Swan Hill is a town steeped in history from its aboriginal heritage, the naming of the town by Major Mitchell and its settlement by pioneers whose architectural legacy lives on. This ride follows the riverbank of the Marraboor (Little Murray) River past the Regional Art Gallery set beside the Pioneer Settlement Museum. The settlement is worth visiting to see the pioneer cottages, Towaninnie Homestead and the Mallee township. From there the ride passes through parkland under the historic ‘lift’ bridge and along the levee bank to the newly established wetlands.
Gravel shared pathway and short sections of made road.
This is a popular cycling and walking track for locals and tourists visiting the gardens, the pioneer settlement or just having a stroll.
Swan Hill is 339 kilometers from Melbourne on the Calder Highway and 218 kilometers from Mildura on the Murray Valley Highway. The ride commences at the small car park at the end of Mitchel (Bryan) Street at the end of Marraboor Street, which is a continuation of Monash Drive that passes in front of Riverside Park. Monash Drive can be accessed from McCallum Street turning right at the bridge crossing to New South Wales.
Food and Drink
Spoons Riverside Restaurant is situated near the old paddle steamer PS Gem and the Swan Hill Art Gallery. There are tearooms within the pioneer settlement if you choose to visit there. The ride is very close to the Swan Hill CBD where there are numerous shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Crossing the bridge takes you on a shared pathway to Murray Downs resort
The start of the ride is set in a fairly nondescript side street car park beside the river, accessed from Monash Drive. Following the riverbank behind houses, the path emerges on to a gravel road at the rear of the pioneer’s settlement. It heads between the Art Gallery and Spoons Riverside restaurant, whose views of the river, make it a good place to have a coffee after the ride. The path recommences beside the road at the paddle steamer the PS Gem, otherwise known as the "Queen of the Murray".
It was the largest paddle steamer to navigate the Murray River and is now a floating restaurant. The entrance to the highly acclaimed pioneer settlement is beside the Gem. The 'Horseshoe Bend Township' as it is called, has over 50 historic buildings, including a three-dimensional theatre from the late 19th century. There are kangaroos and peacocks strolling around and several picnic areas, including one at Pental Island, reached by a small bridge.
Baking, blacksmithing, pottery, woodturning, printing, saddlery and chaff cutting are all carried out in the traditional manner. You can also sail down the river on the paddle steamer Pyap, which was built in 1896. The path follows the roadside until it comes to the now closed entrance to the caravan park. Taking the path back to the roadside you will ride around the caravan park and enter the Riverside Park on the other side. The Marraboor River joins the Murray at the corner of the park across from the caravan park. Heading back toward the river through the park, you pass plenty of spots to picnic on manicured lawns under spreading trees, taking in the beauty of the river.
Leaving the park you ride under the recently renovated’ lift’ bridge, built in 1896 whose middle section was crank lifted by hand to allow boats through. The ride continues along the raised riverbank levee that protects the town when the river is swollen, until it reaches the newly established wetlands area. The path does a loop around the newly established wetlands, where you will find plenty of birdlife and finishes back beside the river. Retrace the path back into town.
- 0.0 You leave the small car park in Mitchel St turning left following the path beside the river.
- 0.7 The path winds to the left and you enter the rear of the car park between the Regional Art Gallery and the pioneer settlement.
- 0.8 Passing through the car park, turn right onto the path beside the road in front of the PS Gem. The entrance to the pioneer settlement is here.
- 1.3 The path runs beside the road until you come to the entrance to the caravan park, which is closed. Head to the left and follow the roadside path again.
- 1.6 Turn right into Riverside Park crossing the pedestrian crossing in front of the caravan park entrance. Follow the path to the right down to the river.
- 2.1 Head along the path passing under the lift bridge. The path continues on a levee bank passing through a car park beside the river and continues on.
- 3.1 The path reaches the entrance to the wetland park. Follow the path anti-clockwise around the wetlands.
- 3.6 The path returns to the riverside levee bank and the end of the ride. At the time of writing, there were extensive works being carried out and the riverside path may continue on when they are finished.
3.675 km / 2.284 mi
23 m / 75 ft
23 m / 76 ft
75 m / 245 ft