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Rock of ages in state?s southwest

Called Wurdi Youang, it is Geelong?s answer to Stonehenge, the infamous stone circle dated back to 2500 BC.

Wurdi Youang is said to be older and is an astronomical marker with two straight sides that point to the sunrise on the shortest and longest days of the year. The site has 95 blocks of basalt still in alignment, with the tallest up to a metre high, with an estimated total mass of 23 tonnes. Another site at a quarry also near the You Yangs has been carbon dated to about 12,500 years ago.

Wurdi Youang is attracting tour operators who want to include it in their itineraries. The site is on Wathaurong Co-operative land and Wathaurong?s cultural officer Reg Abraham is mapping out a tourism plan for the site.

“We’re getting a report done and gathering all the information so we can tell the story,” Abraham said. “There?s a Japanese broadcasting unit wanting to come and film it. So we are currently making visitor management plans and we’re doing all sorts of things because we’re sort of behind the eight-ball if tourism does come.”

English tour guide Armyn Hennessy wants to include Wurdi Youang in her tour commentary. She already conducts tours of Stonehenge in the UK.

Geelong Otway Tourism chief Roger Grant said the potential for tourism was exciting. ?At this stage, before it can be presented to the public, I think it just needs a huge amount of research,” he said.

Grant said he was really keen to work with the Wathaurong group to support that research, particularly a probe on what it was used for and how old it was.

Source: The Geelong Advertiser

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