BLACK SWANS are very noisy birds, as the first researcher, Major Thomas Mitchell, established in 1836, when in the early morning his sleep was interrupted by screams on the banks of the Murray. Hence the town of Swan Hill got its name, and black swans still remain its bright characteristic feature.
One of the most popular attractions of Swan Hill is the Pioneer Settlement Museum, recreated on the banks of the river on 3 hectares of the living city of the turn of the XX century. The settlement is filled with the noise of printing presses, the sound of blacksmith hammers, the smell of baking bread and the hubbub of everyday life. The “inhabitants” wear clothes of that period and produce old-fashioned goods for sale to tourists. Some of the log houses are built of Murray pine, a hard wood impervious to termites. The sound and light show in the late evening especially brings back pictures of the past.
The large paddle steamer oPiap” runs along the Murray, making one-hour pleasure trips for tourists. He walks twice a day from the “pioneer settlement” behind the place where Major Mitchell spent his memorable sleepless night.