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Traditional Crafts Lava Tube Lake Condah Condah Mission Eel Traps
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National Heritage

Sacred to the Gunditjmara people, the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape at Lake Condah in Victoria's south-west is home to the remains of potentially one of Australia's largest aquaculture systems. Dating back thousands of years, the area shows evidence of a large, settled Aboriginal community systematically farming and smoking eels for food and trade.

You can visit on a guided or self-guided tour of the Lake Condah area, and visitors can see eel and fish traps, and the only remaining permanent houses built by an Indigenous community in Australia.

The Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape was included in the National Heritage List on 30 March 2007.

We are currently applying for World Heritage Listing.

Catering

Our guides will provide lunch and snacks as appropriate to your time of visit.

Generally lunch will be a basic picnic style of rolls, salads and meats.  We can cater to vegetarian, vegan and gluten free or special dietary requirements as necersary.

If desired, for special occasions and additional cost, traditional style catering can be arranged.

Please get in contact to discuss your requirements.

 

 

 

 

Cultural Significance

Budj Bim and Lake Condah are part of traditional Gunditjmara country. The people who lived at and had specific responsibility for Lake Condah are the Kerrup-Jmara (people of the water / lake).

The Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape is a nationally significant and unique landscape whose values (natural and cultural) are inextricably bound with the Gunditjmara people. For the Gunditjmara, many of the cultural systems and connections with the landscape are directly tied to the unique natural values of the landscape.

The story of the Gunditjmara and Budj Bim is remarkable for the continuity of attachment to the area that Gunditjmara have maintained in spite of repeated attempts at dispossession.  The Gunditjmara manage the Indigenous heritage values of the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape through the Windamara Aboriginal Corporation and other Aboriginal organisations.

Basket Craft by the Gundijtmara Women

Environment

An eruption of the Mt Eccles volcano (Budj Bim), which was active between 30,000 and 20,000 years ago dramatically altered the landscape of the region.

Dating back to the end of the Paleolithic age to the Pleistocene, the most recent Tyrendarra lava flow occurred about 20,000 years ago. The regions ancestors would have witnessed this eruption.

Geomorphology

Budj Bim is part of the ‘Eccles’ Volcanic landform, geologically known as the Tyrendarra Flow, formed as a result of the explosion of Mt Eccles approximately 27,000 – 30,000 years ago. The
eruption substantially altered the landscape resulting in the formation of the alluvial wetlands and ‘stony rises’ that characterise the environment today. Lake Condah itself was probably
formed about 8,000 years ago. Gunditjmara witnessed the explosion of Eccles and knew it to be the revelation of an important Creation Ancestor. The Gunditjmara word for Mt Eccles is
Budj Bim “High Head”. Mt Napier is the other part of the Ancestor’s head and the landforms associated with both mountains comprise the Ancestor. Although not listed as part of the Budj
Bim National Heritage Landscape, the landscape is spiritually connected to Deen Maar Island (also known as Lady Julia Percy Island). Deen Maar is central to Gunditjmara creation stories
and the place is where the spirits of Gunditjmara go when they die and before moving on. The Tyrendarra flow is considered of National conservation significance for its volcanic geomorphology and is listed on the National Heritage List under Criterion I – Importance as part of Indigenous Tradition (in reference to the revelation of the Creation Ancestor).

Lava Flows
The Tyrendarra lava flow altered the drainage in the area and helped to create Lake Condah and its associated wetlands. These wetlands were used and modified by the Gunditjmara people who developed a complex system for growing and harvesting fish, particularly eels.

Fauna and Flora

Lake Condah is the only part of Budj Bim whose flora and fauna communities are well documented. The dominant dryland community is the Stony Rises Manna Gum Woodland
which is considered to be of National conservation significance due to its intactness and notable lack of species diversity (being heavily dominated by Manna Gums). The Manna Gum Woodlands are under immediate threat from Koalas, which greatly exceed the carrying capacity of the area. Herbfield communities associated with the bed and margins of Lake Condah are of potential State significance. Wetland communities on the property “Allambie” are of National conservation significance due to the presence of the nationally vulnerable Curly Sedge. Twenty species of rare, endangered or vulnerable plants are found on the Tyrendarra flow.

