With this in mind, I thought I would have a look at the lands of the wider Barwon catchment and the people who have walked them. The way we cross the land today is perhaps best represented by maps. For thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans however, the indigenous tribes of Australia walked the land, following ancient tracks and pathways known to their ancestors, without the benefit of modern cartographic techniques.
For 25,000 years prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Barwon catchment was home to three indigenous tribes. The lands surrounding the lower Barwon - downriver from Winchelsea - as well as the catchments of the Moorabool and Leigh/Yarrowee Rivers were occupied by the Wathaurong (Wadawurrung) people. The lands of the Gulidjan Tribe lay along the upper reaches of the Barwon, also incorporating the area around Lake Colac. The Barwon itself formed the boundary between the Gulidjan people and their southern neighbours - the Gadubanud Tribe - who lived on the land between the river and the coast, stretching westwards past Cape Otway.
songlines", it was possible to walk for hundreds of kilometres. In this way, people could move between tribes, establish trade routes, make marriages, manage natural resources; walking - it was believed - in the footsteps of the creator spirit.
|"Man's track by the creek". For thousands of years, the Wathaurong walked the|
banks of Coolebarghurk Creek
Creation stories told how the eagle Bundjil looked down upon the world from the sky where his fire (the planet Jupiter) could be seen from Earth. Bundjil it was said, made his earthly home at Woringganninyoke - Lal Lal Falls. Whilst the meaning of the first name is unknown, "Lal Lal" is said to mean "dashing water in a crevice". Another literal description which could contribute to a songline.
|Lal Lal Falls, April, 2012|
|Bonan Yowing: Mt Buninyong, visible across the surrounding countryside|
for many kilometres
|Koo N Warre: Lake Connewarre|