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Culture and heritage

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Proclaimed in November 1985 and expanded in 2002, this park encompasses some of north-central Victoria's outstanding natural features. A wide variety of vegetation communities and a rich history add to the park's value.

The Jaara Aboriginal people of the Kooyoora area depended on natural springs and wells for their water supply, since the area lacks permanent streams. Large shallow rock-wells on the granite outcrops stored rainwater that supplemented their water supply. Rock shelters and caves gave ample protection from the weather; many stone artefacts have been found in their sandy floors. Other reminders of Aboriginal occupation include scars on trees showing where bark was taken to make dishes and shields.

Fissures - loosely called caves - formed by the splitting of weathered granite are said to have been used as a hideout by ‘Captain Melville’, a bushranger active during the gold rush days.

European settlement of the area began in the 1840s and mining for alluvial gold was under way by the late 1850s. Substantial finds in the late 1860s began a rush which lasted several years. Relics of settlement history are most abundant in the eastern section of the park.

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