Swan Hill and Lake Boga Victoria

Lake Boga 24.04.14

After leaving Narrandera on Easter Monday we drove across the Hay plains to Swan Hill, which is on the Victorian side of the Murray River. The Murray River separates the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria and runs for 2500 kilometres.

Murray River Swan Hill from Pyap paddle steamer 3 22.04.14

At Swan Hill we took a river cruise on the paddle steamer PS Pyap, to the Murray Downs Station and back. I stood on the deck and had a Sigrid Thornton from the Australian television series, ‘All the River’s Run’ moment. You probably have to be Australian and of a certain age to remember the series, which was based on the book of the same name, by Nancy Cato, but you could liken it to Jack’s “I’m the king of the world,” moment from the movie Titanic.

Pyap paddle steamer Swan Hill 23.04.14

The cruise starts and ends at the Pioneer Settlement (a re-creation of a pioneer port town). The PS Gem, which was the biggest paddle steamer on the Murray in its’ day, is permanently moored at the Pioneer settlement, along with steam engines and other pieces of machinery.

Gem paddle steamer Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement 22.04.14

I can remember seeing the Gem when I visited Swan Hill on a caravan holiday with Mum, Dad, my brother and sisters nearly forty years ago. Other memorable things I remember from that holiday was my sister E getting car sick before morning tea time on the first day (don’t forget, this trip was back in the bad old days when Dad smoked in the car) and then Dad burning off his eyebrows when he blew up the gas stove lighting it to make a cup of tea for morning tea. Mind you, our first stop was probably only an hour and a half from home. It’s a wonder we didn’t turn around and go home then. My other sister D, who was the baby of the household, had a musical tooting toy, which drove the rest of us crazy for the entire trip, but as Mum said, at least she always knew where D was.

Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement 22.04.14

We also visited the Lake Boga Observatory one night which I can highly recommend. There is nothing like looking at the night sky to realise just how unimportant we actually are. We were part of a small group visiting that night and we were all able to see some beautiful constellations including The Jewel Box. John and Maryanne were terrific hosts and John also makes and sells glass pieces. I bought this beautiful piece of glass to remember my visit.


Like most people who walk along the river, we fed the ducks bread from the canoe launching dock. The ducks are so tame they were eating bread straight from He Who Eats All of Our Leftover’s hands.

Swan Hill ducks 23.04.14

I hope it isn’t another forty years before I visit Swan Hill again.