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S W A N H I L L • L A K E B O G A • U L T I M A • N YA H N YA H W E S T • M U R R AY D O W N S • P I A N G I L

Swan Hill Region heart of the murray w w w. s w a n h i l l o n l i n e . c o m






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Self drive tours Swan Hill Rural District Drive Swan Hill City Tour Lake Boga District Drive Nyah/Nyah West Region Drive

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Walking tours ‘The River’ Walk ‘Now and Then’ Historical Walk

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For further information please contact: Swan Hill Region Information Centre Cnr McCrae & Curlewis Streets, Swan Hill Vic 3585 Phone: (03) 5032 3033 Fax: (03) 5032 3032 Freecall: 1800 625 373 Email: Web: Swan Hill Incorporated does not warrant that the advice contained herein is accurate, reliable, complete or up to date, and, to the fullest extent permitted by law, disclaims all liability of Swan Hill Incorporated and its Associates for any loss or damage suffered by any person by reason of the use by that person of, or their reliance on, any information contained in this pamphlet/brochure/website or any error or defect in on this pamphlet/brochure/website, whether arising from the negligence of Swan Hill Incorporated or its Associates or otherwise. Printed & Produced by Swan Hill Incorporated in 2010. 2

Early pioneering mode of transport. Note the use of a cow and horse. Photo courtesy Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement.

of sales and the wine market being significantly smaller than it is today, the winery closed, leaving many locals with worthless shares in the business. A peaceful bush reserve is located further along Woorinen Road on your right.

and few had any experience on the land. Blocks were manually cleared and planted up to one acre at a time as the farmer could afford it. Previously known as Harvey's Tank, the Parish of Woorinen was renamed in 1914. Retrace your steps and turn left into Lake Road.

Continue along Woorinen Road and you will pass Sonre Farm and La Mangia CafĂŠ (2) a small scale almond, olive and pistachio farm, with tours available. Closer settlement started in the Woorinen District prior to the First World War, mainly for dried fruit production. Upon the return of thousands of young soldiers from the war in 1919, Woorinen was part of the soldier settlement scheme and much of the land was purchased as a repatriation project. After blocks were allocated, several diggers cycled from Mildura to claim their land, leaving the women to follow by riverboat. These settlers previously came from all walks of life

Rural District Drive.

...settlers previously came from all walks of life and few had any experience on the land.


This drive winds through the heart of the Woorinen stonefruit, vegetable and vine plantations. A highlight during late winter and early spring is the blossoming of thousands of stonefruit trees. Summer means a start to the picking season promising plenty of activity along the route.

Length of tour 44km

Head west on McCallum Street for 1.8kms. McCallum Street was named in honour of heroine Jesse McCallum who, after swimming her horse across the river to tend to a seriously ill shepherd, contracted pneumonia and died 12 days later. Filtration Plant and Tower (1) in the map on page 5. The ground level tanks are storage basins each with a capacity of four megalitres. They are extra storage in the event of an emergency, and are filled each night. The brick building is a pump station used to transfer water back into the system to maintain pressures in the western side of Swan Hill during times of high demand. They also deliver water to Woorinen South and Nyah/Nyah West. The elevated tower stands 36 metres, holds 150 kilolitres of water, and acts as a head to pump against during high demand periods and then to maintain water pressure when the pumps are not required. This area is home to the region’s newest residential estate called Tower Hill. A feature of the estate is the man made Steggal Lake. 4

Team of 18 Bullocks and 180 bags of wheat. Photo courtesy Brett Freeman Private Collection.


Scrub Cutters Camp - not dated. Photo courtesy Frank Tucker Collection.

To detour and visit the town of Woorinen South, follow Woorinen Road left for 3kms, just after you cross the railway line. As you come into the town note the second shed on your left. Originally a packing shed for dried fruit, the shed was later used as the Fairfield Winery, a venture co-operatively owned by local farmers. Due to lack

Woorinen Fruit-growers Co-op. Photo courtesy Dunoon-Mitchell Collection.

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Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Rural District Drive

Rural District Drive

From Lake Road you can view Lake Woorinen, one of the Woorinen Drainage Lakes (3). Horticulture has always been an important industry for this area, but irrigation causes the underground water table to rise, affecting the production of crops. To help solve this problem, a drainage system was built 1.5 metres below ground level. These systems picked up the rising ground water and the saline drainage water and diverted it to the drainage lakes for evaporation. Drainage channels were originally dug by unemployed people of all professions in the 1930’s. Workers lived in tents and had kerosene lights and open fires to cook on and were paid by sustenance payments (much like the dole today). An old myth suggests that many years ago, when the lake dried up in summer, a local farmer driving his dray through the centre was supposedly swallowed by quicksand along with his bullock team. You may often see black swans and pelicans on the lakes. Church Road originally had three churches Methodist, Presbyterian and Holy Innocent's (Church of England). The Holy Innocent's church was built in about 1927 and took 100 days of community labour to complete.

Many of the roads in the area are named after original settlers. For example Byrnes Road is named after one of the most distinguished residents of the area, Sir Percy Byrnes. He owned a vineyard at Woorinen and worked actively for many years to advance the industry. He was a member of local Council and enjoyed a long career in Parliament.

Detour left along Chillingollah Road for 17kms to the Pheasant Farm. Tours are offered through the Breeding Sheds and Aviaries. Please call the farm for opening times on 03 5030 2648. Retrace your steps back to North-South Road and turn left.

entertainment and meals, 18 hole mini golf, 9 hole golf course, picturesque river walk and plenty of fishing and camping spots. If you decided to detour, retrace your steps and continue south on B400. Take in the many Cellar Doors along the Murray Valley Highway that make up the Golden Mile Wine Trail. Alternatively, you may choose to leave the drive at Tooleybuc, head back to Swan Hill via Koraleigh, follow the signs and take the Speewa Ferry across the Murray River to Swan Hill.

Stone Fruit Packing Shed (5) (access from the public not permitted). Swan Hill contains the largest concentration of fresh summer stone fruit in Australia. With 20% of the national production of fresh stone fruits: nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots, Swan Hill's crop is worth $50 million. Swan Hill's fresh stone fruit is increasingly being found in markets throughout the world. The climatic conditions in Swan Hill allow growers to produce nectarines that are sweeter and more highly coloured compared with other regions in Australia. Centralised packaging facilities such as this one, are allowing the area to fulfill domestic and export market orders needing more consistent lines of quality fruit. For further information refer to Lake Boga District Drive (51).

The Woorinen RSL Hall (4) was built in 1926 with voluntary labour by return soldiers to be used as a meeting place. Around the 1930-40’s Diggers Balls were held each year and were a big social event for residents. No alcohol was allowed at the Ball, however the Claret Cup (punch bowl) was inevitably spiked by the end of the night. There are plenty of stories about the goings-on at the Diggers Ball. Some of the young men would escape outside and paint spots or other markings on a horse, so that at the end of the night, when he had too much to drink, the owner wasn't able to recognise his trusty steed. Another story suggests that these troublemakers would unhitch the horse from the cart, place the horse on one side of the fence and cart on the other and hitch it up again. When the drunken owner climbed aboard to head home, he was unable to discover why his cart could not move.

