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Historical walk opens in the Grampians

Thursday 7 June, 2018


Aboriginal history, European settler stories and the dramatic natural environment have been brought together on a new walk in the Grampians National Park.

The 10.5km Mackenzie River/Bun-nah Trail takes up where the original ‘Back Track’ left off 100-years-ago when it was a route for walkers, horses, carriages, and wagon teams into the Central Grampians Ranges.

Today, the route has been developed into a trail for visitors to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Grampians and learn about its history as they travel between Zumsteins Picnic Area and Wartook Valley.

The trail has interpretive signs that detail the area’s significance to the traditional owners of the land, the Jadawadjali People. It follows the Mackenzie River (‘Bun-nah’) which forms part of the creation story of Tyingal the emu and Waa the crow.

Through the late 1800s, the ‘Back Track’, as it was known, was used to transport supplies, animals, timber from mills, tannin bark from wattle stripping, and honey and beeswax collected by local beekeepers.

Historical features along the new trail include the historic Rosebrook Station, which was first settled in 1843, and the unmarked gravesite of a Chinese miner who perished on his way to the Victorian goldfields in the 1850s. An estimated 53,000 Chinese miners passed through this area during the gold rush. A log crossing on the Mackenzie River marks the location of a where a wine bar and cellar, established in 1883 for travellers, had once stood.

As with any walk in the outdoors, people need to plan ahead, be prepared and check local conditions at www.parks.vic.gov.au or on 13 1963. At times, the Mackenzie River floods which will make sections of this trail impassable.

This trail project was initiated by the Wartook community, who worked in partnership with Regional Development Victoria, Horsham Rural City Council, Parks Victoria, Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Horsham Historical Society. Funding was provided through the Victorian Government’s 2014 Bushfire Economic Recovery fund.

For more information about the Mackenzie River/Bun-nah Trail and other walks in the Grampians region visit Parks Victoria or Visit Horsham.

Quotes attributable to Parks Victoria, Ranger Matt White:

“The Mackenzie River/Bun-nah Trail adds yet another option for people to explore the Grampians and its surrounds.”

“By adapting the ‘Back Track’ route, we’re giving visitors the chance to follow in the footsteps of the Jadawadjali People, while acknowledging the contribution of the region’s early settlers.”

“Development of the trail has been a successful community and local government partnership, that we now look forward to seeing locals and visitors enjoy.”


Media enquiries
Josh Maher
0448 373 986

Parks Victoria media centre