Yabba Falls: Stehbens Chute emptying into Bottom Pool

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Secluded and difficult to access, Stehbens Chute section of Yabba Falls remains largely unknown. Very few have ever been here, and that includes during pre-European occupation era, for this area had negative mythology associated with it when the Baiyambora clan of indigenous people lived in the area.

The Baiyambora people were hosts for annual bunya feasts in the vicinity of the present day Old Yabba Station, when between 200 and 1000 guests (numbers depended on the yield of cones for any particular year) would arrive by invitation to feast and exchange and celebrate. But the gorge that contains Yabba Falls was dangerous and spiritually significant to the local Baiyambora.

I was granted permission by regional aboriginal leaders to take a small group into the gorge, recently, provided we were very careful and did not disturb anything in the gorge.

I had waited 60 years for this opportunity, 60 years after I learnt about this section of the Falls from my grandparents. Bob Stehbens had seen these falls in the early 20th century, almost a century earlier, and the oral tradition had been passed on.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on September 17, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens

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