The Looking Glass Trail
Open your eyes, ears and mind to the Indigenous history of the Yarra Valley region on the Looking Glass Trail, a self-guided itinerary inspired by Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce.
Tune in to a playlist curated by Looking Glass artists Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce; visit an art project on the banks of the Birrarung (Yarra River) in Healesville and take a virtual visit to Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, one of Australia’s most significant sites.
While you walk under towering manna gums and breathe in the minty aroma of the Coranderrk bush (Victorian Christmas bush), the Looking Glass Trail invites you to pause and consider the enduring, familial relationship that First Nations people have with Country, and the powerful messages expressed in the artworks of Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce.
This trail is self-guided; head below to craft your own itinerary.
Take the Looking Glass Trail
As you make your way through Wurundjeri Country and across the spectacular mountain ranges of the Yarra Valley, listen to a music playlist created by Looking Glass artists Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce, featuring some of their favourite driving music—an eclectic mix of tracks by contemporary Aboriginal artists, plus soul, blues and electronica.
Your first stop is TarraWarra Museum of Art to visit Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce. At its heart, Looking Glass is simultaneously a love song and a lament for Country from Waanyi artist Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce from the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. Ticket bookings recommended here.
Look closer at Looking Glass with a free, in-Museum activity sheet, available from the front desk.
Once you’ve seen the exhibition, take some time to consider the hidden histories of the Museum and its grounds. For tens of thousands of years, the Wurundjeri people have occupied and cared for the lands and waters on which the Museum is located, passing down to each generation their ancestral stories, cultural protocols, custodial ethics and acute and intimate knowledge of natural rhythms—the movement of the stars, changes in the weather and the life cycles of plants and animals.
Your second stop is Everard Park Picnic Area, Maroondah Highway, Healesville to experience untitled (seven monuments), an art project by Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin (Wurundjeri), Jonathan Jones (Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi) and Tom Nicholson (Celtic-Australian).
Here, on the banks of the Birrarung (Yarra River), some 100m from the gate and adjacent to a majestic manna gum tree, you will find one of seven monuments that mark the historical boundary of Coranderrk Aboriginal Station.
untitled (seven monuments) invites you to learn about Coranderrk’s extraordinary history, and to traverse Wurundjeri Country. While on Country take your time to enjoy the queep-queep (birds) and the animals, the views and the stories. When visiting the artwork please take some time to look after the monuments by clearing any weeds and watering the Coranderrk bush that surrounds each marker.
Let’s investigate the soaring trees, bushes and flowers of the area. The Wurundjeri people have used some of these local plants as food or medicine, and for tool and fibre making, for thousands of years. See how many different kinds of flora you can spot as you wander around Everard Park. Remember not to collect or damage any of these important native plants, which play a vital role in the ecological network of this bioregion.
If time permits, you can visit some of the other monuments that form untitled (seven monuments) in Healesville and its surrounds.
Your last stop is a virtual one, as we take you inside the present day Coranderrk Aboriginal Station in Healesville, which continues to be an important living place for Wurundjeri and for the wider Aboriginal community.
This video tour led by Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Dave Wandin takes you behind the scenes to learn about the work that Wandoon Estate Aboriginal Corporation has undertaken at Coranderrk Aboriginal Station and beyond, building on the legacy of their ancestors by strengthening and implementing knowledge of Aboriginal culture and land management.
Learn more by visiting coranderrk.com. Please note that Coranderrk Aboriginal Station is not open to the public except for special events.