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 Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place in Bairnsdale to Cape Conran, 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 and runs 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.
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.
Continue along the East Coast to Ninety Mile Beach, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance and Orbost. Travel the country of the traditional custodians, where shell middens, canoe trees and meeting places are still present, even after the thousands of years that have passed since their creation.
Refuel at the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) Bush Cafe in Kalimna West. Enjoy bush tucker and native ingredients, served up in beautiful bush surrounds, and browse the Aboriginal Art Gallery.
Spend some time at the Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place in Bairnsdale where the local people show examples of craftsmanship in 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.