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Black Mountain, known as Kalkajaka meaning ‘the place of the spear’, is located in Queensland, Australia. The mountain consists of large piles of black granite rocks and huge granite boulders.
See the fact file below for more information on the Kalkajaka or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Kalkajaka worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE ROCK FORMATION
- The park is 25 kilometers south-west of Cooktown. It is managed and protected as a national park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.
- According to geologists, Kalkajaka rock formation was formed from solidified magma about 250 million years ago.
- The main feature of the mountain is the mass of granite boulders, some the size of houses.
- The softer land surfaces above the solidified magma eroded away over time, leaving the magma’s top exposed as a mountain of grey granite boulders blackened by a film of microscopic blue-green algae.
- The absence of soil between the boulders and rocks creates gaps and passages, which can be used to explore inside the mountain.
- The area is a national park and has a unique range of wildlife, including species that are endemic only to this area, many of which are rare.
- Within the 600 hectares of this environment lives three animals that can only be found here at Black Mountain National Park.
- The Black Mountain skink Liburnascincus scirtetis is a small lizard with long legs and a distinctive duckbill-like snout.
- The Black Mountain boulder frog Cophixalus saxatilis is the largest of Australia’s microhylidae—a group of frogs normally confined to the leaf litter of tropical rainforests.
- The Black Mountain gecko Nactus galgajuga is a nocturnal, mottled purplish-brown, large-eyed, extremely agile gecko.
- The barren landscape supports fig trees. Seedlings thrive in rock crevices, extending long roots to draw water and nutrients deep within the mountain.
- Snakes are also fairly common around and on the boulders and rocks.
- Around the base of the mountain are a number of plants normally found in rainforest. Self-mulching ferns, umbrella trees and stinging trees have adapted to these conditions.
- ABORIGINAL CULTURE
- Kuku Yalanji people
- Black Mountain is a significant place for the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people of the area, who hold it in great respect.
- It is believed that Kuku Yalanji lived in the rainforest region no later than 4,000 years ago.
- The Kuku Yalanji, also known as Guugu Yalandji or Kokojelandji, are an Indigenous Australian people originating from the rainforest regions of Far North Queensland.
- It is the center of several Dreaming stories, and continues to be of great importance. The Aboriginal people are actively involved in the management of Kalkajaka.
- While many of the mountain’s legends have been told by white Australians, the Kuku Yalanji people know better than to go too close to the mountain.
- There are many sites of cultural significance on the mountain.
- These include Kambi, a large rock with a cave where flying-foxes are found;
- Julbanu, a big grey kangaroo-shaped rock looking toward Cooktown;
- Birmba, a stone facing toward Helenvale where sulphur-crested cockatoos are seen; and
- A taboo place called Yirrmal near the foot of the range.
- NON-ABORIGINAL CULTURE
- When European colonists arrived late last century, they added to the legends of the area with a few of their own.
- Stories were abound of people, horses, and whole herds of cattle disappearing into the labyrinth of rocks, never to be seen again.
- Beneath the outer boulders lies a maze of passages and chambers—enticing to explorers of unusual places, or those wishing to hide away from pursuers.
- Back in 1877, a man went out towards Black Mountain on horseback, looking for a stray calf. Widespread searches were conducted when neither the calf, the horse, or the man returned, but no trace of them was ever found.
- A few years later, a criminal named Sugarfoot Jack and a few of his companions took refuge near the mountain after a shootout. However, a police search never found any trace of them.
- Other mysteries include pilots reporting aircraft turbulence and magnetic effects over Kalkajaka, thermal currents, and people have reported loud bangs and mournful cries.
- A constable named Ryan was tracking a fugitive with the help of local trackers, but the trail ended at the mouth of one of the mountain’s caves. He entered the cave, but never came back out.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Kalkajaka across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Kalkajaka worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Black Mountain, known as Kalkajaka meaning ‘the place of the spear’, which is located in Queensland, Australia. The mountain consists of large piles of black granite rocks and huge granite boulders.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Australia’s Sacred
- Rise of Kalkajaka
- Endemic Species
- The Protectors
- The Legend
- Tour Guides
- Locally Sacred
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Link will appear as Kalkajaka Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 31, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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