Feed your body, stimulate your mind and soothe your soul with these experiences in Victoria.
What: Tune into the seasons
Where: Budj Bim National Park
To western eyes, the changing of seasons is a fairly simple thing. The buds of spring give way to the heat of summer; the blazing leaves of autumn make way for the frosts of winter. To the Gunditjmara people, however, seasons were more complex, linking the land and the sky with the people and animals that roamed them. When the star Canolus was blazing overhead, for instance, it was the right time to collect and feast on emu eggs. Learn more about the complex interplay of elements when you take a tour through Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, which is also Australia’s newest World Heritage site.
What: Feast on ancient superfoods
To the First Nations people, our forests, plains and coasts were a massive pantry packed with some of the healthiest foods around. At the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the menu allows you to discover the flavours of these indigenous ingredients for yourself. Tuck into a damper served with lemon myrtle infused hummus, native mint yoghurt and wild herb tomato chutney or snack on some wattle-seed scones topped with seasonal fruit jam before taking a stroll through the art gallery and native garden.
" At the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the cafe menu allows you to discover the flavours of some indigenous ingredients for yourself."
What: Be inspired by timeless art
Where: the Grampians
There is something transformative about an encounter with a memorable piece of art, a moment of inspiration that never fails to move you. Open yourself up to a connection with long-vanished artists when you visit some of the state’s most remarkable rock art sites. The rugged bushscapes of Gariwerd-the Grampians do double duty as an outdoor gallery thanks to a remarkable collection of rock art hidden away under sheltering sandstone overhangs. From the vivid hand stencils at Manja Shelter at Hamilton to the human stick figures in the Billimina shelter in the Wartook Valley, these rock art sites offer us a direct link to the past.
What: Enjoy a bush meditation
Where: the Mornington Peninsula
The gentle murmur of a yidaki (didgeridoo) provides the backdrop to a meditation experience unlike any other. Living Culture’s healing sessions start with a walk through landscapes of fern gullies, grass trees and eucalypt forests, where honeyeaters and parrots dart past. Then settle in for your session and allow the rhythms of the yidaki to slow your breathing while the instrument’s powerful vibrations help heal your body.
"You don’t have to know much about geology to realise that Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is a special place."
What: Sift through layers of history
You don’t have to know much about geology to realise that Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is a special place. Sitting in a large volcanic crater with cone-shaped volcanic hills rising from its lakes, Tower Hill’s landscape tells a tale of primeval happenings. It is just one of the episodes recounted on one of Worn Gundidj’s indigenous culture and nature tours, which also explore the culture of the Gunditjmara people. As you walk along there is also time to breathe deep and absorb the beauty of the varied terrain as well as enjoy some extraordinary sightings of the animals that live here, including emus, echidnas, koalas and kangaroos.
Image credits: Visit Victoria