The Jacksons Creek Valley that runs through the park was part of the lands occupied by the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung people. The creek formed part of the boundary between two clan estates, Marin-Balluk and Wurundjeri-Willam. Archaeological surveys undertaken in the park have located Wurundjeri campsites and isolated artefacts, such as the stone artefacts pictured.
Research some of the plants that would have been utilised by Wurundjeri peoples. Identify how many you can find when you visit the park.
The open grassy nature of the Keilor Plains made it instantly suitable for grazing. As such, Europeans displaced the Wurundjeri peoples from their traditional lands and settled in the area after European colonisation of Victoria.
The initial land for the Organ Pipes National Park was donated to the Government. There are remnants of the Park’s former life as a farm, but unfortunately none of these are readily accessible to the public. The remains of a stone house built in the 1850s can be seen from the lower lookout tower below the Visitor Centre.
Draw a picture of the house, recreating how it might have looked in the 1850's. Write a story what your life may have been like if you lived in that house.
Various families farmed the Organ Pipes area until it became a national park in 1972. Farming practices have changed significantly in the time the area has been settled, but neighbouring landholders still face problems with noxious weeds and other modern impacts such as Melbourne Airport, the Calder Park Thunderdome, suburban sprawl and roaming domestic animals.
Explain how each of the problems listed above may adversely affect the park.
Rocks, as well as plants and animals, are protected in national parks and cannot be collected without a written permit. Remember that rocks and minerals similar to those present within the Park can be found almost anywhere on the huge lava plain northwest of Melbourne. Look for different colours and textures of soil in different places within the Park – at the carpark, along the track, near Jacksons Creek.