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Gunbower National Park & State Forest

Note: Parts of the forest are undergoing environmental watering, so some tracks in the Gunbower forest floodplain are closed. Before you visit, please contact the Gateway to Gannawarra Visitor Centre for an update on conditions.

Gunbower Island is a 26,400 hectare flood plain and the largest inland island in Australia. About 80 percent of the area contains magnificent red gum and black box forests and is home for a large range of birds, native mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The island consists of the Gunbower National Park and Gunbower State Forest.

Gunbower National Park and Gunbower State Forest are ideal destinations for nature lovers and campers. Popular activities include fishing, bushwalking, camping, canoeing or sightseeing. The landscape is also tailor-made for mountain biking with plenty of bush tracks to choose from.

Discover the historical, cultural and ecological sites of interest of the forest on the Gunbower Island Forest Drive or see the amazing scenery while paddling the Gunbower Island Canoe Trail.

Gunbower Island forest tracks map.

The natural environment of the many lakes and rivers is extremely important to the Aboriginal people. The local Barapa Barapa people occupied this area for thousands of years and lived in harmony with the land, adapting to the changing conditions. They moved between the flood plain and the Mallee through the year, using available resources.

The area provided materials such as timber, bark and reeds and a variety of foods including mussels, fish, yabbies, birds’ eggs, possums and important plants such as cumbungi, nardoo and yam daisies. Evidence of Aboriginal occupation can still be found in the various scar trees, cooking mounds and middens.

In October 2016, Museum Victoria undertook a bioscan on Gunbower Island. The project marked 160 years since William Blandowski's first expedition in the same area in 1856. "The Murray Explored" project has produced a wonderful video of some of their discoveries.