For thousands of years before white settlement Aboriginal people occupied this continent.
Whether they conquered another people or just took over vacant land may never be known.
In the mountains and scrubs around Cardwell they gathered wild bananas, yams and ginger, and trapped the wild turkey, scrub hen, cassowary, golden bower-bird and other wildlife.
The boongary (tree climbing kangaroo), wallaby, bandicoot and reptiles such as the carpet snake, the iguana and rock python were also on their menu.
Their diet included wild cherry, wild raspberry, pandanus fruit, white apple and Burdekin Plum as well as green ants and a large fleshy ground-grub like a witchetty grub for which the local name is jumbun.
Given the abundance of supply, there is a fortune awaiting the person who can market green ant as food for the masses.
The Aboriginal people avoided all berries which the birds would not eat. However, the scourge of the cattleman, the poisonous zamia plant (gajirrah) which causes rickets and sometimes death in cattle was also a food source. The kernels of the nuts from this plant were made into a kind of flour by pounding and then placing the powdered substance in a dillybag in running streams for one to two days to rid the zamia of its poison. Their waxed dilly bag held their supply of honey, and the trees where the bees stored honey were specially marked by the local claimants to stop rival tribesmen from robbing their hives.