Indigenous Communities

and the Environment

Guanaba Indigenous Protected Area

Guanaba Indigenous Protected Area

Map showing the location of Guanaba Indigenous Protected Area, QueenslandAt the foot of Mount Tamborine near the Queensland-New South Wales border | Declared in November 2000

The Guanaba Indigenous Protected Area was declared in November 2000. At the foot of Mount Tamborine near the Queensland-New South Wales border, it covers 100 hectares of dense rainforest and vine thickets, eucalypt woodlands and picturesque creeks.

As well as protecting the land's plants and animals, Indigenous Protected Area funding is helping local Aboriginal people restore their cultural traditions, which have suffered from the changes wrought by white settlement and removal from the land.

Guanaba Indigenous Protected Area

Photos: (left) The endangered Fleay's Frog. (right)
Soaring rainforest palms, Bruce Rose. (bottom) Guanaba Creek, Tony Dillon.

The Indigenous Protected Area lands were purchased in 1998 by the Indigenous Land Corporation on behalf of the Ngarang-Wal Land Council. Guanaba is part of the traditional lands of the Kombumerri people, a clan of the Yugambeh, who lived along the Gold Coast and its hinterland for at least 24,000 years.

Land use changes including timber harvesting and cattle grazing resulted in the disappearance of native wildlife, which the Yugambeh relied on for food. Guanaba's plants escaped much of this early damage because of the steepness of the land and difficulties in access and removing timber.

In the late 1890s, colonial government policy resulted in the removal of many of the Gold Coast peoples to reserves. Despite this enforced separation from their lands, Yugambeh still felt responsible for traditional law, ceremonies and spiritual places. These traditions were kept alive through artwork, dances and songs until the 1940s. With the passing of this generation it has become more difficult to keep up the traditional ways, and Guanaba is a place where the younger generation is being educated in traditional knowledge and cultural practices. Indigenous Protected Area funding has supported a cultural heritage assessment of the property to assist this ongoing community education process.

Guanaba is linked to the state-managed Tamborine National Park by a privately-owned vegetation corridor. Indigenous Protected Area land management activities reflect this relationship and are undertaken with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service advice and assistance. These activities focus on conserving Guanaba's high levels of biodiversity through a weed removal program, and soil and catchment protection to prevent erosion on steep slopes.

Wild dogs and cane toads are the main feral animal threats to wildlife, and to gain a better understanding of the feral animal problem, the Ngarang-Wal Land Council is working with students from Griffith University's School of Environmental and Applied Science, and with Green Corps, on a comprehensive feral animal survey and management strategy.

Guanaba IPA is managed in line with the following International Union for Conservation of Nature category:

Download the Guanaba Indigenous Protected Area - fact sheet (PDF - 695KB)