Yarrawonga Mulwala History
The Pangerang Tribe were the original aboriginal inhabitants of the area, from Howlong to Berrigan, and are attributed with naming the twin towns. ‘Yarra’ means ‘water running over rocks’, and ‘wonga’ was named after the ‘wonga pigeon’ which were abundant in the region at the time. ‘Mulwala’ means ‘big lagoon’ or ‘big back water’. Read More.
In 1842, explorer Hamilton Hume assisted his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hume to form the ‘Yarrawonga Run’, built on a sand hill by a lagoon near the Murray River. Elizabeth was the first European to live in north east Victoria, and moved to the area with her nine children, after her husband John Hume was killed by bushrangers in Gunning. Read More.
Before the railway was extended to Yarrawonga in 1886, paddle steamers plied their way as far as Albury, transporting timber, wheat, wool and general merchandise. Construction of the first (wooden) traffic bridge began in 1889, and was completed in 1891. Three days of celebrations followed. Read More.
Construction of the weir began early in 1935, and was completed in 1939 as part of the Murray-Darling Irrigation Scheme. In 1937 the first suggestions were made concerning the clearing of the red gum forest, to create an open area in the lake. The Yarrawonga Weir was built to raise the water level in the Murray River to ensure diversion of water via gravity. Read More.