Albury Wodonga – Twice the Place: Twice the Time
At Albury Wodonga, the Hume Highway – Australia’s busiest national transport corridor – crosses the Murray. For many years, Albury Wodonga has been singled out by travellers to break their journey overland from Melbourne to Sydney. In fact, Hamilton Hume and William Hovell passed through the area in 1824 and the famous ‘Hovell Tree’, in which Hovell carved his initials, still stands on the banks of the Murray River at Albury.
Magnificent parklands and reserves surround Albury Wodonga. The century old, award winning Botanic Gardens at the top end of Albury’s main street are beautifully manicured and cared for and well worth a visit. In summertime, the Murray parklands offer relief from balmy days.
Cool off in any one of the picturesque swimming holes, at Noreuil Park, Mungabareena Reserve or where the locals all head, down past the water works along Borella Road. Pack a picnic and a cool drink and relax amongst the river gums.
Mungabareena is also home to an old Aboriginal tradition of the meeting of the seven Koori tribes of the district. This was a ‘mini-parliament’ where inter-tribal law was discussed in a peaceful manner, marriages were performed and celebrated. The tribes would then travel up the Kiewa Valley to the alpine areas to feast on the nutritious Bogong Moth for the summer months. The annual ‘Mungabareena Ngan-Girra Festival’ (‘gathering’ at Mungabareena) celebrates and commemorates this wonderful tradition each November.
Discover Lake Hume, which holds six times as much water as does Sydney Harbour. Work began on the Hume Dam in 1919 at the site of the junction of the Murray and Mitta Rivers and completed in 1936. The Hume Dam was the Commonwealth Government’s most ambitious public project at the time and took 17 years to build.
It was built using horse power, steam engines and manual labour and was constructed to ensure water supplies for irrigation, conservation and regulation downstream. Two townships were immersed under water when the dam was expanded in 1956. Tallangatta was relocated to its present day site south-east of Albury-Wodonga, while most of the residents of the tiny township of Bowna moved into Albury.
Lake Hume is a mecca for water lovers providing a year round playground. There are many picnic and camping sites on the shores of the Lake and countless sandy beaches to sunbath and ski off. Fishing is also a popular pastime, as is sailing, jet skiing and wind surfing.
Bonegilla, a stone’s throw east of Wodonga, was Australia’s largest post Second World War migrant reception centre. Over 320,000 new Australians came through this camp from 1949 to 1972. Much of this rich history has been captured in the Bonegilla Collection at the local Albury Regional Museum and part of the original site, Block 19, has been preserved as a memorial.
Albury Wodonga is the perfect base to explore the wider region offering city standard, country style accommodation and services.
|Location:||300km north-east of Melbourne, 550km south-west
of Sydney and 340km south-west of Canberra.
|Naming Origin:||Albury is thought to have been named by Assistant Surveyor General, Thomas Townsend in the early 1800s. Townsend originally named the settlement ‘Bungambrawartha’ but the landscape surrounding the area so reminded him of the English village of Albury, that the name was altered. Similarly, Wodonga was originally called ‘Belvoir’ by the Huon family after the Earl of Belvoir. When surveying the area, Townsend named the road between the two settlements ‘Woodonga’, after a Koori plant found in nearby lagoons. However, over time, Belvoir became known as ‘Wodonga’.|
|Visitor Information Centre||
Albury Visitor Information Centre