The Murray River region is not only magnificent in its natural diversity, it is a place steeped in Indigenous history, culture and spiritual significance. Today there are over 40 Aboriginal nations in the Murray-Darling Basin. Discover some of Australia's most significant Aboriginal sites and learn about the important relationship The Murray's traditional owners have with the ancient landscape.

Dreamtime stories

Imagine, as you travel down the river, one of the main dreamtime stories. The story tells of the origins of the Murray River, where the Ngarrindjeri people's ancestor Ngurunderi created the Murray River and its landscape with his long journey to the Coorong.

While there are different versions of Ngurunderi's story, the common theme is that of his long chase of the Murray cod (Ponde), towards the Murray mouth. As Ponde swam to escape Ngurunderi's spear, the wide sweeps of his tail created its bends and turns. At last the giant fish arrived at Lake Alexandrina, the end of the Murray River.

Learn about the Aboriginal dreamtime heritage from a local Aboriginal guide. Descendants of the Yorta Yorta and Barkindji people of the area run tours from Mildura to various significant sites, offering visitors an insight into their traditions, culture and legends.

This land has spirit

Immerse yourself in the creation story of Purra, a Kangaroo Spirit, who marked a route through the middle of the desert. This desert became an important ancestral meeting place for the Aboriginal communities of Victoria's north west.

Experience the striking desert landscapes of the Mungo National Park. The world heritage-listed site is the home of Mungo Man and Woman, whose remains date back 42,000 years and are the oldest human remains found in Australia to date. Join a guided day tour through the park or sign up for a multi-day tour that includes camping out under the stars.

Explore other stunning landscapes with deep roots in Aboriginal heritage, such as the heritage-listed Willandra Lakes, where the iconic Walls of China can be found, and Nyah Vinifera Park, a pristine red gum forest that's home to Aboriginal sites including middens and canoe trees. Also perfect for exploring are Wyperfield, Hattah Kulkyne, Murray Sunset and Little Desert national parks.

Tracing history

Learn about the Dreaming as the story of the Murray region is told in the dazzling Heartbeat of the Murray light show. Journey back 300 million years, and then travel forward through Indigenous history to settlement in a 360-degree immersive experience.


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