The original inhabitants of the Merimbula/Pambula area are the Djiringanj and the Thaua, with the mouth of the Merimbula Lake separating their country. Since ancient times they have been the custodians of the lands, the waters and everything in and on them. They enjoyed abundant resources throughout the region, hunting birds and animals, fishing with bone hooks, nets and spears, and gathering shellfish from the shoreline, rock platforms and beaches.
Many ancient indigenous sites remain across the district, including artifact scatters, middens, campsites, ceremonial sites, scarred trees, grinding grooves, fish traps, shelters (some with art), stone arrangements, burials and stone quarries. The middens on Pambula River and Broadwater have been dated to at least 3,000 years old and are a rare surviving example of their type.