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Aboriginal Victoria

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.


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Aboriginal Victoria

Walking & hiking

Billimina Shelter

Follow the creek to Buandik Falls. Near the falls, an uphill walk leads to Billimina Shelter, a massive rock overhang sheltering ancient aboriginal art.

Walking & hiking

Gulgurn Manja

Rock paintings at Gulgurn Manja include emu tracks and handprints, part of a unique local art style which tells the stories of the Jardwadjali people.

Walking & hiking

Bunjil Shelter - Stawell

Visit Black Range Scenic Reserve to see the only Aboriginal rock art painting of Bunjil, a leading spiritual figure of the local indigenous people.

Walking & hiking

Manja Shelter - Hamilton

This fascinating large rock shelter is on the western side of the Grampians. Manja symbolises the link between the Jardwadjali and their land.

Walking & hiking

Ngamadjidj Shelter - Wartook Valley

Get a glimpse of ancient Indigenous culture on this walk to an Aboriginal art site, which depicts the dancing spirit with white painted figures.


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