Tarra Festival 2017 - The Dreaming

Since 1972

Now in its 45th year, the only other festivals in Regional Victoria who can boast a longer history are the Bendigo Easter Festival, Ballarat Bergonia & Beers by the Bay on the Mornington Peninsula.


For a population of only 5100 in the greater Yarram area, the Tarra Festival attracted est 10,000 people to the Street parade on Saturday and over 18,000 spectators to events in total. This is a spectacular result compared even to high profile regional events such as the Bendigo Easter Festival.

Community Support

Each year, the local community invests some 2000 volunteer hours into creating and running the Tarra Festival.

Community Fundraising

The Tarra Festival is a major fundraising vehicle for community groups in the area.  Last year it helped raise in excess of $50,000 for community groups which was they then invested back into the community.

Not just a Street Parade

Over 50 events across 7 days


Street Parade

From Horses & Carriages to Tanks, from Penny Farthings to Vintage Cars, School Floats, Clowns, bands & biplanes, you’ll find the whole of the local area and what it loves represented at the parade.  The whole of the main street is packed with people and the procession takes up to an hour.


Art Shows

The Tarra Festival is not only the home of the popular “Rotary Art Show” but it also features exhibitions from a range of local galleries, the Historical Society, Family History & Genealogy Groups.


3 Markets

The Tarra Festival features the Yarram Market at the top of the main street on Saturday morning, the Sunday market at Port Albert and the massive Monday Monster Market at the Yarram Showgrounds.



After the Street Parade, people move to the Recreation Reserve for whole range of fun family activities hosted by the Lions Club. Petting Zoos, Pony Rides, Venomwise Snakes, Tug-o-war, bouncing castles, Monster Easter Egg Hunt and more. A great time for the family.


Sports of all Kinds

Football & Netball Games, Golf, Tennis & Bowls Tournaments, Come & Try Yachting and heaps of other sporting activities over the entire festival.


Vintage Cars

Vintage Cars & Trucks not only feature in the Tarra Festival parade but also in a special “drive/rally” from Yarram to Port Albert on Sunday.


Really Living Expo

At the Yarram Recreation Reserve Pavillion on Monday, the Really Living Expo focuses on sustainability, natural therapies and enjoying life in harmony with the environment.  There are stalls, practitioners, workshops, talks, concerts and great food.


Pancakes in the Park

A mainstay of the Tarra Festival on Sunday morning is Pancakes in the Park, run by the Red Cross.  A great opportunity to tuck into Pancakes or Bacon & Eggs before you head off to church or to other Tarra Festival events.


Interactive Demonstrations

On Saturday afternoon at the Recreation Reserve you can participate in Interactive Demonstrations by a range of local community groups such as CFA, SES, Historical Society, Mens Shed, Family History & Genealogy, Dancing groups etc


Author's Talks

Each year the Wellington Shire Library hosts a free reading and talk with a leading author, accompanied by free nibbles.


Face Painting, Balloons etc

At a whole range of events across the Tarra Festival, you will find free Face Painting, Balloons, Temporary Tattoes, bubbles and other fun carnival style entertainment.  Saturday morning before the parade has a massive range of free entertainment for the whole family, in particular.


Easter Egg Hunts

Last year we distributed over 7200 easter eggs throughout the Tarra Festival in a series of Easter Egg Hunts and other handouts.


Easter Hat Parade

Woolworths host an Easter Hat Parade on Saturday afternoon with prizes for all entrants.



The Tarra Festival features a range of bands, concerts and dances.  From heaps of bands on the street prior to the street parade to the Under 13 dance at Port Albert, concerts and drumming circles at the Really Living Expo, Social Dancing, Rock & Roll Dancing – there’s something for everyone.

2017 THEME

What is "The Dreaming"?

Dreaming stories pass on important knowledge, cultural values and belief systems to later generations. Through song, dance, painting and storytelling which express the dreaming stories, Indigenous Australians have maintained a link with the Dreaming from ancient times to today, creating a rich cultural heritage. In most stories of the Dreaming, the Ancestor Spirits came to the earth in human form and as they moved through the land, they created the animals, plants, rocks and other forms of the land that we know today. They also created the relationships between groups and individuals to the land, the animals and other people.

Once the ancestor spirits had created the world, they changed into trees, the stars, rocks, watering holes or other objects. These are the sacred places of Indigenous Australian culture and have special properties. Because the ancestors did not disappear at the end of the Dreaming, but remained in these sacred sites, the Dreaming is never-ending, linking the past and the present, the people and the land.

Interpreting the Theme

When you’re interpreting the theme for the Tarra Festival this year, you’re not, by any means, restricted to the Gunaikurnai dreaming stories, though it would be terrific if you did reflect the traditional land owners.

Its important to be respectful of the traditional land owners in this area but you are free to interpret the theme as you wish.  For instance you could consider what “The Dreaming” actually means to indigenous people – its about moving from a dream to reality or material form and as such the process of creation, and about the passing on of moral and cultural values. Not only historically but “everywhen” as the Dreaming is timeless.  This idea exists within most spiritual and religious groups, indeed it exists within in each person as we move from our dreams to creating those as a reality guided by the values taught to us.  So you could look at that the Dreaming from a gunaikurnai perspective, a more generalised indigenous perspective or even your own perspective.

The Port Albert Frog & The White Rock

Of Tidelek and Borun

Long time ago there lived this Giant Frog, whose name was Tidelek.

One day Tidelek was sick because he drank up all this water in the land.

The next day Tidelek felt a bit better but was feeling sad, for what he had done.

That day, Tidelek was walking along the shores of Port Albert thinking how he was going to release this water back into the bay.

A mob of Gunaikurnai people and animals saw him slowly walking in the bay. They wander over to him and they asked him what was wrong. Tidelek said “I am still sick from drinking up all the water, can you help me free it”.