Tyntynder Homestead (8) is one of the first brick veneer homesteads in Australia with links to several famous explorers and bushrangers. Guided tours take in many of the original furnishings and a display of Aboriginal artefacts on the property. Open by appointment. Buller Wines (9) was established in 1952 at Beverford, 31 years after the family established their first winery at Rutherglen. Two production districts allow the winery to produce a more comprehensive range of wines. Open for tastings and sales Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm and Sat 10am - 5pm (12pm - 4pm on Sun during holidays only).

You will cross the Channel System (6) on Byrnes Road and North-South Road. The Woorinen irrigation channels were originally dug by hand around 1920 by settlers. Later the channels were concreted to save repairs to the banks and these repaired channels delivered water to the farms.

The climatic conditions in Swan Hill allow growers to produce nectarines that are sweeter and more highly coloured. . .

Tyntynder Homestead, 1879. Photo courtesy Swan Hill Rural City Council.

The channels were used until recent times and have been replaced with pipelines to prevent evaporation and leakages. The water wheel or Dethridge Meter is the supply point and measuring device for water used on the farming enterprise.

Picker Family at Woorinen - circa 1935. Photo courtesy Dunoon-Mitchell Collection.

North-South Road follows the old Dog Netting Fenceline. A six foot high fence, it was designed to keep rabbits and dingoes out of the settled areas. It marked the division between irrigated lands, the Mallee and the Wimmera. Detour left at B400 to Nyah/Vinifera State Forest (7) situated on the edge of the Murray River. These natural river red gum forests are accessible by car when dry. It offers picnic areas and camping spots and is full of ancient Aboriginal sites, so take care where you tread. Detour 20kms further north on B400 to Tooleybuc through Nyah and a mixture of vineyards, orchards and river red gums. Tooleybuc is a peaceful town offering a range of activities including club


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Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


witness the challenges and resourcefulness of life in a typical rural township. The PS Pyap, an original working paddleboat, still cruises regularly.

horses that all won or ran a place in two races each! There has been a race meeting in Swan Hill every year since 1856.

The Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery (15), once housed in the PS Gem, offers a wide range of exhibitions.

Swan Hill Race Racecourse - 1928. Photo courtesy Dorothy Price Collection.

You are travelling along Marraboor Street Marraboor is an Aboriginal world for Little Murray. Wattie Street was named in 1942 honouring the Wadi Wadi tribe of Aboriginals who are original residents of the district. Swan Hill Racecourse (16). Racing was the main sport in Swan Hill from the 1850’s onwards. In fact race meetings often lasted for several days and they were always accompanied by great celebrations and hospitality. Horses were often entered in more than one race, for instance in 1894 there were three

Swan Hill Bridge, Water Tower and Customs House early 1900’s. Photo courtesy Muriel Irvin.

City Tour.

Originally navigated by a punt, the river at Swan Hill was finally crossed by a bridge in 1896. River Oaks

This is a self-drive tour around the city of Swan Hill, highlighting some of the most interesting historical points and buildings. You begin at the Swan Hill Region Information Centre, Cnr McCrae and Curlewis Streets.

Balranald 90km


15 ori Payika Ko n Educatio


span was crank-lifted by hand, allowing river traffic to pass underneath.

Detour over the bridge. Continue 4kms out Moulamein Road to the Murray Downs Golf & Country Club. Meals served daily, superb golf and live entertainment are offered. Retrace your steps and turn left into Monash Drive.

The junction of the Murray and the Little Murray or Marraboor River (13) is located inside the caravan park. The Marraboor River is Victorian water and is an anabranch, which means that it begins and finishes in the Murray. Down the hill, you will see the Railway Turntable on your right, which is still used today to rotate steam engines around.

Swan Hill Lift Bridge (11), originally navigated by a punt, the river at Swan Hill was finally crossed by a bridge in 1896. After years of complaints by residents, tenders for the construction of the bridge were advertised in 1895. A tender of 7,234 pounds was accepted, and the casting of the first cylinder for the bridge weighed over 4 tonnes. The middle 8



Riverside Park (12) is a lovely spot to stop and stretch your legs or enjoy a picnic by the river, there are barbeques and picnic tables for you to use. The Sound Shell was built through fundraising efforts of the local Musician’s Club and is utilised during warmer weather for outdoor concerts including Carols by Candlelight.

11 James Belsar Reserve & Skate Park



S Indoor Sport & Recreation Centre

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Palaroo St






King St



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Length of tour 9km

The Pioneer Settlement Museum (14) is Australia’s first outdoor museum opened in 1966, depicting stories of the lives and experiences of settlers to the region between 1830-1930. Rich in faithfully restored buildings and artefacts, visitors can

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Simply follow the map and read about the historical points as you go. With the growth of settlement throughout the district came a need for an increase in the water supply and so the first red brick Water Tower (10) was built in 1883. Water was pumped from the river to the top of the tower by a wood fired steam engine, and the water then flowed by gravitation to surrounding businesses and private residences.

To Tafe & Tower Hill Estate

Ultima 31km Sea Lake 72km

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Ken Harrison Recreation Reserve & Swan Hill Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club

Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray

Library/Genelogical Society

Soccer Oval 500m


City tour Coronation Avenue commemorates the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on May 12, 1937. Swan Hill celebrated in great style, with fete events such as athletics, cycle races, sheep shearing and even parachute jumping! Gray Street was named after John Gray, whose contributions to the settlement of Swan Hill were numerous. He worked to achieve the extension of the railway, a bridge over the Murray, schools and irrigation. He was said to be the life and soul of the ideas meetings held at Paddy Bell’s Commercial Hotel. He also operated the punt for some time and represented Swan Hill in the Victorian Legislative Council.

Murlong Street - an Aboriginal word meaning cattle. Pye Street was named after Thomas Pye who was the first butcher and undertaker in Swan Hill. He and his son Henry Pye were great contributors to the Swan Hill community, and Thomas also claimed that he was the reason Sandhurst Town finally became known as Bendigo (the name of a prize fighter of the time). Swan Hill Secondary College (17). This school was burnt down in 1987. An ‘Out of the Ashes’ campaign was started within the community to rebuild the school and residents were asked to buy a brick in order to raise funds. It was carefully re-built in exactly the same style as the previous school. You can compare how it looks today to the photograph.

Thomas Pye’s Butcher Shop built in 1836. Photo courtesy Arthur Feldtmann Collection.

Swan Hill and District Hospital, Splatt Street. Photo courtesy Arthur Feldtmann Collection.

Swan Hill Football and Cricket Ovals (18). Swan Hill has two home football teams, Swan Hill and Tyntynder.

Henry Foster. Foster was suspended for breaches of duty, promptly disappeared to Melbourne with all the money and was not seen again. The present memorial was erected some years later and the stone was quarried at Pyramid Hill. The water trough nearby was built in 1934 from the estate of Mr George Bills. Mr Bills had a great interest in preventing the suffering of animals, devoting much of his estate to providing these troughs throughout Australia. The trough allows ample room for heavy draught horses in teams. Also provided at the side is a smaller drinking trough for dogs.

The first football and cricket matches were played in the town from around 1890. The Swan Hill Leisure Centre is also located here, built at a cost of $4.3 million, the centre, which features a 25 metre heated pool, was completed in July 2002.

Swan Hill Flour Mill, 1956. Photo courtesy Betty Bone.

Splatt Street was named after William Splatt who joined Robert Campbell in partnership of his station following the death of George Curlewis. Pental Island was originally named Splatt Island. There are a few older homes along this street, with a particularly fine example on the northwest corner of Splatt and McCallum Streets.

