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Yuranigh's Aboriginal Grave Historic Site

Overview

The gravesite of Yuranigh, Sir Thomas Mitchell’s Aboriginal assistant, is the only known site in Australia where Aboriginal and European burial practices coexist.

Read more about Yuranigh's Aboriginal Grave Historic Site

Yuranigh's grave is located just 4km south of Molong and 32km north of Orange. It's a significant historical site that bears witness to important early interaction between Aboriginal and European cultures.

Yuranigh, a Wiradjuri man, accompanied early explorer and surveyor Sir Thomas Mitchell on an expedition into the tropical interior of Australia in 1846. When Yuranigh died 4 years later, he was buried within a circle of carved trees, according to the traditional custom of his people. Out of respect, Mitchell also had a headstone placed over his grave. As a result, the gravesite contains a unique combination of Aboriginal and European burial customs that is not known of anywhere else in Australia.

Today, you can visit the peaceful cemetery and see a carved section of a trunk from one of the original burial trees. Take a moment to pause by Yuranigh's grave. The original sandstone headstone was donated by Mitchell, as well as a marble headstone that was later installed in 1900. The inscription on the headstone reads: 'To native courage honesty and fidelity Yuranigh who accompanied the expedition of discovery into tropical Australia in – 1846 – lies buried here according to the rites of his countrymen and this spot was dedicated and enclosed by the Governor General's authority in 1852.'

An interpretive sign explains more about the history of this special site. Other signs contain diagrams of all of Yurnigh's burial tree carvings.

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Edward River canoe and kayak trail, Murray Valley National Park. Photo: David Finnegan.

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Mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus). Photo: Cate Aitken

Contact

  • in the Country NSW region
  • Yuranigh's Aboriginal Grave Historic Site is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

    • Bathurst
      (02) 6332 7640
      Contact hours: 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • Level 2, 203-209 Russell Street, Bathurst NSW. To contact the KARST Conservation Unit in this office please call (02) 6332 7680.
    • Fax: (02) 6332 7650
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Yuranighs Aboriginal Historic Site. Photo:Steve Woodhall