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Aboriginal Victoria

Gippsland

  • Cape Conran, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Aboriginal people have lived in the vast region of Gippsland for tens of thousands of years and the ancient culture of the local Gunaikurnai people lives on today. See local artefacts, hear Dreamtime stories and learn about the traditional lifestyles of the first inhabitants of the region, from the sacred land now known as Wilsons Promontory National Park and the Krowathunkaloong Keeping Place in Bairnsdale to Cape Conron, Metung and Ninety Mile Beach.

Bataluk Cultural Trail
As you travel through Gippsland, more often than not you'll be following routes that the Gunai (Kurnai) and Monaro people have travelled for over 18,000 years. With the mountains to the north and the lakes and ocean to the south, the path which is now the Princes Highway formed the backbone of the network of trails and trading routes that spanned the region.

The Bataluk Cultural Trail extends from Sale through Mitchell River National Park, Bairnsdale, and Orbost to Cape Conran. It follows the trails and trading routes of pre-colonial days and focuses on elements of Koorie history and culture.

Wilsons Promontory
Visit Wilsons Promontory and discover a place rich in Aboriginal history that remains a site of major spiritual significance to Victorian Koorie communities today. Explore the fern gullies, sandy beaches and eucalypt forests and feel the spirit of this special part of Victoria.

Historic sites
Continue along the East Coast to Ninety Mile Beach, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance and Orbost. Travel the country of the traditional custodians to find evidence of their unique lifestyles. Shell middens, canoe trees and meeting places are still present, even after the thousands of years that have passed since their creation.

Craftspeople
Spend some time at the Krowathunkaloong Keeping Place in Bairnsdale where the local people will show you examples of the skilled craftsmanship of traditionally made baskets, spears, shields and canoes.

While much of the Aboriginal history of Gippsland is deep in the area's past, local Aboriginal communities are also now presenting it to visitors as a part of nature walks, guided tours, cultural talks and travelling exhibitions.