The waterways and springs of the Orange district were a rich source of food for local Wiradjuri people, yielding waterbirds, tortoises, fish and crayfish. Plants growing around water were also used for food and fibre. Wiradjuri people knew every creek and spring in the Orange district, following watercourses as they moved to seasonal hunting and camping grounds. Many local water places were also imbued with spiritual meaning for the Wiradjuri and were used for initiations and other ceremonies.
Aboriginal knowledge of water was vital to white exploration and settlement of Australia but their special water places were almost always the most desirable land for European settlers. With the development of farms, towns, mining and industry, Wiradjuri people were dispossessed from their water places and hunting and camping grounds. Despite a difficult history of dispossession and forced relocation, Wiradjuri people today still have strong and continuing connections to water places in the district.
Wiradjuri knowledge of water places is remembered in their names for local creeks and water places: Belubula - a stony river, Mandagery - a chain of waterholes in a creek, Manildra - a place near water.