Lake Condah’s fauna is considered of State Significance with a high level of species diversity and some species listed as threatened in Victoria. The area is thought to be one of the last strongholds of the Tiger Quoll and provides habitat to a number of threatened bird species. The Darlots Creek is home to a number of Indigenous fish species, including the short-finned eel.

Koalas, Sugar and Yellow-bellied Gliders, Possums, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Quolls, Brush-tailed Phascogales, Dusky and Swamp Antechinus can be seen in the park. The 68 species of birds recorded include Grey Thrush, Peregrine Falcon, parrots, wrens, ducks, coots and the Brolga!

Maintaining the Environment
The Gunditjimara people are the caretakers of the region and take their role very seriously with a multitude of projects.

With the construction of a new weir, we will submerge and reclaim the empty basins and reactivate the traditional eel traps set many years ago by the traditional owners.

More Information:
We have a comprehensive student workbook on the environment in the region.  For more information or to order a copy contact us .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Terms & Conditions

Cancellation policy

Budj Bim Tours reserves the right to amend pricing, itinerary and time details according to guest availability. Any alteration to schedule or price is not grounds to cancel a tour. If tours are booked prior to a price increase then the tour will proceed at the price from the time of booking.

BBT reserves the right to cancel a tour immediately if guests are acting illegally or irresponsibly, this includes smoking on country, displaying culturally inappropriate behaviour, using inflammatory or insulting language. BBT will not offer refunds for tours cancelled on these grounds.

If BBT cancels a tour outside of the above circumstances, the customer is entitled to a full refund of deposit and any other tour costs paid.

 

Code Red (Catastrophic) bush fire days

To ensure the safety of our passengers and staff, Budj Bim Tours will not operate on days declared “Code Red (Catastrophic)”. Tours will be cancelled on Code Red days and a credit note will be offered to intrastate visitors for a new tour date. Overseas and interstate visitors will be offered a full refund or alternative tour date. 

Authorities have advised that Code Red (Catastrophic) days could be forecast up to 72 hours in advance.  The public will be alerted by Government Authorities via media and Emergency AUS. Tour Guides and BBT staff must stay up to date with Fire Danger ratings.

 

Adverse weather

BBT will operate in all weather conditions except thunderstorms and high fire danger days. BBT will issue an advisory at least 12-24 hours prior to travel if a tour is to be cancelled. Refunds will not be issued if a booking is cancelled by the customer due to adverse weather conditions, other than those outlined above. In the event of a tour cancelled by BBT a credit note for an alternative tour date will be issued, failing that a full refund will be given.

 

Catering

Cancellations/alterations to any tour that include bush tucker or standard catering less than 24 hours prior will incur a charge of $10 per person to cover the cost of food purchases. This includes changing the date and/or number of patrons on a tour.

 

Departure times

Guests must arrive at the Budj Bim Orientation Centre at the prearranged departure time. Refunds will not be given for guests missing a tour, or arriving late unless reasonable effort was made by the guest to call and inform BBT that they would be late/absent.

 

Group pricing

Any alteration to a group booking that makes guest numbers fall below 10 (9 or less) will incur a cost. The group must pay either the fee of the 10th person, or not receive group pricing.

 

Health and fitness

BBT guided tours require a reasonable level of personal fitness, there is a minimum of 1KM walking on pre-established walking trails. BBT will outline safety protocol prior to the start of the tour and will not be liable for any personal injury/death, damage to personal property obtained while on tour. All BBT tour guides are first aid qualified to minimise personal injury.

Getting Here

Budj Bim Tours operates out of Heywood in the far south-west of Victoria, approximately 320km from Melbourne.

If you are heading down the Great Ocean Road, we are located only a beautiful 40min coastal drive from Port Fairy. Alternatively, if you're coming from the Grampians National Park we are approximately a scenic, 2hr drive from Halls Gap.

Information about accessing us with public transport is available on the VLine Website.

Information about alternative travel options including flights and trains can be found on the Rome2Rio travel website.

