The Taperoo Dunes Group acknowledges that we undertake coast care work on Kaurna land.
We acknowledge the attachment that the Kaurna people have to their land.
Possum skins played a prominent role in their culture; the tapurro (from which the name Taperoo is derived) was a stuffed possum hide fashioned into a drum. It was played by women and girls who sang in harmonies to its rhythm during ceremonies. Extra drums were made for visitors to beat. Although the translation of Taperoo is sometimes given as ‘calm’ most authorities believe this to be a secondary meaning referring to the dull thud of the drum which had a soothing hypnotic effect.
Lefevre Peninsula is a large sand spit which until the early 20th century has been creeping northwards for about 6,000 years. It carried ranges of parallel dunes (some up to 40 metres) in a north to south direction. Where Oceanview College is a huge dune stretched inland to form a T-junction with a large spine that continued to Outer Harbor. The 1950s saw major sand carting from the sand hills to Gillman for land fill. Street by street the dunes were leveled and suburbia was established on flat land.
In the 1880s, the colony of South Australia felt it was necessary to build a fort to protect our shipping and port. Built in 1882-1885, Fort Largs was to be higher than Fort Glanville with larger guns capable of protecting the mouth of the Port River as well as the Port itself. Luckily, this defence was never tested, as there were many who believed that the fort was ill-conceived and not capable of protecting shipping.
The Goat Lady
Catherine Hutton arrived from Scotland in 1911, aged 31, with her younger brother James. They purchased two beach front allotments and lived happily with their Pomeranian dogs and goats. Locals purchased the goats and milk, and tourists enjoyed the spectacle of wandering goats and stopped to feed them. Catherine was a true character and was remembered for her kindly ways and cultured demeanor. She died in 1963.
Mudlangga to Yertabulti Track
Visitors to the Taperoo Dunes area will find there is a wonderful Indigenous Track winding its way around the Port River, Port Adelaide and along the coast from Semaphore to Largs, Taperoo and North Haven. It's named the Mudlangga to Yertabulti Track with 22 stopping points. Signage features information from local Indigenous Storytellers. Click on the image to access the PDF.