Evidence of Aboriginal settlement can be found all along the Murray, in shell middens, scarred trees and sacred sites. The most impressive site is Mungo National Park, where the discovery of bones has dated human habitation of the Murray-Darling basin to at least 40,000 years. It’s best visited on an indigenous guided tour from Mildura or Wentworth.
By comparison, European settlement of less than 200 years is a mere drop in the river, so to speak, but the Murray conjures up fascinating tales of explorers, pioneers, pastoralists and paddlesteamers!
If you’re interested in travelling in the footsteps of early explorers or roaming bushrangers, the Murray is a rich source. See the tree marked by Hume and Hovell on their 1824 expedition in Albury’s Hovell Tree Park, or visit the site where Burke and Wills camped at Swan Hill on the 15th day of their ill-fated south-north expedition across Australia in 1860, and where they planted a Moreton Bay fig tree that still stands strong at 30m high.