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Culture and heritage

Indigenous people of the Djada Wurrung (Jaara Jaara people) have lived in the area for thousands of years and there are many sites that record their presence. Today their descendants are working to protect, share and celebrate their heritage. The Bendigo Dja Dja Wrung Aboriginal Association Inc. is involved with the identification, care and management of Aboriginal places and objects in this area.

The first European settlers in the area were pastoralists in the 1830s and 1840s, who took up land to raise sheep for wool. They were followed by the diggers of the 1850s, turning the country upside down in search of gold. You can find many traces of their activities around Bendigo in the form of mine shafts, mullock heaps, dams and water races.

Later, eucalyptus oil distilling and charcoal production became significant industries. You can find out more about these industries in the northern (Kamarooka) section of the park.

The result of all this human activity, together with timber cutting and clearing for agriculture, is that only 17 per cent of northern Victoria’s original box-ironbark vegetation remains today. Yet much of the box-ironbark forest and unique ‘whipstick’ mallee vegetation of Greater Bendigo National Park, with its colourful spring wildflowers and wildlife, has survived or regrown. This is the wonderful natural heritage of the park.

  • Old Tom Mine and Cyanide Works Old Tom Mine walk takes in relics from alluvial mining and eucalyptus oil production. Fossicking is permited in designated areas suject to local regulations and a licence.