Uki is a beautiful little historic village in the foothills of Mt Warning (Wollumbin in the Bundjalung aboriginal language means ‘Clouds Catcher’). It’s such a tiny place but it has a fantastic community with it’s own Uki Village website full of information and the local Uki News is on-line for all to view. There are alot of very talented Artists around Uki and environs, and here’s a great website with a list of Galleries called Cloud Catcher.
My good friend Paola Emma of Living Moon Astrology is so passionate about Uki she has offered the following history
‘The cute name Uki, (pronounced yook-eye) may be the aboriginal word for a water fern with edible roots, but many believe that it was derived from the sign, reading UK1, the timber cutters used to put on the first quality lumber, in particular the precious red cedar, that was exported in great quantity to Great Britain in the early days.
There is a book with real life accounts of the way life was in the Uki, Main Arm area since the first white pioneers started moving to the Tweed around 1860, called ‘The Way it Was‘ . This wonderful collection is full of fresh and interesting accounts of what life was like for the brave men and women of these bygone days. It also provides some ideas of the ups and downs in the relationship between white settlers and aboriginal people. The book was edited by Mary Lee Connery and is a very good read.
The region around Uki was, first of all, settled for lumber cutting and export. Then the sugar cane came and many dairy farms populated the area from the early 1900s. The latter soon became the commercial backbone of the Uki area. The historical Uki Butter factory, affectionately known as The Buttery, was the place where the local dairy farmers used to bring their milk and cream to be processed, until the early 1960s.
Over the last few years the Old Butter Factory has been transformed, through the dedication of community groups and grants, into a busy shopping and cultural centre. There is a good selection of shops inhabiting the Buttery including the Uki CTC (Community Technology Centre) which is run by volunteers.
Uki is also close to the wonderful Mebbin Forest National Park and the Clarrie Hall Dam (only ten kilometers from the village), a haven for sail boating, canoeing, fishing and picnics.
Uki has been hosting a colourful monthly market around the Old Buttery called the Uki Buttery Bazaar while a Local Produce market is held in the Uki Hall every Saturday’.