National Parks draws tourists in


The majestic towering river red gum forest of the Gunbower National Park is a major attraction for the Gannawarra shire. The Murray River, Gunbower Creek and associated tributaries which snake their way through the 8892 hectare National Park provide an environment for a myriad of waterbirds, wildlife and aquatic plants.

Over 200 different species of birds frequent the park, along with 195 species of native fauna and 200 different varieties of plants. Around 30 threatened species have made a home in the park including the Inland Carpet Python, Squirrel Glider and the Broad shelled Turtle. There are only 100 breeding pairs of the White Bellied Sea Eagle remaining in Victoria, and these too can be found within the sanctuary of the Gunbower National Park.

Every year thousands of people camp along the banks of the mighty Murray making the most of this beautiful and unique water environment. The numerous sandy river beaches provide popular swimming spots over the warmer summer months, while walking tracks and picturesque drives also feature throughout the park.

Recreational fishing is very popular amongst enthusiasts with the river being a well known breeding ground for native fish species including Murray Cod and Golden Perch. A current NSW freshwater recreation fishing license is required for the Murray River while a Victorian recreational license is required for fishing in waters south of the Murray River.

Both boating and canoeing feature highly on the list of recreational activities and are very popular amongst locals and tourists alike. A 5km canoe trail has been established at Safes lagoon near Koondrook which allows visitors to take in the serenity and highlights of our local waterways and wetlands.

The park has a rich and colourful history. It was frequented by two indigenous clans the Barapa Barapa and the Yorta Yorta who called the area Kanbowro- (twisting and torturous like the neck of a swan) There are shell middens, burial sites and scar trees frequented throughout the area and these are Australian Heritage sites, protected by law.

The first Europeans settled at Gannawarra station to graze sheep and cattle. It wasn’t long before they realised the value of the red gum timber which grew so prolifically in the area. A timber industry was established in the 1870’s initially providing railway sleepers for the railway network. The industry grew into the next two centuries but was closed down when the forest was declared a national park in 2010Murray river 002

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