Cultural Heritage


Cultural Heritage

Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes Reserve

Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes 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.

Gunaikurnai people lived and camped on this Island, which they called Gragin, for thousands of years. It was particularly important for collecting swan eggs, and evidence of scar trees, burial sites and artefact scatters have been found in the area. It is in a strategic location in the lagoon system, providing a line of sight to many of the other important places on the water. Our old people would have used this place to keep an eye on what was going on in the surrounding area.

Gunaikurnai Creation Story

The story of our creation starts with Borun, the pelican, who traversed our Country from the mountains in the north to the place called Tarra Warackel in the south.

As Borun travelled down the mountains, he could hear a constant tapping sound, but he couldn’t identify the sound or where it was coming from. Tap tap tap. He traversed the cliffs and mountains and forged his way through the forests. Tap tap tap. He followed the river systems across our Country and created songlines and storylines as he went. Tap tap tap.

He walked on alone and when he got down into the deeper inlets near Tarra Warackel (now known as Port Albert) he put down his canoe and, much to his surprise, there was a woman in it. She was Tuk, the musk duck. Borun was very happy to see Tuk, and they married and became the mother and father of the five clans, the creators of Gunaikurnai.

The creation story is about the origin of our people. It helps to explain the bonds we have to our Country and reminds us that our ancestors are still watching over the landscape today.

It is important for us to be able to walk in their footsteps and follow their journeys from thousands of years ago – it is a powerful, spiritual aspect to our cultural heritage, and fundamental to our recognition and respect. We are guided by the spirits of our ancestors when we walk through this Country.

Preserving the past is important to better manage our cultural landscapes. Patrick Mullett is a proud Gunaikurnai man working on Country to manage Aboriginal cultural heritage. He assesses sites and provides advice under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 on how to best protect cultural heritage.

Experience more Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in parks

Victoria's parks provide a range of guided and non-guided experiences that provide unique insights into Aboriginal cultural values and stories.
Two kayakers come across a group of pelicans on the Gippsland Lakes.

Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

The tranquil Gippsland Lakes are a system of coastal lagoons separated from the Tasman Sea by the coastal dunes of the Ninety Mile Beach. Seven rivers terminate at the lakes – the Latrobe, Avon, Nicholson, Tambo, Mitchell, Macalister and Thomson rivers.
A pelican on the water at the Lakes National Park in Gippsland.

The Lakes National Park

The Lakes National Park is a peaceful bushland retreat in the Gippsland Lakes, fringed by the waters of Lake Victoria and Lake Reeve.
A young couple walk through a cave in Budj Bim National Park

Budj Bim National Park

Budj Bim is a long dormant volcano. Budj Bim is the source of the Tyrendarra lava flow which extends over 50km to the southwest. It is central to the history of the Gunditjmara people.
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

Brambuk The National Park and Culture Centre

Brambuk The National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap began with the building of the Brambuk Cultural Centre in 1989 to acknowledge, protect and share the cultures of the Jadawadjali and Djab Wurrung Peoples.
An Indigenous guide discusses traditional artifacts with a couple on a walking tour in front of the lake at Tower Hill.

Tower Hill Visitor Centre

Visit the Tower Hill Visitor Centre, designed by celebrated Australian architect Robin Boyd.

How to get there

Cultural Heritage

Need to know

Cultural Heritage

Things to do in the area


Enjoy a Picnic

Have a picnic at either The Old School Site at the corner of Centre Rd and Gravelly Point Rd, or one of the sites along the foreshore of Gravelly Point Rd, where you can enjoy a swim in the expansive Lake Victoria section of the Gippsland Lakes.

Explore on foot or by bike

Take a walk through the many tracks within the park. Enjoy the many wildflowers, orchids and birds, or try your luck at spotting the Gippsland Lakes Burrunun dolphin. Hire a 4-wheel family bicycle, or bring your own and tour the Island.

Koala Trail Loop

Walk the Koala Trail loop and see how many koalas you can spot. Raymond Island is well known for its large koala population, and is one of the few places in Victoria at which you are almost guaranteed to see at least one koala during your visit.
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