the bunyip

Have you wondered how the name came to be BUUKAAR WAARUUNG?


There’s a story, told over generations by the Kirrae Whurrung


Once upon a time, local indigenous peoples pursued a giant bunyip across the landscape. Now, bunyips are very large, and as it fled, the massive creature made a gouge in the narrow ridge, the ‘middle lip’, between the volcanic craters of Lake Gnotuk and Lake Bullen Merri, hence referred to as ‘buukaar waaruung’ in the local language


In recognition and respect to the cultural origins of the name of the place where the bees now buzz, the name BUUKAAR WAARUUNG was chosen as the name for the Apiary.


The Kirrae Whurrung were established across a wide area of the Western District before explorers and new arrivals came in the early nineteenth century to begin living and working on the land in the ways they had done from their home countries.


Tribespeople of the Kirrae Whurrung encompassed traditional lands from Camperdown in the east, to Warrnambool in the west, and from the coast at Princetown in the south, to Lake Bolac and Darlington inland to the north. They lived in a landscape shaped by recent volcanic eruptions, and abundant with native flora and fauna to sustain their way of life.


It is a small recollection of the past, in the name BUUKAAR WAARUUNG, that reflects a long-standing and long-lost connection to ancient culture, custom and story. I want to share the story behind the name to continue the connection to land and to country in the hearts and minds of contemporary Australia, through tiny but mighty creatures, bees.