaves for baskets.

Mengka - Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha): Pods and/or seeds may have been used for food. Minno - Gum from old trees was used for chewing. Bark - An infusion was used for dysentery.

Karko - She-oak (Allocasuarina verticillata): The young cones were eaten raw. Wood was used for boomerangs.

Rushes and Sedges (Juncus pallidus, J. flavidus, Cyperus vaginatus, Carex tereticaulis): Used for basket making.

Vanilla Lily (Arthropodium strictum): Tubers used for food.

Ruby Saltbush and Berry Saltbush (Enchylaena tomentosa and Atriplex semibaccata): Berries used as snack food.

Karra - River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis): Bark for shields, dishes, coolamons, canoes. Fauna habitat. Leaves used medicinally.


This place has a great cultural significance as one of the last intact examples of an early European settlement and land use surviving within metropolitan Adelaide. It is of exceptional integrity, demonstrating both early buildings, a relatively unchanged river and a historic horticultural and garden setting. The development of Fairford House and surroundings is an important example of the evolutionary nature typical of early farms.

Fairford House is significant as a rare example of a building complex having a long association with a single family. The Laffers acquired the property in 1876 and it remained in the family for 112 years. For this reason they gave their name to the locality 'Laffer's Triangle'. Henry Laffer developed a screen of bamboo along its frontage on South Road. He also planted acacias and gums as a form of windbreak to protect his vines. When Henry Laffer died at the age of 84 in 1922, his wife Amy and children continued to work the land. By 1960 the eldest son, Albert had increased the vineyards and the wine grapes were sold to different wineries, including Byard, Goode, Penfolds and Hamilton. In Henry Laffer's time the land had been used for a variety of activities, including vineyards, orchards and cow paddocks. Albert Laffer continued this mixed land use with the focus on orchards. Fairford House has survived because it was occupied and maintained until 1989 by Henry Laffer's daughter, Amylis.

Dating back to 1843 this rambling farmhouse incorporates elements of early colonial, Victorian and Arts and Crafts periods.

Horticultural activities started in 1839 when the land was originally granted to George Fife Angas. As a single roomed cottage, it was purchased from W H Trimmer by Henry Laffer in 1876 for thirty two pounds. Later extended in a bungalow style it remained in the Laffer family until 1982. Nestled close to the Sturt River, Fairford was positioned for its accessibility to permanent water and major transport routes, deep fertile soils, and the fair climate of the foothills. The original South Road ford crossing just south west of the Coach House, gave its name to the homestead.

The history of grape production on this property started when William Henry Trimmer leased the land. He planted the first vines in 1859 and processed his first vintage two years later. Treasurer of the S.A. Winegrowers Association, Trimmer was known for his dedication and meticulous approach to growing and wine making. From just three acres he made over a thousand gallons of wine. By 1867 there were three separate vineyards on the property, with only one remaining today.

The impressive coach house was originally built in the 1860's as a winemaking storage facility. Later it was used as a fruit packing shed with the large timber packing benches still in place. During WWII Italian prisoners of war worked as grape pickers and slept in this loft. The stone stable is a later addition on the southern end of the former wine store. The coach house is still largely intact, with much of the early fittings and building fabric still remaining.

The surviving orchards are an important remnant of an industry which was central to the early European development of the Sturt River/Marion region. The orchards were further developed by Henry Laffer's son, Albert. He continued using the land for vineyards and grazing, but with the focus on plum, nectarine and peach orchards with an almond perimeter. Remnants of the fifty year old plum orchard remain today.

There is evidence to show that this European (cottage) garden was created in the 1870's, with the present layout having been established since the 1920's. The garden was mostly planted by the Laffer family. Other features are the Lombardy Poplars and the heritage roses, which are remnants from Ross' extensive nursery which started on the land adjoining Warriparinga in 1958. The garden also contains Pittosporum, Prunus, Jacaranda, Wisteria, Cotoneaster, Malus, Olea, Bulbs and Ivy.