A natural perched lake, pure rainwater tinged brown by the native teatrees, Brown Lake, or Lake Bummiera, is a hidden treasure. There are barbecue and picnic facilities and easy road access just 3.5kms outside Dunwich. Popular swimming place and picnic spot. The lake is visible from the carpark. The calm tranquility of the lake is entrancing, especially if you visit in the early morning or late afternoon. In spring, wildflowers dot the surrounding bushland. Lake Bummiera has special significance to the local Aboriginal people, and if you visit at a quiet time of day you’ll feel the magic. Dogs are prohibited in the Brown Lake area.
A Poem by local Artist, Brendon Coghill. The painting of Bumeira (Brown Lake) shown in the image gallery is courtesy of Brendon Coghill.
BUMEIRA (Brown Lake)
I will tell you a story of a lake they call Brown,
For we call it Bumeira where the t-trees surround.
As the women tell stories and the children all play,
Gabul the giant carpet snake protects them all day.
This snake has been seen by my peoples own eye’s,
For I know this is true for my people don’t lie.
To swim in the lake we have to ask for permission;
To enter and enjoy without any further discussion.
We are not permitted to swim to the centre of the lake,
It is where her spirit lies and sometimes she’s awake.
The black spirits that you see are our people from our past,
As we sit and tell our stories of our Dreamtime they will last.
The goanna’s near the lake are always in and out of trees,
Crawling through the sand always searching for a feed.
To come together at this lake is so special for our race,
For when we swim and tell stories we leave not a trace.
The only remains that we leave are our footprints in the sand,
Now they don’t belong to us they now belong to the land.
This painting here I’ve created is called Bumeira Spirit,
Night time we are not permitted to venture anywhere near it.
So respect this sacred woman’s lake when you visit this ancient land,
And take your time and nestle down like goanna’s in the sand.
Bumeira is very sacred to our women and children you see,
So enjoy this special place and the surrounding t-trees.
One of the 2 largest and most sacred lakes on the island. Both Kaboora and Bummiera are acknowledged as being the home of an extraordinarily huge carpet snake. It’s spirit resides in both lakes with the jargon attributed with being able to travel from one lake to another. The old Quandamooka people cationed those that swam and skied on the lakes, so sacred were these lakes that old people would not approach them without a special acknowledgement. Many visitors go into these areas without a thought, but traditionally these lakes were approached with a sense of reverence, cation, respect and even fear. The Elders would always sing out in lingo before they went any further, standing back a fair way to see if there was a sign, before approaching closer to the lakes. If the waters were calm it was a sign that it was okay to proceed, but if there were any ripples or disturbance, it was a warning from jargon not to come any further. To the community, it was a ritual to stop, call out and observe, and the practice gave acknowledgement and respect to the lakes and yuri Kabool that lived there.From Quandamooka Dreaming, by Sandra Delany
North Stradbroke Island, QLD 4183