Buchan Caves Reserve

Krauatungalung Country

Welcome to the Buchan Caves Reserve

Buchan Munji, the Buchan caves region, was traditionally an important meeting place for our 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 Gunaikurnai people did not traditionally venture very deep into the limestone caves, there is evidence going back more than 18,000 years of the important role they played in the lives of our Old People, including burial sites and ceremonial rings all through the Buchan area.

Recent research suggests that caves were frequented by magical practitioners called mulla-mullung. They trained and practised their magic, using crystals and other stones, and ground powders such as ash.

Today the caves remain important to Gunaikurnai as a meeting place with spiritual significance that holds important stories to be shared with young people.

The Buchan Caves Reserve is one of the ten jointly managed parks and reserves within Gippsland. 
The Joint Management Agreement recognises the fact that the GunaiKurnai people hold Native 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.

Connecting to Country

Evidence in the broader Buchan region indicates the important role of caves to our people going back thousands of years.

Archaeological evidence of GunaiKurnai use of the area remains along the Spring Creek valley and in artefact scatters throughout the reserve. A number of quarry and artefact scatter sites have also been recorded.

Our oral history holds that Frank Moon’s party, which made the first documented exploration of the Buchan caves, was guided by local Gunaikurnai people, who were not acknowledged.

There are other culturally important cave sites in the vicinity that are not within the reserve, including Cloggs Cave, located on private property to the southeast. The cave has an undisturbed cultural sequence dated to around 30 000 years, with bone and stone tools being uncovered in excavations.