Swan Hill High School, 1928. Photo courtesy Dunoon-Mitchell Collection.

The Giant Murray Cod was built in 1991 as a prop for a movie.

The site of Swan Hill’s second Flour Mill (20), and prior to that it was also the site of Swan Hill’s first cemetery. Three people are known to have been buried there, one of them being James Dennis, the Bill & Deakin coach driver who was drowned when his horses bolted into Lake Boga with the coach attached.

In 1902, along with an horrendous drought, came the second red brick water tower. This tower was constructed on the hill at the intersection of McCallum and Splatt Streets.

Campbell Street, not dated. Photo courtesy Brett Freeman Private Collection.

The Giant Murray Cod (21) was built in 1991 as a prop for the movie “Eight Ball”. The fish was the centrepiece of the film, constructed from steel and timber, measuring 15 metres long and 5 metres wide. It was later donated to the community of Swan Hill who fibreglassed the fish and erected it. While greater numbers of large Murray Cod were caught in the past, even today they are still caught with some regularity in the area.

A third concrete tower was constructed in the 1950’s to cater for the needs of residences in Swan Hill’s southwest. The Burke and Wills Tree (19) is one of the largest Moreton Bay Fig Trees in the Southern Hemisphere. It was planted around 150 years ago to commemorate the visit to Swan Hill in 1860 by explorers Burke and Wills. It is still unsure whether the doctor’s wife or Burke himself planted the tree. The tree stands 30 metres high and 44 metres wide with a trunk diameter of 4 metres.

The Railway (22) line was extended from Kerang to Swan Hill and opened in May 1890 with one of the largest banquets ever seen in the town. It was noted that it may well be recorded as the most eventful day ever to take place in the history of Swan Hill and district, as it ensured the future progress of the town.

Near the roundabout, you will see a Memorial and Horse Trough on your right in the median strip. Following the Burke and Wills visit, a town committee collected public monies to erect a memorial. The funds were held by Superintendent 10

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Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Lake Boga Flying Boat Repair Base. 8 Catalina's on the Lake. Circa 1945. Photo courtesy Betty Bone.


Length of tour 3wa5yk) m (one


Lake Boga District Drive.



This drive takes you through the town of Lake Boga, which lies just 15km south of Swan Hill. The drive can be completed in either direction, starting from Swan Hill and heading south or from Ridge Road heading north. The commentary below assumes that you are starting the drive from Swan Hill. Depart Swan Hill heading south on B400 (Murray Valley Highway) for 10km. Detour left off B400 at Castle Donnington for 2.7km to the Little Murray Weir (23), which is an integral part of the Torrumbarry to Swan Hill irrigation supply system. The Little Murray Weir holds up irrigation supply, passing through the Kangaroo Lake system, through 6/7 Channel System and dropping into the Little Murray River at a maintained supply level. The Weir has been modified several times since it was built in the early 1900’s. The latest alteration has been the fitting of two automatic doors, designed to maintain a constant supply level and provide ease of operation in flood control periods. Retrace your route and rejoin the drive at B400. Head south along B400 for 4km. Lake Boga was named in 1836 by explorer Major Thomas Mitchell, after the Bogan Aboriginal clan. Probably one of the most significant events in Lake Boga’s history was the establishment of a R.A.A.F No. 1 Flying Boat Repair Depot in 1942 during 12

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29 PBY-5A Catalina during modifications at Lake Boga, 1944. Photo courtesy Mr. Pete White.

World War II. Six acres of the lake foreshore on the western rim were requisitioned. Extensive buildings and hangars were built to cater for 1500 servicemen and women and it remained fully operational as a Catalina repair and training depot until 1947. West of the township the barracks covered an area of 50 acres, while east of Lake Boga a semi-underground transmitting station and towers were constructed. Lake Boga is part of a large freshwater lake system


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Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Lake Boga District Drive

Lake Boga District Drive

that takes in the Kerang Lakes. It measures approximately 3km in diameter and is a natural lake. For a lovely view of Lake Boga, turn left into Lakeside Drive (24) that continues for several kilometres around the lake before coming to a dead-end, with swimming spots (when lake is full) and camping areas offered. Retrace your steps back around the lake and turn left on Willakool Drive just before you rejoin B400. Flying Boat Museum and Bunker (25). This museum is housed in the original communications centre used during World War II, with a collection of memorabilia and a theatrette showing authentic footage. A Catalina Flying Boat, rebuilt by the local Lions Club is on display. Open 9.30am - 4.00pm daily. There are excellent playground and BBQ facilities located nearby on the foreshore of the lake. The current Yacht Club site (500m on your left) was acquired by the Department of Civil Aviation in 1942 to establish a mesh slipway, part of which still remains today on the lake bed. Extensive dairying on the flats led to the development of the Lake Boga Butter Factory (26) that was located on the highway where the Police Station is today, just south of your turn into Station Street. It was operated by locals until

outside firm Messrs Holdenson and Neilson took over it in 1908. The factory was producing over 20 tonnes of high quality butter per week until it closed in 1933.

Marraboor Street, Lake Boga, circa 1899. Photo courtesy Arthur Feldtmann Collection.

The Commercial Hotel (27) houses a wonderful collection of old photography showing Lake Boga during war years. Lake Boga’s first general store was located on the site where the hotel lounge is now and was called Carr and Blenco. The cellar still remains under the lounge. The southwest corner of Kerang & Marraboor Streets was originally the site of a tea room and fun parlour. The Mechanics Institute Hall was the first hall in the area (even before Swan Hill) and was on the block where the public toilets now stand in Marraboor Street. There was also a ‘Plumpton’ in Lake Boga, which is a track where live rabbits were used for greyhound racing. At the corner of Lalbert Road and Murray Valley Highway turn right and follow the highway past the caravan park to the Steam Engine (28) that was made by Thompsons from Castlemaine and used at Long Lake to pump water to Mallee farms. Follow Cumnock Road for 3km. Just before turning into George Road, ahead on your right you will see a large green shed which is Winter’s Stone Fruit

Packing Shed (29). Large crates of fruit are delivered into the shed. The fruit is tipped into a large washer and the seconds fruit is removed by hand and machine. The remaining fruit is distributed on conveyor belts to workers who pack the fruit into cartons ready for refrigeration and distribution. For further information on the stone fruit industry refer to the Rural District Drive (5).

Lake Boga was named in 1836 by explorer Major Thomas Mitchell, after the Bogan Aboriginal clan. Lake Boga's first hotel built in 1858. Photo courtesy Arthur Feldtmann Collection.

are the supply point and measuring device for water used on the farming enterprise. Around the drive large Vineyards (31) are visible from the road. The ideal combination of Mediterranean climate and good soils enable a diverse range of premium red, white and multipurpose wine grape varieties to be grown within the region. Warm temperatures enable a smooth, even ripening of crops during the summer months, and high amounts of sunshine stimulates good colour and flavour and guards against disease. Over 50,000 tonnes of wine grapes are produced in the Swan Hill region annually, making this region the second largest in Victoria. Follow Ridge Road to rejoin B400 at the end of the drive. Turn left to Swan Hill or right to Bendigo and Melbourne.

