Site Name Kunderang Brook Upper Macleay River Valley
Aboriginal Place Name
Language Group Dhanggati
Colony NSW
Present State/Territory NSW
Police District Port Macquarie
Latitude -30.948
Longitude 152.188
Date Between 20 May 1840 and 31 May 1840
Attack Time day
Victims Aboriginal People
Victims Killed 24
Victims Killed Notes Killed: M 24-36, F; Probable: M F; Possible: M F; Wounded: M F
Attackers Colonisers: Settler, stockmen
Attackers Killed 0
Attackers Killed Notes Killed: M F; Wounded: M F
Transport Horse
Motive Reprisal
Weapons Used Firearms, muskets, pistols, bayonet
Narrative On 10 June 1840 the Sydney Herald reported that ‘Sergeant Freer, travelling from New England down the bed of the Macleay River with a large flock of sheep, and having one afternoon at a crossing place missed 370 of them, he returned to search, accompanied by a stockman and a mounted Black. The latter soon discovered that the stock had been driven in the direction of the mountains by Aboriginal warriors. After following the tracks for about 8 miles, they came to a precipitous rock, where they turned down a creek, on the sides of which they discovered from 200-300 Aboriginal people busily engaged in roasting mutton. The instant they perceived Mr. Freer and his party they took to their spears and boomerangs, retiring to the ranges, but on discovering the weakness of their pursuers, endeavoured to surround them, threatening them and abusing them in tolerable English while daring them to … come on. The party being badly armed, Sgt Freer prudently retired, and traveling all night he reached a station of a Mr Steel (evidently Towel Creek) where he was furnished with the assistance of three horsemen. Upon returning to the place he last saw the Aboriginal people, here they found the remains of about 60 sheep and 3 stockyards most ingeniously constructed. Following their trail, Mr Freer and party proceeded about 12 miles up Kundering Brook, where they found the Aboriginal people had turned across the Mountains. Continuing the trail, the party ultimately found the Aboriginal people in the act of preparing a meal of mutton and upon being fired upon they speedily decamped, but without 220 sheep which were still alive.’ It is stated that the owners of the sheep were Messrs. Betts and Panton, who were at the time occupiers of Long Flat station on the Macleay River. Henderson, 1851: vol.2, p.5 states that ‘two to three dozen men were slaughtered’.
Sources SH June 10, 1840 - https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/1523969; Henderson 1851, vol.2: 5: Frost 1992:34. (Sources PDF)
Corroboration Rating ***