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West Gippsland



Community, Business and Visitor Guide

West Gippsland Local History

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West Gippsland is a lush and verdant region in the state of Victoria, Australia. It has a rich and storied history that goes back thousands of years and has been home to a variety of indigenous tribes.

The region was first explored by Europeans in the 19th century, and it quickly became a hub for agriculture and industry. It's now home to a number of vibrant towns and cities and is a popular tourist destination for those looking to immerse themselves in Australia's natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

The Indigenous History

West Gippsland has a long and rich Aboriginal history. The area was home to several indigenous tribes, including the Gunai-Kurnai people. These tribes lived off the land and hunted and gathered in the region's dense forests and coastal plains. Unfortunately, much of their history and culture has been lost due to European colonization and forced assimilation.

The region was named after Lord Gipps, who served as the Governor of New South Wales in the early 19th century. However, the name has since been changed to reflect the area's indigenous heritage. Today, the region is also known as Gunaikurnai country, and efforts are being made to preserve the area's Aboriginal culture and traditions.

The European Settlement

Europeans first began exploring the West Gippsland region in the early 1800s. The area was soon settled by farmers and graziers, who took advantage of the region's fertile soils and abundant natural resources. They established homesteads and began farming crops such as wheat and barley, as well as raising cattle and sheep.

Throughout the 19th century, the population of the region grew rapidly, and many towns and villages were established. These settlements became important hubs for trade and commerce and were key players in the region's growing economy.

The Gold Rush

In the 1850s, West Gippsland was swept up in the Australian Gold Rush. Prospectors from all over the world flocked to the region in search of riches, and many towns and settlements sprang up around the area's rich goldfields.

Although the gold rush lasted for just a few short years, it had a profound impact on the region's economy and society. Many of the area's settlers found newfound wealth, and the influx of people and businesses helped to establish the region as a major player in the Australian economy.

The 20th Century and Beyond

Throughout the 20th century, West Gippsland continued to thrive. The region's economy diversified, with manufacturing and service industries becoming increasingly important. Today, the region is home to a number of leading industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.

The area is also known for its natural beauty, with a number of stunning national parks, forests, and beaches. Visitors come from all over the world to experience the region's rugged landscapes and unique wildlife.

Despite the region's success and prosperity, challenges remain. Many of the area's indigenous people continue to face barriers to education, employment, and housing, and efforts are being made to address these issues and promote reconciliation.


West Gippsland is a rich and fascinating region with a long and storied history. From its indigenous roots to its flourishing modern economy, it has played a vital role in the history and culture of Australia. Today, the region continues to be a leader in agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism, and it remains a cherished destination for visitors from all over the world.

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Background thanks to John Goodridge (CC‑BY‑SA‑2.0)