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Bittangabee Bay facts for kids

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Bittangabee Bay is a tiny, picturesque bay on the rugged and remote stretch of coastline south of Eden in New South Wales, Australia. The bay is located in Ben Boyd National Park, and there is a campground nearby. The facilities are maintained by National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Merimbula office. It can be reached by an unsealed road from the Princes Highway. The bay is the only haven between Twofold Bay and Mallacoota Inlet, and passing yachts are seen anchored for the night there most evenings. It is fed by Bittangabee Creek.


Bittangabee Bay Ruins
Bittangabee Bay ruins

Bittangabee Bay was significant for the indigenous people of the region, and early European settlement.

Bittangabee Bay was known as 'Pertangerbee' by the original occupants of the area, the Thaua/Thawa/Thauaira people of the Yuin (Murring) nation, who have lived there for over 6,000 years. It was an important camp place and teaching ground, possibly a men's area, as Bundooro, one of the aboriginal names for Green Cape, was a teaching area for young men, and believed to be a men's area. Naa-chi (now Nadgee Nature Reserve), on the other side of Green Cape to Bittangabee Bay, is the resting-place of their Rainbow Serpent, the most important totem of most Aboriginal people.

The Aborigines retain strong traditional and spiritual links to the land, and the National Park Service aims to maintain a collaborative relationship with them, acknowledging their cultural beliefs and adopting a philosophy of custodianship of this beautiful part of NSW.

Some stone ruins near the shore of the bay date from 1844. In 1977, in his book The Secret Discovery of Australia, Kenneth McIntyre suggested the ruins were of Portuguese origin, and that romantic notion quickly gained credence before it was proven incorrect by historian Michael Pearson.

Green Cape Lighthouse

The derelict stone storehouse at Bittangabee Bay is the only standing building within six kilometres (from the lighthouse and beach houses at Wonboyn), and was where supplies for Green Cape Lighthouse were left to be collected, until a passable road was built. Bittangabee Bay is the nearest safe anchorage to Green Cape Lighthouse, built in 1881, and it is where the building materials and supplies for the lighthouse were landed, and then carted overland to the lighthouse. A wooden jetty and storeroom were built at Bittangabee Bay in 1881 by Albert Aspinall, a stonemason and builder, who won the contract to build the lighthouse. Aspinall then took five months to construct a seven-kilometre-long wooden tramway through the forest and heathland to connect Bittangabee with Green Cape, after which he could commence building the light tower and lighthouse keepers' houses. Materials and supplies were transported from Bittangabee to the lighthouse site on wooden trolleys pulled by horses.

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