The re-opening of a trail in the Grampians National Park will bring together Aboriginal history, settler stories and scenery from the natural environment.
The Mackenzie River/Bun-nah trail travels between Zumsteins Picnic Area and Wartook Valley and was the original route for walkers, horses, carriages and wagon teams in the Grampians Ranges 100 years a go.
The trail has recently been developed for visitors to learn about the routes history.
Grampians Tourism CEO Marc Sleeman said reopening the trail has been in the works for a while.
“Mackenzie Falls is the most popular walk in the region, connecting Zumsteins Picnic Area and Wartook Valley two is vital,” he said.
He said he hopes this will disperse more people to other parts of the Grampians.
“Investing in this infrastructure is important.”
The trail has interpretive signs detailing the areas significance to the traditional owners of the land the Jadawadjali People. It follows the Mackenzie River which forms part of the creation story of Tyingal the emu and Waa the crow.
Parks Victoria ranger Matt White said the trail is culturally significant.
“By adapting the route, we’re giving visitors the chance to follow in the footsteps of the Jadawadjali People, while acknowledging the contribution of the region’s early settlers,” he said.
“Development of the trail has been a successful community and local government partnership that we now look forward to seeing locals and visitors enjoy.”
This trail project was initiated by the Wartook community, who worked in partnership with Regional Development Victoria, Horsham Rural City Council, Parks Victoria, Barengi Gadjin Land Council and Horsham Historical Society.
Funding was provided through the Victorian government’s 2014 bushfire economic recovery fund.
During the late 1800s the trail was used to transport supplies, animals, timber from mills, tannin bark from wattle stripping, and honey and beeswax collected by local beekeepers.
An estimated 53,000 Chinese miners passed through the area during the gold rush. Along the trail is the unmarked gravesite of a Chinese miner who perished on his way to the Victorian goldfields in the 1850s.
Other historical features along the trail include the historic Rosebrook Station settled in 1843 and a log crossing on the Mackenzie River marking the location where a wine bar and cellar established in 1883 once stood.