East Gippsland News Weekend

13 Den of Nargun WEEKENDDRIVE July 2024 | East Gippsland News Weekend The Bataluk Cultural Trail is a significant part of East Gippsland's indigenous history, following traditional routes used by the Gunaikurnai people for more than 30,000 years. The trail can be experienced in a number of ways; you can travel from one end to the other or you can select from the range of sites and activities to design a route which suits your own interests. White Woman's Waterhole Located at the Won Wron State Reserve, the White Woman's Waterhole is a commemoration born out of a tragic story. According to local legend in the 1840s, a young woman, the sole survivor of a shipwreck off the nearby Ninety Mile Beach was taken and held captive by the local tribe of Bratwoloong. The story of the captured woman developed a life of its own, spawning a number of myths. It's believed the story was used to justify a number of Aboriginal massacres at locations such as Nuntin, Boney Point and Butchers Creek. The Lagoon The Sale Common State Game Reserve is where you'll find The Lagoon, a wetland which was used as a supermarket for the Gunaikurnai people of the area. A walk around Lake Guthridge to the Sale Common boardwalks reveals numerous plants and birds which were sources of food and other important raw materials. The Knob Reserve Located at Stratford, the Knob Reserve was traditionally a common ground for the five clans of the Gunaikurnai. Aboriginal people would travel for days to meet and share information, food and trade goods. In recognition of its significance to the Gunaikurnai people, the Knob Reserve was chosen as the place where the 2010 Native Title determination was signed. Today, many family days and cultural festivals are still held at the site. Ramahyuck Cemetery Little remains of the Ramahyuck Mission Station at Perry Bridge, from a property of more than 2000 acres only the cemetery is left. The Ramahyuck Mission Station was established in the early 1860s by Moravian missionary Frederick Hagenauer on the Avon River near Lake Wellington. After 1886 Hagenauer was feared throughout Aboriginal Victoria for his role in the forced expulsion of "half-castes" from missions and reserves. Hagenauer encouraged nonGurnaikurnai Aboriginal people to move to Ramahyuck. From 1905 to 1908 when Ranahyuck was closed, Aboriginal people from this mission were moved, some against their will, to Lake Tyers Mission. Den of Nargun Located in the Mitchell River National Park, the Den of Nargun is a place of great cultural significance to the Gunaikurnai people, especially the women. Stories were told of how the Nargun, a female creature who lives in a cave behind a waterfall in the Mitchell River, would abduct children who wandered off on their own. The Nargun could not be harmed with a boomerang or spears. These stories served the purpose of keeping children close to the campsite and ensuring people stayed away from the sacred cave. Traditionally Gunaikurnai men were not allowed down the to the Den of Nargun or the Woolshed Creek Valley. Gunaikurnai men respected this traditional law and still do today. Please treat this place with respect. Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place The Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place in Bairnsdale is not a museum, but rather a place to understand and appreciate the living, vibrant and ongoing culture of the Gunaikurnai people. The Keeping Place was named during 1991 and officially opened in 1994, with the aim to raise the profile and awareness of the Gunaikurnai people's history of the Gippsland area and to facilitate greater community awareness, understanding and pride in Aboriginal culture, arts and crafts. The display at the Keeping Place includes traditional hunting and fighting weapons, bark canoes, baskets, fishing spears and art. Guided tours of the Keeping Place are available, however you are advised to call ahead to make sure there will be someone to welcome you at the Keeping Place. Howitt Park Located beside the Princes Highway at the eastern end of Bairnsdale, across the Mitchell River, Howitt Park is home to a scarred tree, which is believed the be around 170 years old. The four metre long scar was made when the bark was peeled away to make a canoe. The Howitt Park area was also used to harvest eels, some of the women wove baskets from cumbungi reeds which were also used for collection fruit, roots and mussels. Legend Rock The Legend Rock, a significant part of Gunaikurnai mythology, lies in shallow water by the shore of Bancroft Bay, opposite the Metung Yacht Club. As the story goes, some fishermen hauled in many fish with their nets and ate their catch around the campfire. The women, guardians of the social law, noticed the men had eaten more than enough but had not fed their dogs. As a punishment for their greed, the fishermen were turned to stone. Today, the Legend Rock is protected under the Heritage Act of Victoria. To find Legend Rock, turn off the Princes Highway at Swan Reach and follow the Tambo River Buchan Caves Archaeology has shown Aboriginal people have lived in the Buchan region for around 18,000 years. The Buchan Reserve is much-loved by the local community and is a vital contributor to the local economy. It's a popular place for tourists, many who come to see Victoria's largest cave system. The honeycomb of spectacular limestone formations were carved by an underground river almost 400 million years ago. For information and to plan your trip to the Buchan Caves, visit the Parks Victoria website. Burnt Bridge Reserve Located at Lake Tyers Forest Park, the Burnt Bridge Reserve was regarded as a busy pantry. The local plants and animals gave the Gunaikurnai people most of what they needed. Many different plants were used for food and medicines and to produce woven baskets and nets and in the manufacturing of tools and weapons. Located down a signposted turn-off from the Princes Highway between Lakes Entrance and Nowa Nowa, the Reserve is situated adjacent to land belonging to Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust. Salmon Rocks and Cape Conran Today, Cape Conran remains a special place for the Gunaikurnai people of the area to visit throughout the year. West Cape Conran contains an abundance of food for the Gunaikurnai, with many important sites all along the beaches of the Cape Conran area. Shell middens are important cultural sites to the Gunaikurnai and can be found throughout this coastal area. East Cape Conran is near the traditional border of the lands of the Gunaikurnai people and Bidwal and Monero people. The picturesque nature of the cape, along with an abundance of food and availability of ochre for ceremonies have made it an ideal meeting place for these groups. To get to Cape Conran, turn south off the Princes Highway at Orbost to Marlo, from there take the Conran Road east to the cape. Bataluk Cultural Trail Duration 5hr 40mins Distance: 402km Cape Conran Metung (photo: Visit Victoria) 2023 Kia Sorento Sport+ 2023 Kia Sorento Sport+ 2023 Kia Sorento Sport NOW $58,990 DRIVE AWAY 19" Alloys • Leather Appointed Seats • Heated Front Seats • Hands Free Smart Tailgate 19" Alloys • Leather Appointed Seats • Heated Front Seats • Hands Free Smart Tailgate 18" Alloy Wheels • 10 Way Power Drivers Seat • Wireless Apple CarPlay • Much More NOW $58,990 DRIVE AWAY NOW $52,490 DRIVE AWAY EN23271 Kia Sorento SCOOP PURCHASE S/N 25659 S/N 25563 S/N 25669 2.2L Turbo Diesel • AWD 8 Speed auto • 7 seats • 7.4l/100kms

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