I searched far and wide for Australian indigenous references to volcanoes and earthquakes… Of course the volcanoes in Australia have been long extinct so there are not great descriptions of angry gods living inside them, as there is in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Indigenous Australians see mountains as gods and they are place of religion and ceremony – to be cared for and respected.  Mount Warning is a local example.  The indigenous people have their stories about the volcanic formations in this region – like this fantastic one I found about our volcanic boulders at Burleigh Heads – as described on this fantastic website on the aboriginal history of the Gold Coast  http://www.janesoceania.com/australia_goldcoast_history/main.htm.

And into Paradise came a giant called Jabreen. Stretching out before him was an unbroken stretch of beach and dunes, so vast it stretched fom Kijeragah (a tree) at the mouth of a northern river (the Nerang), to a river far away in the south (the Tweed). though Jabreen was a spirit of the Gods, like any mortal who visits Paradise he was drawn irresistibly to the sparkling surf. Dropping his weapons he swam out to the horizon and back. When he picked up his huge war club or waddy, the ground still clung to it, rising up, following the waddy like iron follows a magnet. This created the rocky outcrops of Little Burleigh.   

I also found a dream time story about earthquakes – this lovely Dream-time story comes from the Awabakal language aborigines who lived around Newcastle, NSW.

The Kangaroo That Lives Inside Nobbys


A very long time ago, when there were still giant sized animals around, all the various animals within the area would separate into two groups – one group being the females and the other the males.

They all lived together very peacefully and happily. 

One day a large male kangaroo attacked a female wallaby.

This was against the law.

He was banished from the kangaroo group forever.

After a long chase by the wallabies the kangaroo reached Muloobinba, the place of the sea ferns, now called Newcastle.

As he entered the sea, he thought about how lucky he was to be able to slip away from the wallabies that chased him.

The wallabies thought that he had drowned.

But the kangaroo had swum to Nobbys Island and entered the tall rocky outcrop, making sure that he was out of sight of everyone.

He is still there to this day, but he won’t come out because he is never sure if it is safe for him from the angry wallabies.

Sometimes he gets upset and jumps around inside his prison. When his giant tail crashes against the earth, it makes the rocks fall and the ground tremble.

The Awabakal people believe this is what causes an earthquake

I am also putting a further note about Australia in this post… most old stuff, and official text book entries, you read on Australia says we are relatively inactive when it comes to earthquakes, volcanoes and mountain building… We are hot and flat – and dry… this is because we are not near any tectonic plate boundaries.  The lack of tall mountain structures contributes to us being such a dry continent (the more mountains/ volcanoes the more rain you get…), and the lack of windbreaks/ protection has led to extensive weathering and erosion of the volcanic structures made, millions of years ago, when Australia passed over a hot spot.  Just recently some Australian geologists have started making a few waves by saying about 1000 years ago some event pulled some dormant faults in Australia out of dormancy.  These geologists say there is volcanic building activity (with a proposed minor hotspot being underneath Victoria) and mountain building (as a result of earthquake movement).  I finally found a good website with references on it with the opinions of these geologists!!! http://home.iprimus.com.au/foo7/volcmap.html#5 – goes into everything – including maps of predicted potential earthquakes and volcanoes.