You can come with nothing but the clothes on your back, although there are a few things to keep in mind that might make your arrival and stay easier and safer.
All through the year, Swan Hill plays host to events, festivals, conventions and sport tournaments. This means that even during the off-season, accommodation can fill quickly.
If you’re visiting on the spur of the moment, you'll be sure to find somewhere to stay, but for a selection choice, it's recommended you book your accommodation early.
Find Swan Hill accommodation
The Murray River is technically NSW territory, so if you plan to hit the river for a spot of fishing, you’ll need a licence. Getting a licence is quick and easy. For less than $10 you’re free to fish in the Murray and northern waters. Apply online or pick up a licence at an official agent (look for fishing shops or camping supply stores in Swan Hill).
Life jackets are required, on both passengers and drivers, while onboard a vessel or, swimming in the Murray.
River and Lake
The Murray looks placid, but currents can run fast and submerged snags can be treacherous. It’s a mighty river that needs to be treated with respect and caution.
Lots of people use the river for different purposes, so everyone needs to be on the lookout, avoid danger, and provide assistance when possible. If the river is unfamiliar, be especially cautious about swimming.
Importantly, you can’t operate a boat, be an on-board observer or waterski with a BAC of more than 0.05%.
From time to time, the lower Murray River (from Swan Hill to beyond Mildura) suffers from blue-green algae blooms. While fairly uncommon (and occurring mostly in warmer months following slow river flows), these blooms affect fish populations and reduce the water quality. Contact can also cause sickness and allergic reactions in humans.
You’ll know if there’s an algal bloom; locals will warn you and it’ll be reported in the media. If there is an outbreak, Swan Hill is still a great place to visit. It’s just not a great time to be in the water.
Safety when walking/hiking
If you’re camping or bushwalking, make sure to tell someone where you’re headed and when you expect to be back. If you’re heading out on a whim, a call to the local police station will do the trick. The forests and national parks around Swan Hill are begging to be explored, experienced and enjoyed. But it’s all too easy to lose your way.
The heat can catch up with you fast. Fresh, drinkable water sources are scarce. Insects (especially mosquitos) and reptiles live a wonderful life. In short, the Swan Hill region is nature pure and simple. Bring plenty of water, basic first aid gear, and don’t expect 5G phone reception!