 

Our tours depart from the Budj Bim Orientation Centre (12 Lindsay St, Heywood VIC):

 

If you are visiting other Aboriginal sites in the region then we are only an hour drive from Tower Hill Reserve near Warrnambool or a two hour drive from Brambuk Cultural Centre in Halls Gap.

 

If you require transport from the airport or from your accommodation please contact us on +61 458 999 315 to arrange pick up.

 

Self-Guided Directions

If you're considering a self-guided tour of the Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area simply follow the Princes Hwy to Tyrendarra, turn (right/left) onto the Tyrendarra-Ettrick Rd and then turn (right/left) onto Taylors Rd.

The IPA is located at the end of Taylors Rd.

It is accessible 24hrs a day to the public.

 

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Useful Resources

Below you will find links to news articles and media releases regarding Budj Bim Tours and the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape.

 

Articles:

June 2016 - Going with the flow , Tiger Tales magazine (Paul Chai)

May 2016 - Learn from an expert how our first Australians lived , The Senior

April 20th, 2016 - 2016 Glenelg Shire Business and Tourism Awards , Portland Observer

April, 2016 - Ancient wonder vies for global attention , SWBiz Magazine

April 4th, 2016 - Women weave creativity in age-old tradition , Bill Meldrum (Portland Observer)

March 2016 - Budj Bim, Victoria's hidden cultural treasure , Sharp Traveller Edition 21

March 1st, 2016 - Winda-Mara is taking Aboriginal culture to the world , Francisco Fisher (VACCHO)

January 9th, 2016 - Una casa per gli aborigeni , Matteo Preabianca (Italian)

November 9th, 2015 - Creating an Icon of the South-west , Liam O'Callaghan (Portland Observer)

June 11th, 2015 - Site visits boost Budj Bim World Heritage chances , Steve Robertson (Portland Observer)

June 6th, 2015 - Could Budj Bim in western Victoria be Australia's 20th World Heritage Site? , Tony Wright (The Age)

 

Images:

July 6th, 2016 - NAIDOC Week activities at Heywood , Portland Observer

November 9th, 2015 - Page 1 , Page 2 , Portland Observer

 

Videos:

March 2015 - First Footprints, ABC

Site Map

Site Map

Contact Us

Budj Bim Tours is a project run by Windamara Aboriginal Corporation.

12 Lindsay St
 Heywood Vic 3304

MOB: +61 458 999 315
PH: (03) 5527 0000

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BudjBim

Instagram: @budjbimtours
 

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Guides

Budj Bim Tours is a unique Aboriginal cultural tourism company. On every one of our tours you will be lead through the country by a local Gunditjmara guide.

Many of our guides work in other diverse fields such as Land Management, Health, Education, Heritage and construction. Depending on avaialability we call on these guides to run our tours.

We also utilise the service of a number of Gunditjmara Elders who have been taking visitor 'on-country' for decades.

Our guides share with you the history of our culture both recent and ancient and walk you through this very unique landscape.

 

Tourism Officers Aaron Morgan & Jody Agnew, and Winda Mara Director Levi Lovett

Visitor Information

“Ngatanwarr wartee pa kakay teen Gunditjmara mirring”  -  Welcome brothers and sisters to Gunditjmara Country

When visiting the Budjbim Heritage Landscape and we invite you to be our welcome guests.  The following information is to help you plan your visit, but feel free to ring or email us with any questions.

Please remember to respect our cultures and environment when in the Budjbim Heritage Landscape.

FInd out more on:

Getting Here

Catering

The Environment

Cultural Significance

National Heritage

Or contact us for more information


 

The Tours

Budj Bim Tours operates in the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape, which extends from Mt Eccles-Budj Bim National Park down to the Tyrendarra Area. Our tours are guided by experienced, local Indigenous guides and offer an authentic insight to the land and Gunditjmara culture. We operate tours every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am and on select Saturdays at 10am. Bookings are essential and must be confirmed at least 48 hours in advance. Saturday bookings require a minimum of 5 people. We welcome you to ask questions and take photos while on country.

