The Murray River is a very central part to town life today and the life of the entire region, especially as its irrigation provides the water for the huge horticultural industry in the town and immediate region.
In the past, the Murray was an important trade route for commerce. Swan Hill had the second largest river port after Goolwa in South Australia.
In 1853, the first paddlesteamers began to carry trade on the river, and later passenger traffic as well.
This ceased in the early 1900's with the arrival of the steam train.
The Murray may look murky (and it is) but it is nevertheless a very fond river.
These days you can hire a houseboat on the Murray and spend a relaxing holiday drifting down along its shores, and many other activities around it.