Darkes Forest
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Darkes Forest

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Traditional Custodians of Illawarra Land

Local communities of Aboriginal people were the original inhabitants and Traditional Custodians of Illawarra Land. Their dialect is a variant of the Dharawal language. Before European settlement, the Aboriginal people of the region lived in small family groups with complicated social structures and close associations with specific areas. Suburb boundaries do not reflect the cultural boundaries of the local Aboriginal community. Traditional Custodians today are descendants of the original inhabitants and have ongoing spiritual and cultural ties to the Land and waterways where their ancestors lived.

Parish of Southend County of Cumberland

Darkes Forest is a locality about 3km WNW of Flat Rock Junction and about 1km north of Darkes Forest Park, crossing the local government areas of Wollongong and Wollondilly.

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 Darkes Forest - Timeline

Convict gangs make rapid progress on a new road from Bottle Forest to Chippendale's grant (behind Bulli), with Surveyor Darke in charge (The ups and downs of the early roads to Wollongong 1815-1888, LR388.1 MAR)
Surveyor Darke completes a survey of the Bottle Forest to satisfy enquiries about the land (The ups and downs of the early roads to Wollongong 1815-1888, LR388.1 MAR)
About 20 families living in the locality (Illawarra Index)
Thrice weekly mail introduced in July (Illawarra Index)
Best apples of last season grown in the area (Trove)
Local orchardist donates apples to make jam for soldiers (Illawarra Index)
Local farmers work with Bulli Shire Council to construct a causeway over road (Trove)
Bushfires in the area (Illawarra Index)
Deepest ventilation shaft in southern coalfields opened for Coalcliff Colliery (Illawarra Index)
Area to be served by a new remote control power sub-station being built at Bellambi Creek near Mount Ousley Road (Illawarra Index)
A.O.G-Kern drilling teams begin exploring for oil in May, but abandon the search in July (Illawarra Index)
Homes lost to bushfires (Illawarra Index)
Coalcliff Colliery expands, building new offices in the area (Illawarra Index)
NSW Premier Mr Wran mentions Darkes Forest in relation to a 2nd Sydney airport (Illawarra Index)
Darkes Forest Woolshed, which opened 5 years previously, begins catering for wedding receptions (ProQuest)
The area receives 271mm of rain in 3 days (ProQuest)
Glenbernie Orchard, operated by the Fahey family since the 1950s, receives the Heritage & Cultural Tourism Award at the Illawarra & Southern Highlands Tourism Awards, having commenced formal tours & fruit picking for tourists 3 years previously (ProQuest)
Darkes Forest Riding Ranch has been in operation for 31 years; owned and run by the Read family for the last 22 years (ProQuest)
Mission Australia begins its 'Willing workers on organic farms' project at the Honeycomb Lodge hobby farm (ProQuest)
Grant received to construct a new walkway to Maddens Falls (ProQuest)
Apex Energy applies to undertake a $7.5 million exploration program to drill up to 50m below the seams in northern Illawarra (ProQuest)
Equine influenza infects properties at Darkes Forest and Helensburgh (ProQuest)
Dharawal area elevated to national park status to protect it from coal seam gas exploration (ProQuest)
Apex Energy's plans to drill exploratory bore holes hindered by expiry of license (ProQuest)
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