Cultural heritage


Cultural heritage


Buchan Caves Reserve is one of the jointly managed parks within Gippsland. The Joint Management agreement recognises the fact that the Gunaikurnai people hold Aboriginal Title and maintain a strong connection to Country. As custodians of the land, they are the rightful people who speak for their Country. These parks and reserves are cultural landscapes that continue to be part of Gunaikurnai living culture. For more information on Joint Management, please visit the Gunaikurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation.

Buchan Caves Reserve on Krauatungalung Country, is highly significant to Gunaikurnai Traditional Owners due to its remarkable Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Buchan Munji, the Buchan Caves area, was traditionally an important meeting place for Gunaikurnai people. The area connects to the high country and was a place of refuge during the seasonal migrations to and from the mountains, where our mob would go to chase the Bogong Moth and other food sources.

Although the Gunaikurnai people did not venture far beyond the cave entrances (caves were places thought to be inhabited by wicked creatures such as the Nargun and the Nyols) the caves are of high spiritual significance, which has been maintained through traditional stories. There is evidence going back more than 18000 years of the important role that the caves played in the lives of our old people, including burials in the caves and ceremonial rings all through the Buchan area.

Archaeological evidence of Gunaikurnai use of the area remain in and around cave entrance, along the Spring Creek valley and in artefact scatters throughout the reserve. Gunaikurnai oral history holds that Frank Moon’s party, which made the first documented exploration of the caves was guided by local Gunaikurnai people, who were not acknowledged. Today the caves remain important to Gunaikurnai as a meeting place with spiritual significance that holds important stories to be shared with young people.

Things to do in the area

Mother and young daughter look at the rock formations in the Fairy Cave at Buchan Caves Reserve.

Buchan Caves Reserve

Near the township of Buchan, lies a honeycomb of caves full of spectacular limestone formations. The caves were formed by underground rivers cutting through limestone rock
Family kicking a football outside their tent

Buchan Caves Reserve Campground

There are a range of powered campsites that are located on flat ground and generally close to the public amenities block. The sites allow vehicles to be parked within a few metres of each site. Campsites generally have a lawn surface and most sides have shade from trees.
Representatives from the Gunaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation walk and discuss with Parks Victoria Rangers at Buchan Caves Reserve.

Managing Country Together

Parks Victoria recognises that Aboriginal people have lived throughout Victoria for more than a thousand generations, maintaining complex societies with many languages, kinship systems, laws, polities and spiritualities. Aboriginal people are the original inhabitants, or First Peoples, of this state.
A mother sits at a table with her younger daughter and watches her older daughter doing a cartwheel on the lawn of the residence at Buchan Caves Park.

Buchan Caves Reserve Accommodation

Caves House is a fully self contained house which can sleep up to eight people. There are three bedrooms with a queen bed in each room and an ante room with two single beds. Enjoy a covered front deck with river views and an outdoor BBQ and fire.

How to get there

Cultural heritage

Need to know

Cultural heritage

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