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Aboriginal Victoria

Grampians

  • Rock art, The Grampians, Victoria, Australia

Aboriginal people have had an association with the Grampians for more than 30,000 years. Traditionally known as Gariwerd, the land is at the centre of creation stories for many of the Aboriginal communities in south-western Victoria. Discoveries of Indigenous Australian artefacts in the region include ancient oven mounds, scatterings of stone left over from tool making, and ancient rock art sites.

Six seasons
The traditional owners of Gariwerd recognise six distinct weather periods in the seasonal cycle, which relate to climactic as well as environmental events such as plant flowering, fruiting and the behavioural patterns of local wildlife. For millennia, the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung people have been linked to this seasonal cycle, which includes Gwangal Moronn (the season of the honey bee), Chinnup (the season of cockatoos) and Petyan (the season of butterflies).

Brambuk – The National Park and Cultural Centre
Visit the Brambuk centre in Halls Gap to see fascinating displays of art and artefacts. Join a tour with Aboriginal guides to visit rock art sites and to learn about local Aboriginal culture and the land's spiritual significance.

The centre is housed in an extraordinary building with an undulating roof that represents the wings of a cockatoo and the mountains of Gariwerd.

Extraordinary rock art
The region has the largest number of rock art sites in southern Australia – more than 80 per cent of Victoria's rock art sites. Approximately 60 art sites, containing more than 4,000 different motifs have been identified in the national park.

Five shelters are open to the public and are all easily accessible: Manja and Billimina shelters in the Western Grampians, Ngamadjidj and Gulgurn Manja shelters in the north and, one of the most important sites in Victoria, Bunjil's shelter, near Stawell.