Historical Story


Meet Our Neighbours
Indigenous Story

The River Murray was first discovered by Hume and Hovell, who reached it at a point above Albury in 1824. Hovell named it the Hume after Hume's father, but when Captain Sturt made his voyage to the Murray mouth in 1830, near present day Goolwa, he named it the Murray, after the then Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Ever since Charles Sturt's seventy-seven day trip down Australia's greatest river in 1829—1830, the river has been of utmost importance to South Australia. Early attempts to navigate the river were dangerous and unsuccessful until 1852 when the government offered a bonus of $8,000 for the first paddlesteamer to reach Echuca. This was achieved by both William Randell and Francis Cadell.

It was at this time that river trading was established, providing many thousands of new jobs and creating new settlements and industries along the entire length of the river Murray system.

You can learn more about the stories that have shaped the Murray River Lakes & Coorong region at the Mannum Dock Museum of River History.

Birdman of the Coorong

In the history of South Australia it is thought that there has only ever been one genuine bushranger. This single bushranger was one like no other, pursuing his profession on the back of an ostrich.

Within the Coorong lie the remains of this bushranger. On the shore of Lake Albert you will find a statue of an ostrich in memory of this adventurous man.

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Original Site of the Coonalpyn Primary School

The original Coonalpyn Primary School was built in 1889, 20 years before the township of Coonalpyn was proclaimed. The school was located approximately three kilometres south-east of Coonalpyn along the Dukes Highway. In 1928 the school moved to its current location on Coombe Terrace, west of Coonalpyn.

Somewhere at the original Coonalpyn Primary School site is a geocache.

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