Burrel Bulai – Barralbarayi

Barralbarayi is the Dunghutti name for the mountain which can be seen to the west of Kempsey.

It has also been known as Burrell Bulai, Mount Sugarloaf, Anderson’s Sugarloaf and Mount Anderson. It is a cap made of basalt formed by the Ebor volcano 20 million years ago.

“This is a view of the landscape and the traditional people around Burren Bulai. There is rain falling on the mountain but the children are still happily swimming in Nulla Creek. There are a number of campsites around the base of the mountain.”
Leo Leeko Wright – My House – My Site – Burrel Bulai 1
Acrylic on canvas 76 x 61cm.

“Barralbarayi is the Dunghutti word for “Mt Sugarloaf” or Mt Anderson, which is the Goanna symbol.  This place has special spiritual significance to Thunghutti people.  It is the initiation ground for young men coming of age.  Pink dots represent women, they too have their own sacred ground & are not allowed to walk on the mountain – they must walk around.”
Elwyn Toby – Barralbarayi
Acrylic on canvas 76cm x 60.5cm. DNAAG Collection.


Nulla Nulla Creek and Barralbarayi

Why is it an Aboriginal Place?

Burrel Bulai Aboriginal Place (Barrralbarayi) is a sacred natural feature and is associated with initiation ceremonies. 

Why is the site important to Aboriginal people?

It is considered to be one of the most powerful sacred sites in Dunghutti Country. It has special significance to local Aboriginal people because it is a place where ‘clever-people’ would prepare for specialised initiations. The mountain also has importance because it lies at the centre of Dunghutti Country and has strong powers capable of drawing home local Aboriginal people.

As Burrel Bulai, it was recorded as a place of significance by Ray Kelly, an Aboriginal Research Officer with the NSW Sites of Significance Survey team. Ray Kelly documented stories told to him by initiated men at Bellbrook Mission about the importance and power of Burrel Bulai.

Uncle Bob Smith has shared stories of Barralbarayi on video for the ABC My Place series – The Goanna Spirit on Anderson Sugarloaf Mountain.

This can be accessed at:


Like this article, please share it with your friend's and family: