Local Information

Image: My Dreamtime.  Ronald Edwards 2008

Down from the north west Aboriginal people have lived in the mountains of Gippsland and visited the rugged coast of sacred Wammum or Yirruk (Wilson’s Promontory) for over 30 millennia. Some made the long annual trek to the high plains for ceremonies – timed to coincide with the harvest of the Bogong moth. The Lake Tyers mission was built in 1861 at Warnanggatty, a favourite fishing place. Together with the later forest settlement of Jackson’s Track, these places have been home for many Aboriginal families. Traditional skills in baskets, spears, shields, and canoe making may be found in the Krowathunkooloong Keeping Place in Bairnsdale.


The Gunai  Kurnai  is an Indigenous Australian nation of south-east Australia whose territory occupied most of present-day Gippsland and much of the southern slopes of the Victorian Alps.

It is made up of five major clans:

-Bratowooloong people in South Gippsland. From Cape Liptrap and Tarwin Meadows east to mouth of Merriman Creek; inland to about Mirboo; at Port Albert and Wilson's Promontory.

-Brayakuloong people around the current site of Sale. Providence Ponds, Avon and Latrobe rivers; west of Lake Wellington to Mounts Baw Baw and Howitt.

-Brabuwooloong people in Central Gippsland. MitchellNicholson, and Tambo rivers; south to about Bairnsdale and Bruthen.

-Tatungoloong people near Lakes Entrance on the coast. Along Ninety Mile Beach and about Lakes Victoria and Wellington from Lakes Entrance southwest to mouth of

 Merriman Creek, also on Raymond Island in Lake King.

-Krauatungalung people near Snowy River. Cape Everard (Point Hicks) to Lakes Entrance; on Cann, Brodribb, Buchan, and Snowy rivers; inland to about Black Mountain.

The Gunai/Kurnai nation bordered on the lands of the Bidawal people to the east around Cann River and Mallacoota. The Kulin Nation occupied lands to the west, where Melbourne now stands.

Evidence of human occupation at Cloggs Cave, near Buchan, has been dated at up to 17,000 years