At the end of George Road, detour 1km right along Cemetery Road (dirt road) to the Lake Boga Cemetery (30). The Cemetery is still in its original location and seven war graves can still be seen there. Retrace your steps and turn left into Scowns Road then right into Cumnock Road. As you travel along Tresco West Road you can see the vast difference between the irrigated farming areas to the north and the dry-land to the south. Also note the different methods of growing stone fruit, with some trees trellised which helps protect certain varieties of fruit from wind damage and encourages a crop during the first year. You will see several Dethridge Meters along Ridge Road, which 14

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Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


The P.S. Marion at Speewa. Paddlesteamers were an early form of transport from 1853.

Nyah/Nyah West Region Drive. Start from the clock tower, Cnr Campbell and McCallum Streets. This drive takes you through the Swan Hill region’s central area where you can share in our history, heritage, forest and farmland interests. It’s 170km however you can access the Murray Valley Highway at many points to return to Swan Hill from Piangil, it’s not much further to cross into NSW to return via Tooleybuc, the Ring Tree, Koraleigh and Nyah or cross the Murray an old fashioned way, on a ferry at Speewa. 1a. Harvey’s Tank


Length of tour 170km

1b. Detour to Pheasant Farm

Follow the Rural District Drive (52) to the railway crossing, (see map) and turn left to Woorinen South.

Harvey’s Tank is one of many natural Mallee soaks where for centuries Aboriginal people obtained fresh water in otherwise waterless country by digging deeper into the usually clay soils. On the Stock Route opened up in 1838 by ‘The Overlanders’ Hawden & Bonney (see #9 Nyah Heritage Park), it was deepened during the 1893 drought. To control evaporation, a brush roof was built over it, later replaced with corrugated iron. The Bushland Reserve opposite contains native flora and the Mallee Eucalypts here and along this Old Coach Road are a Mallee icon.

Phone first (03) 5030 2648. Detour to Pheasant Farm (see map) at Chillingollah Road then to Nyah West Heritage Town via Evans or Pira Roads. Murray Valley Highway 10km.


First Rice Grown in Australia

At the Murray Valley Highway turn right for 500m only, then turn left onto Forest Road.

In 1905 Joe Takasuka and family arrived from Japan and began experimenting with different rice varieties, finally succeeding with rice suitable for Australian conditions. See full story on memorials at “The Japs” as this area was locally known.

Nyah’s first house, River Street. Built in 1870 by William Mansfeld who was responsible for providing a wood pile for paddlesteamers use.

Information and images courtesy of Nyah District Action Group and Grace Willoughby.

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Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Nyah/Nyah West Region Drive

Nyah/Nyah West Region Drive

3a. Vinifera to Nyah West (see map) •

Creek’s inlet/outlet to the main river and divert forest floodwaters for irrigation purposes. From here they dug a channel across the forest and then a tunnel into the hillside to a point directly under Jim’s block. A shaft 70’ deep met the end of the tunnel and water was pumped up the shaft into a concrete basin from where it flowed to each of the blocks. The concrete basin is still there, with information that tells the story of this early event.

This name, meaning “Valley of Vines”, was the winning entry in a naming competition. It’s proven very apt as it still grows some of the best grapes in the district.

3b. Vinifera Forest (dry weather track only) •

Travel along Takasuka’s Levee Bank built with horses and scoops to control floodwaters from Gunbower Creek during his rice growing trials. This 7km track takes you through the forest, beside the river, passing small middens where Aboriginal people camped and fished above the floodwaters. As you cross a small earthen bridge over Gunbower Creek, about 500m from the forest exit, you are near where it flows out of the Murray River and became the site of;

4 a. Nyah’s First Irrigation Scheme 4 b. 1901-1904 (see map) •

In 1899 Jim Thwaites and Andrew Heath obtained an official licence to block Gunbower


Two Bays Nursery 1917-1930’s and Homestead

Site of probably the first successful grafting of citrus in Victoria. Ray Eyles, a Sydney nurseryman, was employed and arrived with his family in 1917. His grafting efforts were a success in this warmer climate and a thriving business ensued, selling both citrus and other plant varieties worldwide. The roadhouse, caravan park, public swimming pool and the homestead on the rise at the end of an avenue of Plane Trees, still carry the Two Bays name.

The 1920’s town of Nyah West, with an old world charm, was the National Trust’s 50th year celebrations it received a Judges


Nyah West (Nyah Rail) A Heritage Town

This 1920’s town with old world charm was given a Heritage Precinct listing in 2002. In 2006 during the National Trust’s 50th year celebrations it received a Judges Choice Award in the “Most Intact Streetscape” category.

From 1910-1915, irrigation had begun in the district, as well as a telephone service, a new railway from Swan Hill to Piangil, the Grain Shed from Nyah was re-erected at Nyah Rail for use as the Nyah Co-Operative Dried Fruits Packing Shed, and a one room school opened. Atkins Store, including a Post Office and Hall, was busy providing for local people and men who built the railway line and whose many tents lined one side of a channel, in Main Street.

From 1919-1923 the town grew like a mushroom, including homes, businesses, community facilities, churches, a hall, hotel and school extension so that the 2002

the hub, where a private home became the general store, post office, hostelry, bank and wine shade with a blacksmith and hall nearby.


An early Nyah New Years Day Sports Picnic 1900-1910

In 1905 the Grain Shed was built on the river bank and used for storing Paddlesteamer goods (relocated 1915 to Nyah Rail). In 1910 the first Pumping Station opened and district irrigation began with wood piles providing fuel for both Paddle Steamers and the Pumps. Along the river bank in A.N. Lewis Park and either side of the Boat Ramp are three bollards which honour an Aboriginal lady shearer, a woodpile cutter and Captain Pearl Wallace, the first woman Paddlesteamer Captain whose steamer, the Kookaburra, sank near here in 1967. From 1919 this spot was originally the Nyah Koraleigh Punt site till the Bridge was opened in 1941.

As you travel to the Nyah district see evidence of a variety of irrigated and dry farming pursuits. At first every Blockie grew grapes for the Dried Fruit industry. On the dry

given a Heritage Precinct listing in 2002. In 2006 during Choice Award in the ‘Most intact Streetscape” category. country, grains, sheep and cattle are still the main farming pursuits.

survey stated “It was the most substantial and intact commercial centre in the entire municipality”. Today, the town retains most of its 1920’s streetscape with little alteration or new construction.

Clearing the Mallee. At the start of the Nyah settlement in 1893, virgin Mallee scrub was rolled with “Buffalo Bill” Mr Lewis’ Steam Engine.


Nyah - via Two Bays corner and Murray Valley Highway (see map)

Nyah was the original township, its name meaning “This Bend of the River”. In 1893 the Government resumed most of the Tyntynder Pastoral Lease and offered land grants of 50-100 acres of virgin Mallee. Men cleared as much virgin Mallee as possible each year, planting grain, seeing it grow and die, while some hopefuls carted water to keep a few fruit trees alive. Paddlesteamer and coach traffic served the district with River Street Touring and Walking Guide



The Memorial Gates

Erected in 1927, these Gates list the names and commemorate local men who made the Supreme Sacrifice in WW1 and WW2.

Community Centre/Sports Ground affectionately known in early days as the ‘Rec’ (Recreation Ground), was the venue from 1897-1965 of the exciting New Years Day Sports and Carnival.

The Nyah Gift Foot Race was of State interest and an entire country population of adults and children looked forward to and enjoyed the day of competition, entertainment and family gatherings.

Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Nyah/Nyah West Region Drive

Nyah/Nyah West Region Drive of their sheep. The Aboriginal graves in Heritage Park Nyah and Andrew’s grave at Tyntynder Homestead are the unfortunate result of a dispute between the two parties. •

a lifeline from 1850. In 1911 a punt was provided for river crossings. In 1925 the bridge was opened, which needed a bridge keeper to raise and lower the lift span to allow river traffic through. His restored house is on your left as you leave the bridge.

In 1915 Piangil became a busy little town at the end of the new railway from Swan Hill. It still retains its amenities and country charm. 80,000 tonnes of grain are stored here each year in bunkers and are railed to Geelong (see map) covering 12 acres of gravelled ground.

13. The Flume • 1910 Opening Day, River Street, Nyah of the state rivers and water supply pumping station. River and pumping station at the left of photo.


Heritage Park

Opened by Governor John Landy in 2003, the Park has interpretive panels and photos of district history.

From 1913-1996 the Nyah Primary School was here. On the east side of the school ground several large old trees mark the probable site of an Aboriginal Burial Ground (Andrew Beveridge story #12). Pioneers Cairn erected 1930. Honours explorers, Major Mitchell and Captain Sturt -1836. The Overlanders, Hawden and Bonney 1838 (Harvey’s Tank story #1) who all travelled through here. The Beveridge Brothers of Tyntynder Pastrol Lease 18461876.

10a. Nyah to Wood Wood via Murray Valley Highway (10km) •

About 9km along the road on your right is a Canoe tree, and among the roadside bushes find other trees with smaller cuts before reaching Kulki Kulki Scout Camp (once a Methodist Church and Camp site). A new planted area, boat ramp, memorial plaque and mural compliment the rest area. The

general store and post office was once called a Wine Shade! The 80-acre Mallee Flora Reserve at the back of the caravan park has much of floral interest, as well as a picnic table, information board with photos and text of local history, people and paddlesteamers, a plant list and walking track plan.

15b. Via The Ring Tree, Koraleigh & Nyah

Return to Piangil and follow the map to Tooleybuc, yet another small country town which from 1846 was part of the Poon Boon Pastoral Lease. Paddlesteamers were

First irrigation 1901. A forest flood filled the channel dug in 1901 for Nyah’s first irrigation scheme and is still enjoyed today.

Start at the Boat Ramp or from Byrnes Lane 1km along the Murray Valley Highway. About 6km along find Pick’s Point and sand bar, fenced middens, walking tracks and many ideal camping and fishing spots. It will take you all the way to Wood Wood to exit the forest beside Kulki Kulki Scout Camp.

Red gums naturally form “Rings” of varying shapes and sizes when two branches are in constant contact and the bark grows over both so it looks as if it is all one branch.

Tribal Boundaries were often marked by

The Grain Shed built in 1905 as a goods shed for paddlesteamers and shifted to Nyah Rail when the railway station opened in 1915.

11. Gillicks Reserve •

1km north of Wood Wood on the right is Major Mitchell camp site reserve.

12. Piangil •

Follow map along the Murray Valley Highway to the Mallee Highway junction (Sydney Adelaide Route.) Near here is the unknown site of the murder in 1846 of Andrew Beveridge who was camped here in charge

Nyah was the original township, its name meaning ‘This Bend of the River’. 20

15a. Return to Swan Hill via Murray Valley Highway and Nyah

14. Tooleybuc NSW 5.2km

10b. Nyah to Wood Wood via Forest track (dry weather only) •

Follow the map for 2km and as seen from the road, it’s a “channel on legs” over private land (in preference to a longer route on contour lines around sand hills). Built by the Water Commission (1914-1917) of corrugated iron, this was replaced in 1930 with corrugated asbestos. It supplied stock and domestic water to farms, but today it is a piped supply.

In 1949, small district schools closed and a P-12 Central School opened with 118 students, reaching 320 pupils by 1974. Normal community sports and business interests, together with the school’s growth and the opening of Tooleybuc Club in 1978 with its entertainment, meals, pokies, motel and sporting facilities has attracted more motels and many attractive homes and a pre-school. Return to Swan Hill.

Red gums naturally form “Rings” of varying shapes and sizes when two branches are in constant contact . . .

Touring and Walking Guide


Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


1929. Mrs F. Garland with daughter Joan and Mrs Lou Lauer (others unknown).

Nyah/Nyah West Region Drive Ring Trees, both natural or man made when Aboriginals fastened two branches together. Reliable information is that this Ring Tree is a Tribal Boundary, once kept healthy by normal flooding. •

From 1920 the small town of Koraleigh (also part of Poon Boon Pastoral Lease) has supported an irrigation district.

A connecting creek between the Murray and Wakool Rivers feeds five lakes which are a source of irrigation and leisure activities.

15c. Via Koraleigh, Speewa Ferry and Murray Valley Highway •

Following the map and signs turn left at the ‘T’ junction, for 12km then right at the Speewa signpost, crossing Speewa Creek to Speewa Island and the Ferry across the

river into Victoria at Speewa. Map and signs show your way across the Tyntynder Flats back to the Murray Valley Highway and Swan Hill.

16. Tyntynder Homestead •

Open by appointment. Turn right at the Murray Valley Highway for 7.5km. In 1846 the four Beveridge and Kirby brothers, aged 16-23 years, took up this Pastoral Lease, selling in 1876 to Mr George Holloway. The Homestead is on the National Trust Register and was open to tourists as a “Lived in Historical Home” till sold by the Holloways in 1996 to an Aboriginal Co-Operative. Opposite the gate is the Mail Bag Tree where the coach driver would leave or collect mail and stores.

A connecting creek between the Murray and Wakool Rivers feeds

five lakes which are a source of irrigation and leisure activities.

Trucks filled with dried sultanas waiting for the Packing Sheds to open.

Nyah West Main St when the railway line was being built (1910-1915). 22

A large canoe tree, Nyah district.

“Coonawarra” going under Nyah Bridge 1941. The Bridge opened 1941.

Touring and Walking Guide


In 1919 the Nyah Punt provided a link to the new settlement at Koraleigh in New South Wales.

Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray



James Belsar (1881-1941) ran away from home as a young man of 14 years old to work on the paddleboats. He eventually worked for Messrs Staley and Connell and skippered PS The Success which he regularly moored along the river bank in Swan Hill.

Apart from a wide range of native bird-life, there are a number of other creatures that can be found in a river environment. These include frogs, geckos, stink beetles, turtles and snakes including the carpet python. The python commonly uses tree hollows and crevices to shelter during the day and hunts at night both on the ground and in trees. Wood left to die and rot is an important habitat to these and many other native animals.


Murray Cod (Maccullochella peeli) or “Otchocut”

The Murray Cod prefers large, slow flowing rivers with deep holes and fallen timber for shelter and is a very territorial fish. It’s diet often includes yabbies and other fish. Murray Cod may live for 50-60 years, although the

Aboriginal stories suggest that the Murray River was created when a great warrior of ancient times saw a monstrous fish (Otchocut) and chased him. Each time he speared the fish, it swam forward creating a channel, in this manner allowing the water to flow after it and bear it away from it’s enemy. The spines on the back of the Cod therefore represent the spears that stuck in his back.


