Murray River and Snowy Mountains view, Towong, Upper Murray

Showcasing 'The Man From Snowy River' Country



upper murray
our towns & villages

Corryong is the main commercial, medical and educational centre of the Upper Murray.

The towns, villages and localities of the Upper Murray all have a story which has led to their existence. Let's explore some of the major historical events that led to their creation.

the first people of the upper murray

Prior to the 1830s
, the
 Upper Murray
 was inhabited by native fauna and flora living in natural balance. This balance was slightly altered with the seasonal visitation of generations of Aboriginal people, who came to the mountain country to hold traditional ceremonies and feast on the Bogong moths and other native foods during the summer months.

The first people to enter this region are thought to have arrived over 10,000 years ago.Within the Upper Murray region, there were three main indigenous language groups, the Jaitmatang people of the Victorian Alpine region, the Wiradjuri people, who occupied the immediate lands north of the Murray River and the Ngargio people of the Snowy Mountains high country. Although each group lived in a particular area, distinct boundaries never existed and it is known that they met together at different times to hold traditional ceremonies.

Within each of these family groups, there were smaller family groups, or hordes. The Dhudhuroa horde of the Jaitmatang people, for example, lived beside the Murray River near Pine Mountain. Pine Mountain is regarded as a sacred place to descendants of this group.

The indigenous Aboriginal way of life did not recognise land ownership as we know it. Had the friendly native guides, who led the early pioneers along their tracks into this region, realised the short and long term consequences for their people, they may have changed their minds.

Tragically, the indigenous people quickly disappeared from the Upper Murray landscape. A successful culture for thousands of generations disappeared within three.The last full blooded aboriginal from the Upper Murray, Black Mag, died in 1883.

The Man From Snowy River Museum, located in Hanson St. Corryong, has a small collection of indigenous artifacts for public viewing.The names of most of our Upper Murray towns and localities, indigenous words first used to distinguish the early squatter runs, are the most vivid reminders of our local indigenous history.

the era of the squatter

In the mid 1830s, south eastern Australia experienced severe and prolonged drought conditions.By then the early pastoralists or 'squatters', wealthy and connected people of European descent who had taken possession of grazing lands to the north of the Upper Murray for minimal rent, were desperate to find additional quality grazing country and water for their livestock.

Upon discovering the existence of the Upper Murray, the first grazing pioneers quickly took up farms or 'runs' of enormous acreage along the Murray River and its many tributaries.

With little or no fencing to contain their cattle, sheep and horses, these first pastoralists (many of whom did not bring their own families to live in the Upper Murray) employed whatever labour they could find, including ex-convicts, bounty immigrants and ticket of leave men, to manage their new outstation properties. It was a lonely existence with few comforts and little companionship.

Amongst their many attributes, these men, the first cattlemen of the Upper Murray high country, needed to have excellent horsemanship skills in order to manage the animals in their charge.

the era of land selection

In the 1850s and 1860s the discovery of significant gold deposits in Victoria and New South Wales brought many people to Australia from all over the world, most noteably Britain.

Some were successful finding gold, while others were successful supplying goods and services to the miners but, it would be fair to say, many struggled without success, only to fall back on their former trades to support their families.

As gold discoveries became less frequent, the colonial governments introduced legislation for land ownership to encourage permanent settlement.

From the 1860s onwards more families arrived in the Upper Murray and small communities began to develop into the towns and villages of the Upper Murray.

Click on the town or village you wish to learn more about

Corryong Cudgewa Jingellic Khancoban Koetong
Tintaldra Tooma Towong Walwa