Raymond Island walking track upgrade underway
Wednesday 13 April, 2022
Visitors to Raymond Island, on Tatungalung Country near Paynesville, will soon be able to enjoy better understanding of Aboriginal culture together with improved access tracks amongst the native flora and fauna, thanks to a joint project between Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) and Parks Victoria.
Work is currently underway to upgrade existing informal trails in the Gippsland Lakes Reserve on the island into a 1.7km loop walk through coastal banksia forest offering insights into Gunaikurnai culture and views over the Gippsland Lakes.
New signage will tell the stories of Tatungalung Country; and a yarning circle will invite visitors to pause and reflect on the beauty of the landscape, the deep history of the area and the responsibility that we all have to care for Country. When complete, the upgrades will also include improved track surface, upgraded carparking and directional signage.
Joint Management partners will also be involved in creating interpretive signage that will tell the stories of Tatungalung Country, and natural values with a focus on traditionally used plants in the area.
Accessible only by ferry, Raymond Island, is one of ten culturally important parks and reserves jointly managed with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Corporation. It is a fantastic place for local and visitors alike to experience the Gippsland Lakes coastal bush and to see the island koalas.
The upgraded nature trail connects with the existing Koala Walk that goes through the township and into the edge of the park, allowing people to enjoy a longer walk on the island. Parks Victoria is working with East Gippsland Shire Council to link this project to the township walking track experiences and the planned ferry park.
Work to upgrade the track is being undertaken by the GLaWAC Natural Resource Management Team, with construction expected to be completed by mid-2022.
The Victorian Government has invested $350,000 into this upgrade as part of the Gippsland Recovery project.
For more information about Gippsland Lakes Reserve on Raymond Island go to https://gunaikurnai.org/our-country/joint-management/gippsland-lakes-reserve/ and https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to-see/parks/raymond-island-gippsland-lakes-reserve
Quotes attributed to Robbie Farnham, JM Manager, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation
“The nature trail gives visitors an opportunity to learn about our strong connection to Country – the land, the water, the air and the sky.”
“Our Country has a rich culture, and we are proud to be able to share that.”
“Working on Country gives us the opportunity to pass our traditions on to the younger generation, and to use our knowledge to help manage our lands, in partnership with Parks Victoria and the state government.”
Quotes attributed to Jeremy Tscharke, Area Chief Ranger, Parks Victoria
“This family friendly walk will provide a perfect opportunity for people to get out and enjoy the bush on the island, and to spot one of the resident koalas in the trees.”
“As well as koalas, there are many shorebirds on the island and a variety of plants to see on the walk, including orchids at certain times of the year.”
“The local community has been involved in the project, with their feedback helping to shape the final plans.”