The Upper Murray
“The Man From Snowy River” country
of North-Eastern Victoria & Southern NSW
© Copyright 2017  The Upper Murray Business Directory  All rights reserved.

The Upper

Murray River

The Murray River, Australia's longest river, officially begins in the isolated foothills of the Australian Alps just south of The Pilot, near the areas known as Cowombat Flat and Forest Hill. From its point of origin and for more than half of its 2500 kilometre journey,  the Murray River marks the state border between Victoria and New South Wales. For the first 200 kilometres of its journey, the Murray River and its upper tributaries flow through a catchment area of pristine mountain country and fertile river flats of the Upper Murray. Here, it changes from a small alpine stream to a river of significance as it is fed by streams, creeks, rivers and underground springs, that also originate in the Australian Alps. In the Upper Murray the four largest tributaries of the Murray River are the Swampy Plains River, the Tooma River, the Wheeler's- Nariel - Corryong Creek and the Cudgewa Creek. Other smaller Upper Murray tributaries directly flowing into the Murray River include the Ournie, House, Jingellic and Seven Mile Creeks. While indigenous Australians have utilised the Murray River over many thousands of years, the river's importance to those of European descent began less than two centuries ago. In 1824 members of the Hume and Hovell expedition travelling from Lake George, near present day Canberra, to Corio Bay, near present day Geelong, were the first Europeans recorded as having crossed the upper
section of the river, near the present day  twin cities of Albury Wodonga. During this expedition they named it the Hume River. In 1830 explorer Charles Sturt unwittingly named a lower portion of the same river after the Secretary of State of the time, Sir George Murray. Eventually, the entire river became known as the Murray River. Little did these early explorers realise at the time the important role the Murray River would play in the future settlement and development of south-eastern Australia. In the late 1830s wealthy people of European heritage from the north held the first grazing licenses in the Upper Murray. These first pastoral runs supported mainly sheep, horses and cattle. Decades later, mineral prospecting and government regulation changes to land ownership eventually brought more people to the Upper Murray, setting the stage for the development of villages and towns. The fertile river flats of the upper Murray River continue to support some of Australia's finest livestock and cropping enterprises. Their success relies on access to high quality water and/or reliable rainfall. Advances in livestock genetics and health care, irrigation and fodder conservation methods as well as the introduction of super phosphate and other trace nutrients on these rural properties have allowed Upper Murray farming families to increase stocking rates while creating environmentally and economically sustainable farms. The Upper Murray's agricultural industry remains the heart and soul of the local economy.
The upper catchment of the Murray River has also played a significant role in the production of hydro electricity since the 1960s. Snowy Hydro Ltd. manages the flow of water within the Kosciuszko National Park to provide a renewable clean energy to the national power grid and to provide additional water, for irrigation purposes west of the Snowy Mountains, into both the Murrumbidgee and Murray River systems.
The upper Murray River and its tributaries are also significant recreational destinations. Fishing, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing and many other water sports are popular pastimes enjoyed by local residents and the many people who have discovered the region.