from Sovereign Union
“This is believed to be the earliest known photograph of canoe building in Australia, Murray River, 1862.
“The process involved removing a large slab of bark from a tree which is then laid on the ground and propped up all around its edge with sticks.
“Stones and chunks of wood were placed in the middle of the slab of bark to weigh it down in the middle to give it shape. A fire is then lit under and on top of the bark to heat the sap and to make the bark pliable while the canoe is further manipulated into its desired shape then left to dry. Photo credit: G. Burnell.”
You have to say though, it looks puny compared to the waka that Maori made in NZ from tall tree trunks.