Tarra Valley

History of Tarra Valley
- In 1903, the Alberton Shire Council asked the State Government to reserve an area of the forest with fern gullies near Balook as a public park. Twenty hectares were reserved and given the aboriginal name Bulga, meaning 'mountain'. Six years later, an area of 303 hectares in the Tarra Valley was temporarily reserved, though the eventual park was only 40 hectares in size. This park and the Tarra River were named after Charlie Tarra, an Aborigine who guided Strzelecki and his party through Gippsland in 1840.

South Gippsland - Land of the Lyrebird
- Until less than 100 years ago, most of South Gippsland was one vast forest, mainly consisting of Mountain Ash and other eucalypts.

- From the 1870s selectors began taking up land in the western Strzelecki Ranges around Korumburra and Leongatha.

- After 20 years of clearing and burning, this area became a successful and prosperous dairy-farming district, leaving only a few scattered areas of forest.

- The story was different in the eastern Strzelecki Ranges, where slopes are steeper and the land higher and more rugged. This area was opened for selection in the 1890's, and settlers' cottages soon dotted the ridges. Farmers had to contend with short milking seasons, cold winters, noxious weeds, thick scrub and extreme transport difficulties.

- As younger men went away to the First World War, the farms became neglected and many were abandoned. By 1930 about 60,000 hectares of land had been abandoned and a further 64,000 hectares were in a neglected condition. For this sorry situation, one of Victoria's great forests had been destroyed.

- Tarra-Bulga is a national park in eastern Victoria, Australia, 220 km from Melbourne in the Strzelecki Ranges. It is home to one of the last remnants of the indigenous eucalypt forests which once covered the region.

- The area was first set aside as Bulga National Park in 1904. It comprised only 20 hectares. In 1909 Tarra Valley National Park was designated nearby. Over the years the two parks were gradually enlarged and then merged under the current name in 1986.

The 'Tarra Bulga National Park' Today
- The deeply-incised river valleys of the park are dominated by wet sclerophyll tall open forest of mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans), with an understorey of blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), hazel pomaderris (Pomaderris aspera) and tree ferns (Dicksonia antarctica and Cyathea australis).

- Pockets of the park feature cool temperate rainforest, including Myrtle Beech Nothofagus cunninghamii.

- The ridges are dominated by open forest and low open forest of peppermint eucalypts and gums.

- The tourist attractions include a large suspension bridge walk over the valley and many bushwalking tracks, and now provides visitors with an excellent example of the sort of forests which were once widespread in the area.

*Information on the history of Tarra Valley and the Tarra Bulga National Park was gathered from the 'Friends of the Tarra Bulga National Park' website.

Quick facts about Tarra Valley
- Population approximately
- 220 kilometres south-east of Melbourne
- Tarra Bulga National Park

Tarra Valley - Activities and attractions
- Tarra Bulga National Park
- Cyathea Falls
- Caca-oh Chocolate School
- Tom's Cap Vineyard

How to get to Tarra Valley
Tarra Valley is approximately 170km from Melbourne via the South Gippsland Highway.

Tarra Valley Eco & Tourism Association Inc

Address:1885 Grand Ridge Road, Balook VIC
-38.47076146.567702