Make your way to south-west Victoria and discover unique landscapes that hold special significance for Aboriginal people. See Victoria's magnificent natural wonders, including the now dormant 30,000-year-old volcano of Budj Bim, which in Gunditjmara means 'Big Head'. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape has formally been recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
History of aquaculture
Located in south west Victoria, Budj Bim is the only Australian World Heritage property listed exclusively for its Aboriginal cultural values. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape features the earliest living example of aquaculture in the world, with a history of eel farming dating back over 6,000 years.
Local Gunditjmara people used volcanic rock created by the Budj Bim lava flow to construct fish traps, weirs and ponds to manage the water flows from nearby Lake Condah in order to trap eels. The existence of these eel traps dispels the myth that Aboriginal people were primarily nomadic, living in resource-constrained environments.
The Gunditjmara people also crafted long eel baskets, made of river reeds and spear grass to regulate and trap the eels according to weight and size. Baskets were also used to carry the eels, which fed and sustained the lives of Gunditjmara for many generations.
The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape or 'cultural precinct' consists of a series of locations, including Lake Condah, Muldoon's Trap Complex and the Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area.
Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
Travel 80 kilometres south-east to Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve near Warrnambool and discover a wildlife haven contained in a volcanic formation that erupted around 32,000 years ago. Archaeological surveys of the area have uncovered axe heads and other artefacts in the volcanic ash layers: clues that local Aboriginal people witnessed these eruptions.
Take in panoramic views of the area from the top of the hill and join a local Aboriginal guide from Worn Gundidj at Tower Hill to get an understanding of the volcanic landscape and native flora and fauna.