Before it was called Sydney, the land on which the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney stands was originally called Woccanmagully. The traditional custodians of this land are the Gadi-gal, of the Eora Nation. Gadi meaning Grass tree in the Sydney Aboriginal languages and gal is a suffix meaning people, the Gadigal are People of the Grasstree.
The Eora Nation consisted of 29 clan groups whose traditional boundaries are the major rivers and waterway networks in Sydney. The Eora Nation is bounded by the Hawkesbury River to the North, the Nepean River to the West and the Georges River to the South.
The Aboriginal name for Sydney Cove is Warrane, also spelt as War-ran, Warrang and Wee-rong which was recorded in several First Fleet journals and maps. This place is highly significant to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people as a site of first contact between the Eora and Europeans.
Warrane and Sydney Harbour were integral to the everyday lives of the Eora people. The men speared fish from the shoreline, while the women line-fished from their nawi’s (canoes), as well as camped and held cultural ceremonies.