Learn How to Tan Eel Skins @ Lake Bolac Eel Festival

Learn How to Tan Eel Skins @ Lake Bolac Eel Festival


March 23rd - 25th @ Lake Bolac, Victoria

Come join us at the 12th Lake Bolac Eel festival!! - Bring your swag, camper, tent and loved ones for a weekend of connection and celebration.

We'll have the Tiny Tannery there and all the tools for young and old to have a go at tanning an eel skin into leather (More specific times and details to be announced at the event).

Kuyang Laparika (plenty eels)
is proud to announce its 2018 theme - 
"Care for Country - Care for Community"

A theme that rings very strongly to our vision and practices at The Bush Tannery.


A little bit about the event:

Our grass roots festival is one of regional Victoria's most respected significant festivals of Indigenous culture, awesome original Music, engaging and informative Workshops and forums, inspiring Films , an affordable Art auction , plus international food and artisan stalls. engaging Activities for Kids and big kids. 

More beautiful events announced on our website - and what is an eel festival anyway at www.eelfestival.org.au

This is an amazing value festival (kids 16 and under free)

- Come camp lake side and reconnect to the land and water as we gather for this truly meaningful and unique event. 

Lake Bolac March 23 to 25, 2018
Please go to our website for program details and to purchase Tickets www.eelfestival.org.au - 
Early eel prices until end on JAN 31st!


See you there!



Book Now
2018 Eel Fest Poster.jpg

Our Aims/Objectives

The Festival is held in the autumn in late March or early April, the timing reflecting the season when the eels traditionally begin their migration to the sea to spawn and when indigenous people from surrounding areas gathered around the lake and along the Salt Creek to harvest the eels, trade and hold ceremonies.

From 2005 to 2014 the festival was held annually and since 2016 bi-annually.

It is a relaxed and friendly festival offering plenty to engage all ages – truly multi-generational. We also offer some great events throughout the year which we hope to welcome you to.


We aim to:

  • Provide an inclusive, low cost event with artistic and cultural content that will enrich the life of this rural community;
  • Promote the Festival as a significant gathering place for people who care for the environment and respect Aboriginal cultural heritage;
  • Foster reconciliation and mutual respect and understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples;
  • Promote the restoration of Lake Bolac and surrounding waterways to a state that is ecologically sustainable for the flora and fauna dependent on it; and
  • Promote ecologically sustainable rural practice

Our Story

Plenty Eels

“Lake Buloke is the most celebrated place in the Western District for the fine quality and abundance of its eels, and, when the Autumn rains induce these fish to leave the lake and to go down the river to the sea, the Aborigines gather there from great distances”.



The Beginning

”For more than a decade I’d nursed the idea of walking with aboriginal people back into country they’d been removed from. As a small boy my grandfather had shown me axe heads and grindstones he’d picked up in the paddocks of his farm. He’d explained to me that they were stone tools that belonged to people who’d lived there before. I’d asked him where those people were. He said they’d all gone, but he thought they’d gone down Framlingham way. (Framlingham was an aboriginal reserve established in 1865 near Warrnambool) Even as a boy I sensed something important was missing.   …  ’