The Dreamtime Story of Buda-Dji

Buda-dji is the Carpet Snake who, in the dreamtime, carved out the Barron River and the creeks that join onto it, from the coast to the Tablelands.

Buda-dji the Carpet Snake travelled many times along the Barron Gorge with his beautiful Nautilus shells. He bartered these Nautilus shells with different clan groups along the river for dilly bags, eel traps and other useful items.

Before he started his journey Buda-dji went up along Stoney Creek "Garndal-Garndal" and came to the falls, which he named "Diwunga" where he sang and danced. Buda-dji then went back down to where Stoney Creek meets the Barron River, from there, he began his journey up along the river.

Three bird-men followed Buda-dji, they were after his beautiful shells. They asked Buda-dji for the shells and he replied " I have to give them to the people up along the river and they will give me dilly bags and eel traps and other things." Driven by their anger and greed the three bird-men left and made plans to ambush Buda-dji. They waited for him further up along the river. Before Buda-dji could reach the people the three bird-men ambushed him near Barron Falls "Din-Din" and Kuranda "Ngunbay". They then chopped him up with their stone axe into many pieces. They scattered Buda-dji’s pieces in many places throughout the Djabuganydji tribal land and coastal neighbours and far into the Tablelands. Every place where a body piece of Buda-dji’s landed was named after that body part. It is said that it’s tail part is on the Tableland and the head is down on the coast which is the dreamtime water at the site known as Grant Hill near Yarrabah. Some notable locations are;     



Red Bluff…"Mirimbi"

Scrub Hen Mountain-Walsh’s Pyramid…"Bunda Djarrugan"

CassowaryMountain-Macalister Range…"Bunda Bundarra"

LambRange…"Bunda Djarruy Gimbul"

The spirit of Buda-dji travelled back to the waters of Double Island "Wangal Dungay" where he rests.


The aboriginal people from the Tablelands, Mareeba, Kuranda, Mossman, Cairns and Yarrabah all share affiliation with the dreamtime story of the Carpet Snake "Buda-dji". The story of the Carpet Snake varies between the different tribes of their region.