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. She moved to the area with her nine children, after her husband John Hume was killed by bushrangers in Gunning. Elizabeth named her home ‘Byramine’, meaning ‘rustic retreat’. The design of the house is unique, due to the octagonal central room, or ‘the fortress’, which ensured a clear view out all windows, in case of attack. The homestead remains in its original condition, and is open to the public.
The village of Yarrawonga was founded in 1868, and by 1874 was large enough to justify the opening of a courthouse. In 1881, Yarrawonga’s population was recorded at 366. Mulwala was declared in 1858, and was a crossing place for people travelling to the Victorian goldfields. By the 1890’s, Yarrawonga-Mulwala was an important crossing point.