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Greater Port Macquarie : Holiday Planner 2010
Rich in history, vibrant with art and alive with culture, Greater Port Macquarie is a treasure trove of impressive convict built buildings to ancient Aboriginal land, from expressive public art to exotic exhibitions, and with an abundance of festivals and cultural events. a∫ori©inal h´rita©e Before white settlement, the tablelands and nearby valleys were home to the traditional Aboriginal custodians of this area, the Birpai People. The expansion of the Port Macquarie settlement beyond a penal colony led to dispossession of the Birpai from their country and continuing destruction of their traditional culture, including sites of significance such as burial and ceremonial sites. Many Dreaming (mythological) sites still remain, most notably, the Three Brother Mountains sites, just south of Port Macquarie. Some distinctive Aboriginal public art can be found within the picnic and recreation area of Cowarra Dam in Wauchope. Featuring magnificent ceramic mosaic seating benches, sculpted, carved and decorated totems and stainless steel sculpture, the picnic area affords the perfect place to unwind and appreciate one of nature's most precious resources as well as recognising the site's cultural significance to the Aboriginal people. årtistic ´xpr´ssions Greater Port Macquarie has long attracted many artists and crafts people to the district with such obvious natural beauty and cultural heritage. Many unique and diverse creations have been inspired by and reflect the ever changing landscape and culture. These pieces can be seen in local gallery exhibitions from fresh new talent to admired and established artists. Over 40 public artworks are scattered throughout the region within picnic sites, beaches and popular walking paths, each having its own contextual story. The unique mix is a selection of carved wooden statues, arches and totems, murals, ceramic mosaics, stainless steel and bronzed sculptures incorporating environmental, contemporary, historical and youth themes. culturål enli©htenment At the cutting edge of design, technical excellence and environmental sustainability is the Glasshouse Arts, Conference and Entertainment Centre. It features a 600 seat tiered theatre, acoustically enhanced performance studio, several meeting rooms and two spacious foyers with floor to ceiling glass windows. There is also a Regional Art Gallery spanning over three levels, that displays national and international exhibitions annually. www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au 10