Dr william ricketts sanctuary

10 ways to have an Indigenous experience in the Yarra Valley

See & Do

28 Apr. 2021

Indigenous history in the region is centred around Coranderrk Aboriginal Station which is located on the Yarra Flats, bordered by the Yarra River, Badger Creek, Watts River and the slopes of Mount Riddle. It was established for the Wurundjeri people but was also home to other people from the Kulin Nation, an alliance formed by five language groups – Woi Wurrung (Wurundjeri), Boon Wurrung, Wadawurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung (Jaara) and Taungurung.

Move around Untitled, seven monuments, Healesville

Seven monuments mark the boundaries of historical Coranderrk Aboriginal Station in Healesville. Learn about Coranderrk’s extraordinary history as you traverse Wurundjeri country.

Wander the Sandra Bardas Gallery at Worowa College, Healesville

Exhibiting authentic and affordable Indigenous art and crafts made by students of Worowa College and the communities they call Country.

Meet the Native animals of Australia

Meet kangaroo, koala, eagle, platypus and more – just some of the native animals you can get to know at Healesville Sanctuary. And keep your eyes open when your out and about – you never know when you might spot a furry friend.

Meet Wurundjeri Elder Murrundindi at Healesville Sanctuary every Sunday

Murrundindi shares the cultural stories of this land. Learn a little language as he welcomes you onto Country with a friendly Womenjika; listen to the sounds of the didgeridoo; stop to have a yarn; hear local stories, and be amazed at his mastery making that Boomerang really fly!

Read Balik Bagurrk - available from the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum and Yarra Ranges Council offices, Lilydale

Launching end 2020. Balit Bagurrk means strong woman in Woiwurrung, the local language of the Traditional Owners of the Yarra Ranges region, the Wurundjeri people. This community-led project is designed to collect, remember and celebrate the stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have contributed to the Yarra Ranges. It captures some of the stories of all the strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have resided in the area and have been an integral part of the history of the region. Many of the women included in this project are descendants of Coranderrk residents, an Aboriginal reserve that functioned under the control of the Aboriginal Protection Board from the 1860s to the early twentieth century. Balit Bagurrk is a project that gathered stories, photos, writing, poetry and artwork about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have been important to this region. These stories will be published in a book and digitally. More information here.

Explore the Indigenous art collection at TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville

TarraWarra is situated on Wurundjeri land and through their visiting and permanent curated exhibitions seeks to develop strong ties with First Peoples and present artworks that build connections and explores the heritage and cultural significance of region. A visit to the museum is a must do when exploring the Yarra Valley.

See an authentic possum cloak at Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, Lilydale

Connections: Stories, People Place is a permanent exhibition at the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum that traces more than 40,000 years of history through a diverse display of items that talk to the landscape, the industries, and the people who have made it their home. Learn about the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, and individuals including William Barak and the unsung heroes of everyday life in this region.

Marvel at the ‘Bukker Tillibul’ sculpture in Lilydale (Cave Hill)

Bukker Tillibul’ is the traditional Wurundjeri name for Cave Hill and site of the quarry when these stones were sourced. The sculpture was named by Joy Murphy, a Wurundjeri Elder. The presence of crows (a Wurundjeri totem) inspired the three tall structures and Bunjil, the wedge tailed eagle (also a Wurundjeri totem) is associated with Cave Hill which legend says has a star that Bunjil threw many years ago lodged deep within.

Walk the Dreamtime at Worowa, Healesville

This is a garden walk with a difference. Songlines and story telling sharing the history of Coranderrk and indigenous life across time.

Immerse yourself in the sculpture trail at William Ricketts Sanctuary,
Mt Dandenong

William Ricketts as a quiet gentleman who had spent much time living with aboriginal communities in central Australia. He created the sanctuary as a place for quiet reflection and replenishing the spirit. He believed that all Australians should adopt Aboriginal philosophies, respecting the spirituality of the mother earth and all things in the natural world. There are over 90 different sculptures carved into rocks and tree trunks that dot the paths that flow throughout the property. Check Parks Victoria opening dates.