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Swan Hill is a town with a population of approx. 10,000 on the Murray River in Victoria, 338 kilometres north of Melbourne.
Before European settlement the area was inahabited by by the Wemba-Wemba and Wati-Wati people. Thomas Mitchell named Swan Hill while camping beside a hill in 1839.
The area around Swan Hill thrives mainly on farming and wine growing due to irrigation from the Murray river. A giant Murray Cod outside the train station is a monument to the big cod fish that had been caught in the river before irrigation and drought affected the river.
The town is a gateway to outback New South Wales and a popular tourist spot featuring a historic Pioneer Settlement Museum. It is believed that Burke and Wills planted a Moreton Bay Fig tree in the town which is now approx. 27 metres high and over 44 metres wide.
There are no kangaroos in Austria. We're talking about Australia, the world's smallest continent. That being cleared up, let's dive right in! Australia is a sovereign state under the Commonwealth of Nations, which is in turn overseen by Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The continent was first sighted and charted by the Dutch in 1606. Captain James Cook of Britain came along in the next century to claim it for Britain and name it "New South Wales." Shortly thereafter it was declared to be a penal colony full of nothing but criminals and convicts, giving it the crap reputation you may have heard at your last cocktail party. This rumor ignores 40,000 years of pre-European human history, especially the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime, an interesting explanation of physical and spiritual reality. The two biggest cities in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more for business, Melbourne for arts. But that's painting in very broad strokes. Take a whirl around the panoramas to see for yourself! Text by Steve Smith.