The town of Heywood services a wide area, and has a bustling town centre, complete with lovely streetscaping and an abundance of rose bushes. Part way between Portland and Casterton on the Princes Highway, Heywood is a place of significant cultural importance, and is also home to the popular Wood, Wine and Roses Festival.Surrounding Heywood is the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape, where for thousands of years Gunditjmara people engineering and constructed an extensive aquaculture system along the Mt Eccles/Tyrendarra Lava flows and wetlands. The area shows evidence of a large, settled (not nomadic) Aboriginal community systematically farming eels for food and trade in what is considered to be one of Australia’s earliest and largest aquaculture ventures. Today the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation and Budj Bim Tours of Heywood help organise tours of the area to explore the remains of stone house sites and eel traps, as well as highlighting the Aboriginal culture and their way of life. Be sure to pack a picnic when you visit Heywood – the region offers some of the Discovery Coast’s best bushland and picnic settings. Surry Ridge Picnic Area, situated off the Cut Out Dam Road in the Cobboboonee State Forest, or the picnic area beside the Fitzroy River in Heywood are good spots for a home-packed meal.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.