The Gunaikurnai and animals put their heads together to think of what to do? They all agreed to do something funny! The Kangaroo went first and did a funny dance; everybody laughed except Tidelek.

A Gunaikurnai man went second and told a funny story; everybody continued to laugh except for Tidelek. The Eel went third and got up on his tail to wriggle; Tidelek thought the wriggle looked funny and began to laugh, he laughed so hard all the water came flooding out of his eyes and mouth creating this flood of water that went back into the bays. Many Kurnai/Gunai and Animals drowned that were caught in the flood; some were stuck on marooned forming islands. Borun was a Gunaikurnai leader and a magic man who had the totem of a black pelican.

Borun went out to rescue the others and left his wife till last; when he returned she was gone; she left her possum skin cloak sitting on a log and standing up looking like it was her waiting for him. To avenge the death of his wife; Borun painted himself up with pipeclay and changed back to a pelican to fly off; he was frozen to stone as it was against traditional law for any animals to have traditional markings. Now all the pelicans carry the white markings of the pipeclay which as made them now the colour of black and white. Borun now sits as a white rock in the catchments of Port Albert.

Listen to the story of Tiddalik

by Copyright Lydia Fucsko. Recorded by Lydia Fucsko. Spoken by Lydia Fucsko.

Who are the traditional land owners?

Gunaikurnai people are the Traditional Owners of Gippsland. There are approximately 3,000 Gunaikurnai people, and their territory includes the coastal and inland areas to the southern slopes of the Victorian Alps. Gunaikurnai people are made up of five major clans, with the clan occupying the area around Yarram & Port Albert being the Brataualung.

The Story of the Southern Cross

Narran the moon was a mighty warrior and a fearless hunter. One day, after travelling a long way, he couldn’t find any food at all. At last he saw Ngooran (the emu) on the other side of a wide creek, but the water was very deep and he could not get across. Narran thought he could cross over the creek on a log, but Brewin, a mischievous spirit, was hiding nearby. As Narran reached the deepest part of the water, Brewin upset the log and Narran fell off it into the water and drowned. Narran’s spirit went to the sky where he is now the moon. Ngooran also went to the sky and is now the Southern Cross. Narran still hunts through the sky trying to catch Ngooran.

Nrung-a Nargune

Nargune was a cave-dweller who lived in the valley of what is now the Mitchell River. He had many caves, and should an Aboriginal go near him, he was pulled into the cave and never seen again. If he threw a spear munga Nargune, Nargune returned it, always wounding the black fellow. He cannot be killed!
Another cave he had was munga Lake Tyers; and no black fellow would dare to go near it. An Aboriginal woman once had a fight with him near this cave, but she disappeared, so no-one knows how the fight ended.
Nargune was like a rock; all stone except for his chest, arms and hands and no one knew what these were made of. He was always on the look out for black fellows in Gippsland and they were frightened of him.

Translated by Hollie Johnson for Arts Victoria

Nrung-a Nargune

Long ago there was a great fight between the men and women of the Gunaikurnai. The men had killed a Djeetgun, a small bird that was sister to the women. In revenge, the women killed a Yeerung, another small bird, that was brother to the men. This caused a great fight among the women and men. After the quarrel they began courting one another, they then agreed to marry, so uniting Yeerung and Djeetgun. Ever since then, the Gunaikurnai men have had to fight for their wives.

All Gunaikurnai men are of one order, the Yeerung the Superb Warbler or Superb Wren. All Gunaikurnai women are Djeetgun, the Southern Emu Wren.



Anyone can join the Parade on Saturday morning.  All you have to do is fill out an entry form (online, mail it in or bring it on the day), show up in the Marshalling area which is in front of the Hospital by 10am and you’re in. ENTER THE PARADE


The Rotary Tarra Festival Art Show is a predominantly realist Art Show with sections also for miniatures, students works & photography. It is held at the Regent Theatre in the centre of the town & attracts well over 2,000 viewers each year. MORE INFORMATION


Opportunities exist for commercial vendors at the Markets (Sat, Sun & Mon) as well as at individual Tarra Festival events. The main street (road closure area) during the Street Parade is restricted to Non-Commercial Community Group Vendors and, of course, the shops normally in that area.  MORE INFORMATION


The Tarra Festival has a wide variety of events run by Community Groups, Sporting clubs, Traders and other entities over the Easter period. Any event taking place over Easter, within our area, can be a part of the Tarra Festival and be promoted as part of the Festival. MORE INFORMATION


The Tarra Festival is supported by sponsorship from the Wellington Shire, local businesses & groups and businesses operating in the area in some way. We also occasionally receive State & Federal Government grants for specific projects. To support the Tarra Festival CLICK HERE FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT FLYER


If you are coming to the area for the Tarra Festival there are some great places to stay and other things to see why you’re here. CHECK OUT SOME OF THE OPTIONS.


Get in touch.

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Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.


The Tarra Festival is managed by the Tarra Festival Committee who have a threefold charter:

  1. To ensure the local community has a terrific time at the Tarra Festival and that it builds a strong sense of community and a feeling of inclusion,
  2. That the fundraising efforts of local community groups are supported and enhanced through the Tarra Festival and the actions of the Tarra Festival Committee,
  3. That income to the area is increased through the attraction of tourists during the Tarra Festival, through awareness of the Festival and by encouraging return visits to the greater Yarram area at other times of the year.

© 2017 Tarra Festival Committee Ltd


2017 Tarra Festival - Easter in Yarram
Yarram Tarra Festival Committee, 292 Commercial Rd,Yarram,Victoria-3971
Starting on
April 13, 2017
Ending on
April 18, 2017
Offer Price
AUD free