Budj Bim Cultural Landscape Facts: Learn About Why It's So Famous | Kidadl


Budj Bim Cultural Landscape Facts: Learn About Why It's So Famous

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The property's three serial components house one of the world's oldest and largest aquaculture systems.

The Gunditjmara constructed this sophisticated aquaculture system which relies on deliberate redirection, alteration, and control of rivers and wetlands, and is supported by the Budj Bim volcanic flows that link the three components.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Budj Bim's inclusion in the global heritage list signifies that the site has 'outstanding universal importance.' It joins 19 other Australian places on the list.

The Gunditjmara own or co-manage the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, nestled among rough stone country, woods, marshes, and lakes. Cultural knowledge and traditional ecology is combined with scientific study in their collaborative and adaptive management plan. It includes Gunditjmara-led research and interpretation, native plants and animal monitoring and management, the construction and maintenance of walking routes, guided tours, and the operation of the visiting school's programs.

Discovery And History

The Gunditjmara Traditional Owners have always understood that the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape has been unique for almost six millennia.

Stories about it include oral histories from the Gunditjmara people, which chronicle their customs and material culture. Scientific studies and historical texts back up this assertion. Their forefathers witnessed the explosion of the Budj Bim volcano 30,000 years ago, when the Ancient Being, Budj Bim (or 'colossal head'), converted itself into a part of the environment. Budj Bim is how the Gunditjmara relate to the cultural landscape today.

In the 1850s, indigenous people were primarily sent to centralized church-run missions throughout Australia. The Gunditjmara from the Budj Bim terrain declined to reside at Framlingham Mission, established in Victoria's Western District. They decided that Tae Rak (Lake Condah) was the best spot for them to be.

The Gunditjmara developed, managed, and transformed regional hydrological and ecological systems for at least 6,600 years. They used relatively abundant volcanic rock to build weirs, channels, and dams, as well as to manage the flow of water, systematically trap, preserve, and collect kooyang (shortfin eel, or Anguilla australis) and assist in the improvement of other food supplies.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is a one-of-a-kind site with worldwide heritage values that tells us how the Gunditjmara people worked with the natural resources and the climate of the Victorian southwest to create a permanent human settlement over the last 30,000 years, and beyond. Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) comprise tracts of land and ocean managed as nature reserves for biodiversity conservation with indigenous groups engaging in voluntary transactions with the Australian Government.

The Gunditjmara were granted native title rights by the Australian Federal Court in 2007 because of their deep and unwavering attachment to this territory where their predecessors farmed eels for trade and food, from the period of European settlement and beyond, across millennia.


The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is managed and/or indigenous-owned, and it is handled by the Gunditjmara Traditional Owners, who have traditional and constitutional rights and responsibilities.

As per the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999, the site is legally protected at the most significant national level. In 2004, the National Heritage List in Australia classified substantial portions of land (approximately 90 % of the Budj Bim territory and half of the Tyrendarra territory) as cultural heritage sites. The National Heritage as well as World Heritage Site boundaries should be linked for consistency's sake. As a result, the World Heritage property as a whole can be considered for placement on the National Heritage List.

An adaptive and interactive management system of overlapping and interconnected traditional governance, legislation, and policy strategies protects and manages the property. The Gunditjmara Traditional Owners use scientific approaches and traditional knowledge in two management systems: the Budj Bim National Park is organized in collaboration with the Victorian Government, and the Tyrendarra Indigenous Conservation Area is owned by the Gunditjmara Original Inhabitants.

The World Heritage Steering Committee, which works as a consultation and joint decision-making organization between state heritage and environmental authorities, and the Gunditjmara Traditional Owners, oversee the management system. Victoria's Aboriginal Heritage Act, 2006, protects Gunditjmara traditional heritage in the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape. In addition, the 2014 Budj Bim grand strategy (focusing on tourism) specified prerequisites for sustainable tourism, visitation, and theoretical possibilities in the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape.

Traditional, Gunditjmara expertise is reinforced by historical Gunditjmara cultural traditions and remarkably well-preserved archaeological, ecological, and historical evidence, as well as centuries of oral transmission and persistence of practice. Moreover, the fact that the Gunditjmara have a long-standing connection to their area, as well as their customary and historical knowledge about the kooyang life process, demonstrates the richness of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape. 

