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Culture and heritage

The Yorta Yorta people have a long association with the forest. Scarred trees, mounds, stone artefact scatters, middens and burial sites can all be found in the park.

Dharnya, on Sand Ridge Track near Barmah, is a significant place where you can see evidence of Indigenous living as well as European settlement. Interpretative signage as well as a fire pit, flagpole, picnic facilities and more make this the perfect place to learn about the heritage and ecology of the forest as well as enjoy Indigenous events and celebrations.

European settlement

The area was first explored in the late 1830s and settled soon after. Sheep and cattle were grazed throughout the region and the rich Red Gum forest was harvested for timber. Paddlesteamers on the Murray River were the key mode of transport and heavily utilised by the wool and timber trade.

The Victorian Government created Barmah National Park in April 2010 to protect and enhance the River Red Gum forests in Victoria. River Red Gum forests have high natural, cultural and economic values. These forests are under increasing pressure from climate change, drought and reduced water flows in the northern rivers. Protecting this precious environment relies on balancing the economic and recreational activities with preserving its natural beauty and values.