Mitchell River National Park

Brabralung Country

Welcome to the Mitchell River National Park

The Gunaikurnai have a deep spiritual connection with the Mitchell River landscape through ceremony, songs and dreaming. For Gunaikurnai many spirits still live in the landscape, their signs in the rocky outcrops and other features. Rock art, rock shelters, canoe trees, surface scatters, men’s and women’s sites, campsites, massacre sites, burials and many sacred places occur within the park.

The area in and around the Mitchell River Gorge was a major stopping off point for Gunaikurnai travelling between the high country and the lowlands. The rocky terrain, steep dropoffs and lookout points provided excellent vantage points for safety and defence. There are important places throughout this park — Angusvale was a good source of food, medicine and materials, Billy Goat Bend had reliable water. Deadcock Den is an important women’s place. It was, at one time, proposed as the site of a mission but it was found to be too cold in winter so Lake Tyers was chosen instead.

Mitchell River National Park 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.

Den of Nargun

The Den of Nargun on Woolshed Creek, a small tributary of the Mitchell River, is of great cultural significance and is known as a women’s place. According to Gunaikurnai lore the Nargun is a large female creature who lives in a cave behind the waterfall. Stories were told around campfires about how the Nargun would abduct children who wandered off on their own. The Nargun could not be harmed with boomerangs or spears.

These stories served the dual purpose of keeping children close to the campsite and ensuring that people stayed away from the sacred cave. It is a place of women’s initiation and learning ceremonies, and traditionally Gunaikurnai men are not allowed to enter the area of the Den of Nargun and the Woolshed Creek valley.

We ask visitors to acknowledge this sacred site by respecting the surrounding environment when you visit, and by not entering the cave.