Murray River and Snowy Mountains view, Towong, Upper Murray

Showcasing 'The Man From Snowy River' Country


'the man  from snowy river'  connection

Since the late 1830s, when pastoralists of European descent first acquired grazing leases in the Upper Murray, there have been men and women of extraordinary resilience, who have adapted to life in the challenging mountainous terrain of south eastern Australia.

A steep learning curve awaited the pioneers and, no doubt, life was very tough at times.  It was, after all, unchartered territory. Some faltered, some endured, others thrived.

In the late 1880s, aspiring poet Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson, accompanied by brothers, Peter and Walter Mitchell from Bringenbrong  Station, ventured into the high country of the Upper Murray.At that time, the Upper Murray region had been under the stewardship of pastoralists and land selectors for just over fifty years.

The travelling party spent a night at Tom Groggin, at the base of the dramatic western fall of the Snowy Mountains, with a stockman managing the cattle grazing on the Pierce family's high country leases. The stockman was Jack Riley.

Successfully managing livestock in rugged this subalpine environment required no less than exceptional horsemanship. The knowledge and skill was often directly passed on to subsequent generations. To many others, it was taught through stories of past experiences, often shared around a campfire at the end of a long working day.

The Man From Snowy River poem is a tribute to the early stock men of the Australian high country, including those who have lived and worked in the Upper Murray. 

Many local people believethat it wasone of Jack Riley's storiesthat inspired The Man From Snowy River poem, first published in  The Bulletin newspaper in Sydney in April 1890, several months after Banjo Paterson met Jack.

Read on to learn more about Jack Riley, the poem and other stories

A glimpse of the Snowy Mountains Main Range from Scammell's Lookout on the Alpine Way, Kosciuszko National Park

Jack Riley's story of a runaway horse and its eventual capture is thought to have provided the theme of Banjo Paterson's poem. Click here to learn more of Jack's story.