All of our tours can be customised to suit your individual or group needs, this includes the addition of bush-tucker catering, cultural performances or additional locations. To inquire about these options, or for further information about any of our tours, please call us on +61 458 999 315 or send us an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For cultural awareness or educational tours please contact us to discuss options.

 

Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area

 

Guided tour (BOOK ONLINE)

Stone house at Tyrendarra IPA

This two-hour guided tour of the Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area begins at the Budj Bim Orientation Centre in Heywood, where you will be welcomed, receive introductory information about Gunditjmara culture and country and watch a 10 minute video. You will then take the scenic drive out to the Tyrendarra IPA where you will learn about the unique circular stone dwellings, and see the remnant house sites. Along the walking trail you will also learn about Australia's earliest and largest stone aquaculture systems, including the fish and eel traps. Your guide will explain the dreaming story about the creation of the landscape drawing examples from geological formations such as Tumuli.

$40 per person, minimum 2 people

 

 

Experience package (BOOK ONLINE)

Winda Mara dancers

This 4 hour experience begins at the Budj Bim Orientation Centre in Heywood and incorporates all aspects of the two hour guided tour, including an introductory welcome video, information on Gunditjmara culture and country and a tour of the Tyrendarra IPA. Whilst at the IPA you will, in addition to the tour of the stone house sites and aquaculture systems, receive a fully catered bush tucker lunch and a cultural performance by local Indigenous dancers. The bush tucker lunch varies seasonally, but typically includes a variety of kangaroo, smoked eel, water parsnip, warrigal greens, wattle seed rolls as well as traditional green salads. Our Indigenous dancers offer a variety of cultural dances that range from welcome dances to interpretations of their individual totems. This is an incredible, authentic experience that is a must-do for any group looking to immerse themselves in Gunditjmara culture.

$100 per person, minimum 5 people

 

 

Mt Eccles-Budj Bim National Park

 

Day tour (BOOK ONLINE)

This day tour encompasses the entirety of the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape. It begins at the Budj Bim Orientation Centre in Heywood where you will be welcomed, introduced to Gunditjmara culture and country, and watch a 10 minute introductory video. The tour then takes you to the Tyrendarra IPA where you will see remnant circular stone house sites and reconstructed dwellings, while here, you will also learn about the extensive stone aquaculture systems engineered by the Gunditjmara people. You will then take the scenic drive out to Mt Eccles-Budj Bim National Park after a brief stop at the Convincing Ground. Here you will learn more about the pre and post-settlement history of the Gunditjmara people and the dreaming stories and figureheads that are important in Gunditjmara culture. This tour includes a fully catered bush tucker lunch, which varies seasonally but typically includes kangaroo, smoked eel, water parsnip, warrigal greens, wattle seed rolls as well as traditional green salads. There will also be refreshments provided along the way.

$120 per person, minimum 5 people

Explore the traditional homelands of the Gunditjmara people


UPCOMING: Female Basket Weaving Workshops

Date: 19th - 28th September 2016

Every Monday & Wednesday

Time: 11am - 2pm

Cost: $20 pp

For more information, please get in contact with us or see the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1769519783285467/ 

 


 

 

The far south west of Victoria is the traditional homelands of the Gunditjmara nation

For thousands of years, Gunditjmara people engineered and constructed an extensive aquaculture system along the Mt Eccles/Tyrendarra Lava flow and wetlands.

The aquaculture system and permanent lifestyle of the Gunditjmara people are widely recognised and valued as being unique in the world's human history of settlement and society.

Evidence of the aquaculture system, including stone eel traps and channels, and the lifestyle, including stone house sites and smoking trees, are located along the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape.

The Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape was declared by the Australian Government in July 2004 for its outstanding values that are part of Australia's National Heritage.

Now you can join us and explore the historically and environmentally significant areas with our local run tours. 

As our guests you can do one of our suggested itineraries or mix and match the sites to create your own tour.

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Budj Bim Tours

21 Scott Street
Heywood, Victoria
Australia 3304

PH: (03) 5527-1699
FAX: (03) 5527-2052

E: info@budjbimtours.com