River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)

Extensive forests of river red gum occur in grey heavy clay soils along the lower reaches of the Murrumbidgee, Edward and Murray


Length 4.5km (one way)


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10 11


Naming Swan Hill

The arrival of the adventurous Burke and Wills party fired the imagination of local youth Charlie Gray. He offered his services and those of his stout grey pony, and was at once engaged as Burke was short a hand and a pack horse to replace a lame camel. The camel was left at Murray Downs Station where it remained for a number of years happily grazing the paddock. Gray and his pony, which was known as Terrible Billy (for he had been a notorious buckjumper) joined the party. When several of the camels died, Terrible Billy humped the pack, but was later killed for food. Gray died shortly after from malnutrition. From here you can see the Burke and Wills Tree. It was planted over 150 years ago to commemorate the explorer’s visit. The tree stands 30m high and 44m wide with a trunk diameter of 4m. Touring and Walking Guide









Rivers. These straight-trunked trees grow up to an average of 25-40 metres high and flowers are cream in colour. Red gum can survive without a flood for over two years, relying on moisture stored in the soil. Fallen branches and dead wood are an important link to the eco system, providing valuable cover for ground-dwelling birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. Camping directly under red gum should always be avoided as tree limbs are apt to fall without warning, particularly during hot still summer weather. During a hot day, the tree will absorb large amounts of water which makes the branches heavy and more likely to snap.

flesh of larger fish tends to be more coarse and quite oily. For more information on Murray Cod, visit the Giant Murray Cod in Curlewis Street.




Native Birds



The walk can be started from anywhere along it’s length, and completed as a whole or in sections. Interpretative signs are marked with dots on the map. Other stories are simply to provide insight into the people and events that shaped our history, reminding us what a vital role the river plays in our past and future. 4.5km (one way)




The River Walk.

Meander along the river bank through tranquil parks and scattered red gums.



In 1987 local Council named the area between the bridge and Hastings Street, James Belsar Reserve in lasting recognition of his actions.



On 31st December 1913 James Belsar heroically saved a young man, Allan Ross, from drowning. The local paper reported that he “dived in with his pipe still in his mouth”. James Belsar was honoured by The Royal Humane Society in 1914 for his courage and humanity and was recognised with a gold medallion from the people of Swan Hill.




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Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray

19 20 TAL








River Walk

River Walk 5.

Swan Hill Lift Bridge


Murray River

Prior to the construction of the bridge, the punt ran regularly, levying fees on livestock, foot passengers, horse-drawn vehicles, mail and farm produce. When the bridge was finally opened on 2nd December 1896, Herman Moser proudly drove the first vehicle across - his horse-drawn cart loaded with bales of wool. The Bridge Keeper lived in a small cottage on the New South Wales side which is no longer standing. Three long blasts of a riverboat whistle signalled the need for the bridge span to be lifted.

The riverboat heyday peaked around 1910 when there were over 200 boats in operation (excluding barges). The decline for the boats hit with the drought in 1915, the increasing mechanisation and finally the depression in the 1930’s. Once vital as a transport route, the river system is today vital in supporting agriculture and a large population. The Murray River is part of the Murray Darling Basin which covers 1,058,800 square km or approximately one seventh of the total area of Australia.

In 1919 an Influenza epidemic hit the Swan Hill district. New South Wales residents were prohibited from entering Victoria so they were provided with supplies and a haircut from the bridge. The bridge was guarded during the period by local constabulary.

10. Lower Murray District Hospital


Swan Hill Wharf

The port of Swan Hill along with Echuca was once the major centres for river trade. In the 1890’s the wharf was extended to allow goods to be lifted straight from the boats onto railway trucks. The northern end of the wharf was used for general cargo, while the southern end - known as ‘Customs’ - held only interstate goods on which duty was required.

A young boy named Phillip Shackles who lived near Milloo Street, at the age of 14 years from septic poisoning (tetanus)



Customs House

The interstate taxes charged were detested by many local residents, particularly by those in the river trade. By 1892 the levy was costing 50 shillings per head of cattle or horse and 20 shillings per sheep. The Customs House housed both the Victorian and New South Wales officers and had an outdoor toilet perilously close to the water line.


Power House

12. Pioneers 13. The Paddlesteamer Gem

The PS Gem was purchased by the Swan Hill Council for 2,000 pounds from a private owner in Mildura, as the centre piece of the new Pioneer Settlement. The PS Gem began her last voyage on 1 October 1962. As her engine had been removed, she was under tow of the Oscar W which was controlled by Captain Paddy Hogg. Due to a number of problems including low river levels at Goodnight, a journey which had been planned to take 13 days instead took eight months.

11. Marraboor or little Murray River Junction

Thomas Phyland moved to Swan Hill in 1893 with his family from Bungaree. His first large contract was to straighten the course of the Murray River upstream from the bridge to enable a better approach for the steamers. He removed a large angle on the New South Wales side, actually cutting a new channel through the bank and in doing so he formed Goat Island. It was then enlarged when new water channels were dug during a drought, and the soil piled on top of the existing island.

Alf Stutley was a colourful character on the river who owned the ‘Little Ruby’ which was used for hawking and as a cargo boat. One of his tasks was to cart firewood for the pump at the Swan Hill red brick water tower. He would moor the boat right in front of his house which was located in the Milloo Street area.

rescued six people from drowning in the river, but died after cutting his leg on barbed wire whilst swimming. With the growth of settlement it was decided that a permanent water supply was needed and so the first red brick water tower was built in 1883. Water was pumped from the river to the top of the tower by a wood fired steam engine, and the water then flowed by gravitation to surrounding businesses and private residences.

Touring and Walking Guide


Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


River Walk

River Walk

Paddlesteamer Race

In 1851, landholders along the Murray in South Australia called for the development of a riverboat trade. Their Governor, Sir Henry Fox Young offered a prize for the first vessels to reach the Darling Junction from the Murray mouth. Flour-miller William Randell wanted to carry flour for the diggers at the Victorian gold rush. Francis Cadell, chasing the prize, had a boat built in Sydney, sailing it around the coast to the Murray. Randell set off first in the Mary Ann and was very surprised when Cadell’s Lady Augusta went past just below Swan Hill. The two raced for a while, then realised it was best to proceed smoothly, arriving four hours apart on the same day, heralding 80 years of thriving paddlesteamer trade along the Murray-Darling basin. Swan Hill people held a celebratory dinner that night for the crews. Aggie and Harry Edwards- Early 1920’s. Photo courtesy Swan Hill Regional Library.

The plaque just south of the bridge commemorates the arrival of these two paddlesteamers.

Access to water resources were critical when settlement began. More often the heartlands of Aboriginal clans. Not surprisingly there were several

than not, the sites that were chosen for squatter’s home stations were instances of conflict between Aboriginals and Europeans over water resources.

14. Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement

Australia’s first outdoor museum, the Pioneer Settlement is home to what is regarded as Australia’s best collection of steel-wheeled tractors and early farm machinery including Black Bess an awe-inspiring 28 tonne steam tractor and the 1924 Moline row crop tractor. It also houses the PS Pyap which is an original working paddlesteamer from riverboats days. Over 100 years old this gentle giant of the river still cruises regularly.

15. Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery

The gallery now has a permanent collection consisting of over 200 works of art. Twenty five works are native paintings, closely associated with folk art, and artists include Sam Byrne, Henri Bastin and Sister Dorothy Gray (local). Many of the collection works have been obtained through gifts, bequests or acquisitive art prizes.

