Narbethong Bushfire MemorialPrint Page Print this page

The memorial commemorates the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 and remembers the 173 lives lost. 

The circular memorial, nestled in the bushland of the Narbethong Forest Reserve, is surrounded by four large seating rocks. At its centre stands a stone cairn made of 173 locally sourced rocks - each rock represents a life lost in the 2009 bushfires. Four of these rocks are distinct, each representing a life lost from the Narbethong community.  A viewing portal in the shape of an unfurling fern frond features text provided by the community. The fern frond image is also sandblasted into the concrete base of the memorial.

According to eyewitnesses, the Murrindindi Mill fire started at 2:55 pm,while Victoria Police twice told the Royal Commission that it commenced at "about 2.30 pm". It burned southeast across the Black Range, parallel to the Kilmore fire, towards Narbethong. Experienced Air Attack Coordinator Shaun Lawlor reported flame heights of "at least 100 metres" as the fire traversed the Black Range. At Narbethong, it destroyed 95 per cent of the town's houses. When the southerly change struck, it swept towards the town of Marysville. 

Investigators initially believed that the cause of the fire that originated near the Murrundindi Mill and swept through Narbethong and Marysville was arson, with several suspects investigated. On 1 April 2009, Victoria Police reaffirmed their view that the cause was arson. However, in June 2011, Victoria Police announced that they now believed the cause of the fire was not arson.


Address:618 Maroondah Highway, Narbethong Recreation Reserve, Narbethong, 3778
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.549941
Long: 145.660643
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:07-February-2009
Monument Manufacturer:Fineblade Pty Ltd
Link: http://www.rdv.vic.gov.au


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2018
Front Inscription
Narbethong Bushfire Memorial
In February 2009, vast areas of country Victoria were devastated by catastrophic bushfires resulting in Australia's highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. This became known as Black Saturday.
The Murrindindi Fire reached Narbethong at 4.30pm on 7 February, 2009, causing devastation and resulting in the loss of four precious lives. This memorial is dedicated to those who lost their lives, and to the community of Narbethong whose spirit was not destroyed in the aftermath of the fire.
The perimeter of the memorial site consists of four large locally sourced seating rocks honouring those lost in the fire. The centre piece of the memorial is comprised of three elements: the unfurling fern frond motif which wraps around a stone cairn and a viewing portal to the rear.
May those who passed continue to inspire everyone to enter each day with a generous heart full of love and courage.

Text on Fern Sculpture:
Beyond flames, and the darkest days, find peace in Natures green embrace
Source: MA,RDV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au