Located in south west Victoria, near the Great Ocean Road, Budj Bim is the only Australian World Heritage property listed exclusively for its Aboriginal cultural values. The Cultural Landscape has been recognised for its 6,600-year-old highly sophisticated aquaculture systems developed by the Gunditjmara people.
Traditionally engineered by Gunditjmara ancestors, the systems are connected across nearly 100 square kilometres and were used to trap eels and other fish for food. Alongside the traditional aquaculture systems, Gunditjmara ancestors built a large settled society along the stony wetlands, giving evidence that the Gunditjmara were not nomadic people.
Over the past five years the Gunditjmara people have worked closely with the Victorian and Australian Governments in developing Budj Bim’s World Heritage nomination.
The Victorian Government has shown strong support with a commitment of $8 million to the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to implement stages one and two of the Budj Bim Master Plan to support tourism infrastructure projects.
Implementation of the Master Plan will advance Budj Bim as a world-class tourism destination and support self-determination for the Gunditjmara People in sharing the Cultural Landscape with the world.
The Master Plan outlines visitor targets over three stages with the ultimate goal of attracting more than 150,000 annual visitors in ten to 25 years. However, the Master Plan recognises the need to build tourism sustainably so the increase in visitors does not negatively impact the area. Work is currently underway to implement the Master Plan, which will continue over the next few years.
The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is situated near the Great Ocean Road, where existing Aboriginal tourism businesses and experiences are among the most mature and established within regional Victoria.
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