16. River Cooba or Eumong - (Acacia stenophylla)


There were a number of Chinese market gardens located in the vicinity of Horseshoe Bend and the Pental Island bridge. One Chinese man named Charlie served the town with fruit and vegetables which he would drive into town in a covered wagon. These gardens died away shortly after the railway came to Swan Hill. The railway came to Swan Hill in 1890, complementing cargo steamers on the Murray. The turntable was built to turn steam engines around. The engine backs on to the turntable which is rotated, allowing the engine to face in the opposite direction, ready to return to Melbourne. It can still be used today.

17. Aboriginal Food Sources

The Weeping Pittosporum or Native apricot is located nearby. This tall shrub has graceful drooping branches and it produces cream to pale yellow flowers during May to October.

The Desert Jasmine is a stout vine which climbs on other tress to around 2 metres high. The flowers are small white/reddish and very fragrant during summer.

20. Native Fish of the Lower Murray

19. Aboriginal Occupation

The Cattle-Bush or Rosewood is a medium tree which grows to 9 metres. It grows commonly in sandy soils and is grazed by all types of livestock. It bares small cream flowers during late spring and summer. The seed mimic the shape and colour of fruit in order to attract birds such as emus,

due to depopulation through European diseases and killings by white people. When settlement occurred, Aboriginal people were forced to live under different laws and customs, often on missions and reserves. Important religious ceremonies were no longer being performed, the old people were dying out and the language, land and the laws began to be lost.

honeyeaters and parrots who will help to spread it more widely.

Prior to European settlement, Aboriginal people hunted, fished and gathered their food. It was not always abundant, so groups moved to where food was available with the change of season. Work was divided with the women using digging sticks and bags to gather the food while men hunted for animals, birds and fish. The task of food preparation usually fell to women.

18. Sandhill Vegetation Community

This tree grows to an average of 5-7 metres with pendulous weeping foliage. Parrots and galahs are known to eat seeds out of the pods. It most commonly grows in the Murraylands, also in the arid zone of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.

Paddlesteamer towing wool barge, not dated. Photo courtesy Keith Dunoon Collection.

Estimates of Aboriginal population in Victoria before 1834 vary quite considerably. Prior to the coming of white man there were between 11,000 and 15,000 Aboriginal people living in the State, divided into 28 different clans. By 1886 this number had declined to 806, Touring and Walking Guide


Early settlers reported witnessing Aboriginal fish harvests of three and four hundredweight. These fish were netted from lagoons in single hauls and consisted of cod, perch, black fish and turtle. Local European fishing hauls in 1835 totalled 29,064 kg. A sharp decline in the fish population prompted authorities to close the whole of the Murray to netting in 1897.

Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Corner of Campbell and McCallum Streets, Swan Hill circa early 1900’s. Pictured are the White Swan Hotel and Post Office. Compare this photo to your own view of the same intersection today.

Now and Then Historical Walk.


Railway Station


Former Police Station

In 1890 the Governor of Victoria, Lord Hopetoun, opened the original wooden Railway Station amidst great celebration. The current building was built in 1898 and renovated in 2007. Rail service to Swan Hill opened up the Mallee but started the demise of the river trade.

With the development of Swan Hill (Castle Donnington) in the 1850’s it was necessary to have law enforcement. One hundred years later this red brick building was constructed on the site of the police reserve which included yards for the police horses.


The Big Cod


Water Tower

Donated to Swan Hill in 1992 by ABC Meridian Films, the Big Cod featured in the movie “Eight Ball”.


Court House

The Court House built on this site in 1968, replaced several previous Court Houses, one being a tent. A previous weatherboard Court House is now located at the Pioneer Settlement.

A significant stage in Swan Hill’s development was the erection of this water tower in 1883 to supply the growing population with household water. Until then a horse drawn water cart delivered water to the houses. Since this tower was built, three others have been erected.

Prior to white settlement, the Swan Hill district had Aboriginal occupancy for thousands of years. Evidence of their habitation can still be experienced today at the Pioneer Settlement and Tyntynder Homestead.


In 1836 explorer Major Thomas Mitchell discovered and named Swan Hill after the birds that kept him awake at night. Various settlers started to occupy land in the 1840’s, with the Beveridge family the first at Tyntynder. Their now historical residence is the Tyntynder Homestead.













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During the 1850’s Swan Hill was on the route from the Bendigo goldfields to Adelaide. About this time the paddlesteamer industry started to develop, with a large wharf operating to service the Mallee and Riverina (New South Wales) districts. With the introduction of the railway line and road transport, paddlesteamers eventually disappeared.


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Touring and Walking Guide


Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray





This walk is designed to start at the Swan Hill Railway Station and finish at Royal Hotel (Cafe Alluré).






Swan Hill was declared a city in 1965 and has continued to develop, with a population of about 10,000 in 2010.



Swan Hill had a marsh area near the river with numerous Murray Pines further inland. These pines were the building material for many of the first buildings in Swan Hill.



Swan Hill was declared a city in 1965 and has continued to develop, with a population of about 10,000 in 2010.

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Now and Then Historical Walk

Now and Then Historical Walk


Murray River Bridge

Built in 1896 by J.&W. Farquharson, this lift span bridge replaced the Swan Hill punt. The bridge was also a link to Murray Downs Station which, in the early days, employed many workers. On each side of the bridge were customs houses for the collection of taxes. Federation in 1901 removed this interstate tax.


Swan Hill Wharf & James Belsar Reserve - north of the bridge

Once a large wharf servicing the river boat industry, the wharf became obsolete with the advent of the railway and road transport in the early 1900’s.


Swan Hill Club

‘Glencoe’ c. 1866 was the home of William Garden, a Cobb & Co. coach driver and licensee of the Royal Hotel. A portion of the eastern side of the building is original.


Explorer’s Monument

Erected by the townspeople of Swan Hill in 1914, the monument celebrates significant pioneering events in Swan Hill’s history.

10. Bills Trough

As a memento to the animals who also had to contend with the dry continent, Mr & Mrs Bills left a legacy to provide horse and dog troughs throughout Australia.

14. Swan Hill Stores - now Swan Hill Shopping Plaza & Safeway

21. State Rivers Office - now Pete’s Hair Studio

Originally the National Bank of Australasia, this building was built in 1888. Legal firm Garden & Green now occupy the building.

22. Town Hall

One of the first businesses in Swan Hill, Sparkes & Perkins was originally built of pine logs on the north west corner of Campbell and Pritchard streets before relocating near here in 1858.

16. E.S. & A. Building - north-west corner

Known as the Burke and Wills tree because it was originally thought to have been planted by the explorers in 1860.

13. Commercial Hotel


In 1922 the centre memorial was built to commemorate the people of the Swan Hill Shire who lost their lives during World War I. This list was added to after World War II. In recent years cenotaphs have been added to include names of those who served in the Boer and Vietnam wars.

Elliott Provincial Newspaper Group donated this clock tower to the residents of Swan Hill in 1953. The erection of the tower was delayed due to the scarcity of resources after World War II.

The Post Office was originally located in the Lower Murray Inn on the north-west corner of McCallum and Campbell Streets. Swan Hill has since seen three Post Office buildings on this site, the first being contracted for construction in 1862.

20. Court House - now La Beauté A red brick court house was built on this site in 1894. It served the district of Swan Hill until it was replaced in 1968 by a modern building in Curlewis Street.

