Ngurunderi crossed the Murray mouth and followed his wives around Encounter Bay, creating fishing grounds and islands. He rested near Pultung (Victor Harbor)


Ngurunderi created many natural features around Encounter Bay The Ramindjeri people who fished and hunted there were a local group of the Ngarrindjeri.

One of the last Aboriginal camps at Middleton Beach. The seated woman is making a sedge basket, probably for the tourist market. Photographer VR. Radman, 1907 AA245)

The territory of the Ramindjeri people. Much of this information was recorded during the 1930s from Reuben Walker, a Ramindjeri man. After N.B. Tindale.

Ratalang (Middleton)
Middleton was known as a good camping and fishing place, providing an abundance of fish and shellfish. Plant foods and land animals were obtained further inland. Remains of all these resources are contained within the coastal middens. It was here that Ngurunderi created a fishing ground.

Kangjeinwal (Port Elliot)
Like Middleton, Port Elliot was a favourite fishing ground for the Ramindjeri. Ngurunderi camped here and each day at low tide he fished in the shallow bay while waiting for a sign of his runaway wives.

To the Ramindjeri, this was the rock used by Ngurunderi to kill a seal here. The sound of air being forced through the rock hole at its base was like the seal's dying gasps. Photographer S Hemming, 1989, (AA650). A throwing club with burnt designs and a coiled rush basket made by a Ramindjeri man of the Wilson family in 1939. These items were probably made for the tourist market of the time. (Basket) Collector. N.B. Tindale, (A27369); (Club) Collectors. Mr and Mrs CA. Hurford, (AS1441).
Four hammer-stones found at old campsites at Port Elliot. These may have been used by women to break up shellfish collected from tidal rock pools. Largest: Collector. J.B. Cleland, 1941, (A56155). Smaller hammer-stones: Collector. W Howchin, 1921, (A28554). A shell artefact found at Commodore Point. It has been hollowed out, possibly indicating use as a drinking vessel. Collectors. N.B Tindale, H. Bowshall, 1954, (A45517).

A Ramindjeri camp at Victor Harbor (Pultung). The framework of the hut is made from whale ribs. A sailing ship can be seen in the background beyond The Bluff (Longkuwar). Figures of ships have been carved on two of the whale bones. Artist W.A. Cawthorne, about 1842, Mitchell Library.

Pultung and Longkuwar (Victor Harbor and the Bluff)
The sheltered bay at Victor Harbor provided fresh water from two rivers and an abundance of seals, whales, penguins, fish and shellfish. These resources supported a large local Aboriginal population.

The first prolonged contact between Aborigines and Europeans in South Australia dates from the American and British whaling operations at Victor Harbor during the 1830s. Many Ramindjeri people worked at these whaling stations. Although there was little open conflict, the Ramindjeri population declined sharply through social breakdown and introduced diseases. Much of our knowledge of traditional Ramindjeri culture comes from observations recorded by Lutheran missionaries working at Victor Harbor during the 1840s.

A Ramindjeri camp on the foreshore at Victor Harbor in about 1895. Ramindjeri people lived at this camp until about 1915 when it was dismantled by town authorities. Photographer. Unknown, (AA 108).

This whale ear-bone was found among the remains of an Aboriginal camp at Pelican Point, at the northern end of the Coorong in 1956. Part of its surface has been scraped flat. It was probably used as a water container. Collector. Mrs. 0.T. Cleggett, 1956, (A49445). 'King plates' like this were used by Europeans throughout colonial Australia as gifts or to identify local Aboriginal leaders. This brass king plate, possibly dating from the 1850s, was ploughed up in a paddock at Yankalilla in about 1912. The inscription reads: 'Youngerrow, Chief of the Rormear Tribe'. The terms Rormear and Ramindjeri are based on Ramong, the local name for Encounter Bay. Donor: C Pearce, 1946, (A37524).