Before European settlement, the Yuibera tribe lived in this area and utilised its rich natural resources. Evidence of their habitation can be seen today in numerous shell middens present in the Cape Hillsborough National Park. One in particular is featured on the Diversity Boardwalk. Middens were formed when shellfish were collected from the nearby mangroves, roasted over open fires, eaten and the shells discarded onto a pile.
Other evidence such as a stone fish traps can be found at Hidden Valley and in many stone axe-heads found in the area, where an Aboriginal Plant Walk is featured. You will find an array of plants along this walking trail which were used extensively by the Yuibera people. . .
Broad Leaved Tea Tree, Paper Bark (Melaleuca viridiflora)
Traditional Uses – Bark used for the manufacture of huts and burials. Young leaves bruised in water and drunk for headaches, colds and general sickness.
Hickory Wattle (Acacia aulacocarpa)
Traditional Uses – Wood used for digging sticks, axe handles, music sticks and prongs for spears. Seeds ground for flour and gum chewed.
Blackboy, Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea spp)
Traditional Uses – Long flower shafts used for spear shafts and sire making. Flowers used for sweet drinks. Seeds crushed to make flour. Soft inner crown eaten.
Ghost Gum, Cabbage Gum (Eucalyptus papuana)
Traditional Uses – Wood burns well in wet conditions. Preparation from gum used as an antiseptic to repel leeches, treat sores and painful areas. An extract from bark was drunk for colds and dysentery. Eucalypt wood was generally good for a variety of wooden implements.
Native Cherry (Exocarpos latifolius)
Traditional Uses – Preparation of crushed leaves used to treat open sores. Wood used for tool manufacturing and also burnt as a mosquito repellent. Fruit was eaten. Preparation of fruit and bark was used by women to prevent pregnancy.
Cheese Fruit (Morinda citrifolia)
Traditional Uses – Edible fruit for the treatment of colds, flu or diarrhoea and juices used to heal sores. Yellow dye from roots used for weaving, basket making, string etc. Leaves used to wrap and cook food and as a poultice for wounds. Young leaves are edible.
Supple Jack (Flagerllaria indica)
Traditional Uses – Stems split and softened to sew bark canoes, and for fibre. Sap from inner stems and tips used to relieve sore eyes. Infusion from crushed leaves used to treat flu, toothache, sore throats and bad chest complaints. Stem was chewed to relieve toothache.
Cocky Apple (Planchonia careya)
Traditional Uses – Edible fruit eaten raw or roasted. Preparation from inner bark and leaves used for boils, burns, wounds, headaches and general sickness. Fish poison made from bark.
Pandanus (Pandanus spp)
Traditional Uses – Ripe fruit and the soft base of the leaves were eaten. Leaves used for weaving and as hut thatching.
Foam Bark (Jagera pseudorhus)
Traditional Uses – Bark was crushed and used as fish poison.