The State Savings Bank of Victoria was built on this site in 1912 and demolished in 1964 before relocating to Campbell Street. With the increasing population of Swan Hill, a new water tower was required by 1902. The original water tower near the river was struggling to supply water to residents at the top of the hill so the new water tower was located here.

From 1926 the Paragon was the social hub for Swan Hill. After an evening at the local dance or cinema, socialising would continue at the Paragon for a non-alcoholic beverage.

34. White Swan Hotel - now Target

First established as the Lower Murray Hospital and built in 1860 where Riverside Caravan Park is now located, a new hospital was opened on this site in 1889. After many renovations and additions, the grand old building was demolished in 1981.

Although not the original building, the White Swan Hotel has been the centre of Swan Hill’s business district since the early 1860’s. It now retains the facade of the former hotel.

35. Royal Hotel - now Cafe Allure/vacant

Swan Hill State School No. 1142 opened in 1872 in a wooden building after ten years of temporary schooling. A brick school was Touring and Walking Guide

This is the former site of Swan Hill’s first Presbyterian Church built in Swan Hill. Behind the church was a manse. The building was moved to the site of the John Knox Church in 1910.

33. Paragon Café - now Solz Shoes

28. State School - now MacKillop College

In the 1890’s and early 1900’s a roller skating rink occupied this site. The venue also served as Swan Hill’s main function centre where many official functions were held.

32. Presbyterian Church - now Tom Wilkin’s Menswear

27. Swan Hill Hospital

Built by the Returned Services League and opened in 1924, this building was originally known as the Memorial Hall and dedicated to the honour of those who lost their lives in World War I. A kitchen and a tea room were added in 1934.

31. Skating Rink - now Dimmeys

Swan Hill’s newspaper since 1888, The Guardian has been located in several premises before settling at this location in 1938.

26. McCallum Street Water Tower

19. Post Office - now ANZ Bank

25. State Savings Bank - now Safeway Service Station

18. Clock Tower

The only remaining hotel in Swan Hill, the Commercial Hotel was originally known as the Travellers Rest and Swan Hill Hotel.

The Lower Murray Inn was built from the remnants of the old punt and located on this site. The London Chartered Bank (later the E.S. & A. then ANZ Bank) replaced the Inn.

Swan Hill has been served by a volunteer fire brigade since 1886. Replacing a weatherboard structure, this building was built in 1930 and was utilised until 1994 when a new station was built in McCallum Street.

30. Memorial Theatre

Originally the offices of the Shire of Swan Hill were located in Kerang. In 1893 Swan Hill became the home of the Shire of Castle Donnington and the Shire Offices were built here.

24. The Guardian

23. Shire Offices - now Town Hall

29. Fire Brigade Station - now MacKillop College Tech Centre

In 1935 this town hall replaced the shire offices. This grand civic building was opened in time for the centenary of Major Mitchell’s visit in 1836.

17. Cenotaph

12. Moreton Bay Fig Tree

Access to water has played a crucial role in the Mallee. In 1905 the Victorian Government introduced the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission to control this vital resource.

15. Sparkes & Perkins Store - near Pizza Graffiti

11. National Bank- now Garden & Green

General stores played a large role in the lives of the Mallee people. This business travelled through the highs and lows of the economy of the Mallee area.

built by the mid 1870’s. The Catholic Church purchased the State School and now occupies the site as MacKillop College.


A majestic building at one time comprising 74 bedrooms, a glass roofed dining area, bars, lounges and many shops on the ground floor. Described in 1938 as one of the most modern provincial hotels in Australia, this building was demolished in 1970.

Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Horse & Cart rides Vintage car rides Murray River cruises Sound & Light Show Blacksmithing Wanted posters Tractors Homesteads Air conditioned tearooms Dressing up in costume Old fashioned lollies

Open 9:30am - 4pm EVERY DAY (except Christmas and Boxing Day) 34

Monash Drive, Swan Hill • Toll Free: 1800 981 911 P: 03 5036 2410 Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray Touring and Walking Guide



Olson Game Birds

A rare opportunity to visit a commercial game bird farm in operation, and be given a personal guided tour by the owner. See hundreds of colourful pheasants and aviary birds in this rural oasis. Visitors are also welcome to picnic in the farm’s delightful garden setting. Please call the farm for open times.

2167 Chillingollah Road, Swan Hill VIC Phone 03 5030 2648 Email

Carriages Restaurant Come and delight your taste buds with the most exquisite internationally inspired cuisine whilst enjoying the charming delights and intimate atmosphere at Carriages Restaurant. Carriages is a training restaurant for the students of the Swan Hill International College. We aim to provide our customers with quality food and wine and exemplary service. Our students are from many countries which is reflected in the diverse menu. 421 Campbell Street, Swan Hill VIC T - 03 5033 2796 E -

Spoons Riverside

• Swan Hill’s only River Restaurant • Nominated as one of Victoria’s top three Regional Restaurant/ Cafes for 2009/2010 • Modern Australian Cuisine • Open Seven Days a week from 8.00am • Breakfast/Lunch/Morning and Afternoon Tea • Evening Meals Thursday, Friday and Saturday – a must • What do people remember when they leave Swan Hill? SPOONS RIVERSIDE • Take home a gift from the amazing providore or just browse • Functions our specialty, no charge for the backdrop! Horseshoe Bend Swan Hill (next to Pioneer Settlement) T 03 5032 2601 F 03 5032 2610 E

BULLER WINES BEVERFORD WINERY A Fourth Generation family owned company established at Beverford in 1951. Visit our Cellar Door and taste our wide range of award winning wines. Styles including red, white, fortified, sweet and dry. Try our Fine Old Muscat which was awarded an International Trophy by the prestigious UK Decanter Magazine. Present this advertisement and receive a free gift with a minimum purchase of one dozen bottles of wine. 1374 Murray Valley Highway Beverford VIC T 03 5037 6305 E W


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Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Swan Hill Region Information Centre Your first Port of Call for: Visitor Information Special Events Community Information Local wine, regional produce

Facilities: Toilets Friendly helpful staff Internet access Conference Room Hire

What you will find: Visitor publications Local and tourist newspapers Street maps Information brochures

1800 625 373 Information Hotline Cnr McCrae and Curlewis Street, Swan Hill Phone: (03) 5032 3033 Fax: (03) 5032 3032 email: website:

Quo Vadis is Swan Hill’s award winning restaurant and pizza parlour. Let John Tripodi and his excellent team indulge you in many gastronomic delights, from steak, seafood, pizza, pasta, desserts and great coffee. An excellent wine list completes your dining experience. The pizza parlour, Swan Hill’s ‘home of the real pizza’ is open nightly from 5pm for eat in, take-away or delivery. The restaurant is open nightly from 6pm for a mouthwatering dining experience in the metro style atmosphere or the all year round al fresco dining. Utilising the best local produce, Quo Vadis is the dining icon from the Swan Hill region. Quo Vadis is a must do in Swan Hill. 255-259 Campbell St, Swan Hill 03 5032 4408 38

Touring and Walking Guide


Swan Hill Region: Heart of the Murray


Profile for Swan Hill Incorporated

Swan Hill Region Touring and Walking Guide  

The Swan Hill Walking and Touring Guide contains many self drive and walking tours to help you explore the natural beauty of this region.

Swan Hill Region Touring and Walking Guide  

The Swan Hill Walking and Touring Guide contains many self drive and walking tours to help you explore the natural beauty of this region.


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