Walkin’ Birrarung – The Yarra River

Walkin’ Birrarung – The Yarra River

1.04.2010 - Posted by Misko Ivezich

Simon, Keryn and I attended Australian Water Association’s Water Professionals Indigenous Cultural Heritage Walking Tour on the banks of the Yarra River in the city yesterday. The tour was run by the Koorie Heritage Trust and their guides take you on a trip back in time amongst the hustle and bustle of inner city Melbourne. It is strange to think less than 200 years ago Europeans had yet to set foot in the Port Philip area and the banks of Yarra River (it’s real name was Birrarung) were the ancestral lands of the Kulin people. Through aboriginal stories, painting and colonial recollections your guide paints a picture of a beautiful clean river which topples over a waterfall (at the location of Queens Bridge today) into the saltwater of Port Philip Bay. On the city side was a dense eucalypt forest, while Southbank was a highly diverse wetland that stretched as far as St Kilda, teaming with frogs, birds and fish. Despite the development of the area, there are still signs of what the area was once like, but most people would walk past without even noticing - I know I did. I recommend the tour to anyone who is interested. It is a great learning and reconciliation experience.