Following many lake drainages in the '50s, the restoration of a conventional water system that flows to Tae Rak through the construction of a traditional weir around 2010 has restored and strengthened the water flow in the aquaculture system. As a result, the massive aquaculture system has persisted, is in good form, and can be easily distinguished in the landscape thanks to this preservation, the rugged environment, the usage of stone, the largely intact flora, and the absence of significant development inside the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape.

A portion of the Budj Bim Native Protected Area makes up the Kurtonitj (center) element of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape.

Site Statistics

The Budj Bim National Park, portions of the Budj Bim Traditional Protected Area, and Lake Condah Mission make up the most prominent and northernmost parts of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape.

The Gunditjmara inhabitants controlled the flow of water from Lake Condah by building dams and blockades to keep the water flowing in the direction they needed it. 'Kurtonitj' is a Gunditjmara word that means 'crossing site.' The Tyrendarra Indigenous Conservation Area and a portion of the Budj Bim Aboriginal Protected Area make up the southernmost half of the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape.

The Budj Bim Ranger Project, which is administered by the Winda-Mara Indigenous Corporation and engages full-time rangers who are supervised by Gunditjmara Elders to give them cultural and traditional knowledge and assistance, is unique among the organizational action plans. This management agreement for the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape permits Gunditjmara Traditional Owners to oversee on-the-ground approaches in accordance with traditional conventions and practices.

The Budj Bim National Park (previously the Mount Eccles National Park) is situated on the western fringe of the volcanic lowlands, that span from Melbourne through Port Fairy and northwards to Ararat and Hamilton. The Budj Bim National Park was the first national park co-managed with Parks Victoria and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners, and was renamed in 2017. The National Park area, initially stretching for 0.14 sq mi (0.36 sq km), was designated as a public picnic place in 1921. It was expanded to 23.6 sq mi (61 sq km) in 1985, and the National Park now spans over 30.88 sq mi (79.97 sq km).

One of the world's earliest aquaculture systems is Budj Bim. Aquaculture is the raising and breeding of aquatic animals such as fish, shellfish, eels, and vegetation for human consumption and other purposes. Aboriginal people were innovators in the field of aquaculture, and complex fish trapping techniques dating back thousands of years may be found all over the country. Their knowledge systems maintain the Gunditjmara's continual dynamic interaction with their land, passed down via oral transmission and cultural practice.


What was the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape used for?

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is a one-of-a-kind site with worldwide historical value that shows how Gunditjmara ancestors judiciously used the resources and climate of the Victorian southwest area to create a permanent human settlement for more 30,000 years.

What was life like for the people who lived near the Budj Bim?

People were sedentary, as there are roughly 200 recognized and documented stone home sites.

What type of landscape is the Budj Bim?

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape comprises three parts that together make up one of the planet's earliest and largest aquaculture systems.

Where is the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape?

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is located in the Gunditjmara indigenous people's traditional country of southeastern Australia.

Why is the Budj Bim culturally important?

The Gunditjmara built a sophisticated system of canals, weirs, and reservoirs to trap, preserve, and harvest kooyang using the Budj Bim lava streams as a foundation.

Why is the Budj Bim a heritage listing?

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2019, recognizing the great importance its terrain and aquaculture systems.

What is Budj Bim aquaculture?

One of the globe's earliest aquaculture systems can be found at the Budj Bim. Aquaculture is the raising and breeding of aquatic animals such as fish, shellfish, eels, and flora for human consumption and other purposes.

What are the Budj Bim eel traps made of?

The Gunditjmara people made long eel baskets constructed of spear grass and river reeds to control and trap eels based on their size and weight.

When was the Budj Bim heritage-listed?

On July 6, 2019, the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Furthermore, on July 20, 2004, the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape was added to the National Heritage List.

How was the Budj Bim formed?

The Gunditjmara people's origin story is based on the volcano's eruption more than 30,000 years back. Budj Bim, an original creator-being, was revealed due to this incident. The Tyrendarra volcano eruption altered the region's drainage pattern and produced vast wetlands.

<p>Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.</p>

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