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History & heritage

High Country

  • Burke Museum in Beechworth, High Country, Victoria, Australia

See the High Country's rich history etched into the landscapes and streetscapes, Alpine villages and mountain huts across the region. Visit museums and cultural sites, hear stories of days gone by, and gain a new appreciation of this spectacular part of Victoria. And for a glimpse into the lives of the state's early holidaymakers, take a drive up to the famous Mount Buffalo Chalet – one of the state's first ski resorts.

Through the centuries
For at least 20,000 years Aboriginal tribes have been living and travelling around the High Country, making the annual trek in summer to feast on Bogong Moths.

European explorers Hume and Hovell arrived in 1824 and then the discovery of gold brought thousands of prospectors, coming to seek their fortunes. The infamous bushrangers followed as well as the famous cattlemen, who brought their herds to the area to graze on the alpine grasses. Talk a walk across the high plains and discover the huts that they built for shelter, including Cope Hut and Wallaces Hut.

Legends of the highlands
The region's rugged landscapes and cultural heritage inspired some of Australia's most endearing legends including bush poet AB 'Banjo' Paterson's The Man From Snowy River and bushranger Ned Kelly. Be a part of the story at The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival and explore the Kelly myth at Glenrowan, the site of his last stand.

Golden hills
Gold was discovered in Beechworth in 1852 and before long the region was buzzing with people from all over the globe, from China and America to Ireland and Germany. Visit the Chinese Burning Towers in Beechworth and travel along The Indigo Trail to learn how the history of the High Country was shaped by the gold rush.

Ancient Dreaming
Get an understanding of Indigenous culture at the Yeddonba Aboriginal Cultural Site, located at the foot of Mount Pilot in Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park. The Duduora people, along with the Quat Quatta and Minjambutta clans, used the area as a spiritual and ceremonial site. Delve deeper into local traditions by browsing the collection of traditional and contemporary Indigenous artworks at the Benalla Art Gallery.