Back to Nature: Sept 14

Aaron & Holly head to Cape Otway National Park this week on ABC.

This week on Back to Nature, Aaron Pedersen and Holly Ringland are in Otways-Gadubanud country, kayaking with Missy Higgins, and meeting Wathaurung man Barry Gilson.

Nestled between the ocean and the Otway Range is the lush rainforest of the Cape Otway National Park, Gadubanud country. Here we contemplate the way that nature can heal us. We visit Hopetoun Falls, and Aaron tells Holly this is Grandmother Tree Fern Country.

Just north is an inland lake where Aaron and Holly meet beloved singer-songwriter Missy Higgins. They kayak together, and Missy shares how nature gives her perspective. Among the manna gums at Bangerak-Cape Otway, Aaron and Holly encounter a mother and baby koala. Then they head towards the ocean, to the oldest lighthouse on mainland Australia.

The lighthouse’s construction began in 1846, to help migrants navigate the perilous ‘shipwreck coast.’ But that same year, at this place, an organised killing of Gadubanud people took place.

Over the Otway Ranges we come to the You Yangs, Wathaurong country: a contrast to the southern side of the ranges, this is one of the driest landscapes in Victoria. Wathaurong man Barry James Gilson welcomes Aaron and Holly to granite country. This land is part of an ancient songline. He shows us the peak from where his ancestor first saw white invaders arrive.

As the sun sets, Barry paints his skin with ochre, and sings to the creation ancestor Looern.

8pm Tuesday on ABC.

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