Tarra-Bulga National Park

Brataualung Country

Welcome to the Tarra-Bulga National Park

Tarra-Bulga National Park is a central part of the Gunaikurnai creation storyline where Borun the pelican travelled, carrying his canoe, from the mountains in the north to the place called Tarra Warackel on the coast south of the park, now called Port Albert, where he married Tuk the musk duck and together they founded the five Gunaikurnai clans.

Tarra-Bulga National Park is a stronghold of virgin bushland in an otherwise cleared landscape. It is one of the last refuges of natural forest in the area and home to mountain ash trees, lyrebirds and wallabies as well as several species that have now largely disappeared from the rest of the region.

The significant remnants of old growth forest are characteristic of a period when only Gunaikurnai were present on the land, and is therefore an important reminder to us of what our Country was like in the time of our Ancestors.

Tarra-Bulga 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.

Connecting to Country

The extent of Gunaikurnai occupation and use of the park has not been mapped, partly due to the priorities of earlier management as well as the difficulties of surveying the steep and heavily forested terrain. Experience from surveys of other forested parks in the Victorian Alps and Gippsland, conducted after large-­scale bushfires, suggests that evidence of Gunaikurnai occupation may prove to be more extensive than the paucity of existing records indicates, especially on ridges and streamlines that provided preferred travel routes.

A number of plant species are known to be culturally important for the Gunaikurnai.
Plants were important both for their practical uses and for cultural identity. For example, moeyang was traditionally an important species for making spear throwers, bathing rheumatic joints with the soaked bark, and making fishing lines from the inner fibres, and it was also prized for shields which were important for clan identity.