The source of life
The iconic Dungala or Murray River is right on our doorstep, flowing past the historic village of Wahgunyah, just minutes from Rutherglen and many of our famous wineries.
The world's 16th longest river, the Murray has been a source of life for thousands of years, supporting the unique environment and fertile flood plains that saddle the river. First Nations people populated the river country from its source in Kosciuszko National Park to the final flow into the ocean in Adelaide.
The Murray River can be enjoyed by degrees of speed – enjoy waterskiing and rowing, or simply drifting with the current. There are plenty of swimming holes, with The Willows in Wahgunyah and The Lagoon in Corowa popular with families.
There are walking and cycling trails along the river, as well as plenty of picturesque locations ideal for camping, or simply bringing local produce and wine to enjoy a picnic on the banks.
The Murray River offers a vast array of fish, although most anglers come to snap up the legendary Murray cod, with the season’s opening weekend an annual pilgrimage for many. Large populations of trout can be found in the Murray River near Yarrawonga and the Ovens and Goulburn Rivers. You can also find bream, perch and redfin swimming in the Murray.
Ina yillian nbanga gungaia tu-tu-la tun-gudya ganggawa woka. Womeriga Biami nha-wal Gumukan Winyan mulamuk coolaman. Biami ngarri Gumuka birra birra ngana nyan-uk mayila. Paabia wurwich winyarrin nunyir birra broongama ngana woka paabia baka-narrak.
Gumuka winyaril yawal burraya yorta naan mayila. Djinagaga paabia marralatjum yawal thurramdjuba galka winyarrin nunyir woka. Conamurra thulla Gumuka yawal burroya yoorunguk yurratha, bayeet yeeta imigo mayila dora gaka. Biami garaba Gumuka Winya yorta naan. Biami yarganidia dora Gane. Gane ngani wy-yeen nukul woka. Gane woda-amoo Biami yargandia bookoot woka. Nhawal dhamnal ganatj gangawa woka. Womeriga Biami lotjpatj dora birayarwool Gumuka-narrak Winya-narrak yanagai Gane broongama nyanuk.
Gumuka bawu turneja punrira nurruga moogoo winyarrin nunyir bait-tun woka. Kalimna boorja choondonga kyema deekula woota yedabila. Biamil yargandia wooata munura mugingula gorkarra, gangangoor gangangoor wurumaty uta gorkarra gangawa uta Dangala, Yorta Yorta woongle moolaawa malawa uniar.
Translated by Djetcha Zeta Thomson – Yorta Yorta
Excerpt taken from Culture Victoria
In the time of creation, there was a calm over the vast, mist-covered land. Biami the Creator Spirit saw the old woman, Gumuk Winga, with her empty coolaman. She looked very hungry. Biami then told the old woman to go and search for some yams. So she then picked up her digging stick and set out across the land with her dog.
The old woman walked and walked a long way away and could not see any yams. As time went on, she became very weary, walking slowly with her digging stick dragging along the earth. Day turned to night, she walked far under the moonlit sky, singing softly and hoping for some yams to appear. Biami waited for the old woman, but could not see her anywhere. Biami called out to Gane, the great rainbow Snake, who was laying asleep beneath the earth. When Gane heard Biami calling out to him, he lifted his head and made his way to the surface of the earth. He lay there looking out over the dry land when Biami asked him to go and find the old woman and bring her back safely.
Gane then set off following the marks in the earth left by the old woman’s digging stick. His great body moved across the land pushing the earth into hills and valleys, leaving deep crevices in the earth. Beautiful colours from his body spread throughout, covering trees, plants, birds, butterflies and all other creatures.
Then Biami called out in a loud voice, and thunder cracked as lightning flashed across the sky and rain fell. It rained for days, filling up the deep crevices in the earth that were made from the rainbow snake’s body. Then the rain stopped and the mist cleared and the river Dungala was formed. This is the name used by the Yorta Yorta people. Others know it as the Murray River.