If you take a walk along the river bank, you'll notice many of these huge majestic river redgums, some of which are very old. Unfortunately though, a lot more of them are dying at the moment, due to the drought and the fact that the river hasn't flooded its high banks for several seasons. This is partly due to low rainfall and partly due to irrigation, and there is a lot of debate going on at the moment about what can be done so more of these trees don't die. Throughout history, they have come to depend on the river flooding at least once every 7 years for their survival.
Now their exposed roots are even more exposed than usual, as the water has receeded further from the bank.
In Curlewis street, if you drive along near the brick water tower or towards the green grain silos, you will come to a nice part of the river which is particularly grassy and has a park area and gardens.
You can also do a self guided walk along the river, in either small sections or do the full 4.5 km walk.
Fishing is also a very popular activity on the Murray River, particularly for the huge fish which can be caught (including the introduced European carp which is present in large numbers but unfortunately not good for much more than cat food). The Cod fish used to be more common than it is today, with fish up to 80 kilograms having been caught in the past!
This monument is not just erected to attract tourists (as other 'big' attractions around Australia like the Big Pineapple, the Giant Lobster, the Giant Koala, the giant merino....the list goes on, you get the picture) but rather it was used in the early 1990's as a movie prop and was later given to the town, who fibreglassed it and put it on display, so here it is, not far from the river and the Pioneer settlement (in Curlewis street, I think)
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.
Favorite thing: At this time of year, while it is warm but the heat of summer has not yet come (and probably water restrictions along with it) the lawns in the parks are still looking nice and lush.
Favorite thing: This is the largest of several old water towers in the town, located close to the river to gravity feed water to the town.