The Murray River, Australia’s longest permanently flowing river, rises in the mountains in the east of Victoria and flows to the northwest, forming much of the boundary between Victoria and New South Wales. There used to be paddle steamers on the river in the old days, brought back to life at the historic Pioneer Settlement in Swan Hill, Australia’s first open-air museum. Echuca is another port on the Murray River, also with a paddle steamer on display. There is now a dam on the Murray River near Talangatta, and the resulting Lake Hume drowned what is now called “Old Tallangatta”: the town moved eight kilometres west in 1956.
The town of Glenrowan, 90 kilometres southwest of Albury-Wodonga, is famed as the site of the final shootout in 1880 of Ned Kelly, the Australian bushranger, outlaw, gang leader and convicted murderer, with the police. One of the last bushrangers, he is known for wearing a suit of bulletproof armour during his final shootout, and various statues of him are displayed in the town, which also has a museum dedicated to him. Heading south from there, near Alexandra with its historic railway station, is Lake Eildon, an artificial lake on the Goulburn River. Another such lake near Healesville is the Maroondah Reservoir, created by a dam across the Watts River. Healesville is the home of the Healesville Sanctuary, a zoo specialising in native Australian animals.
Further south is the Upper Yarra Valley with its centre of Warburton and the Yarra Ranges National Park, with its cool rain forests. The Dandenong Ranges, only 35 kilometres from Melbourne, offers walking tracks in the woods and the wonderful William Ricketts Sanctuary, a park filled with clay- and ceramic sculptures by William Ricketts (1898 - 1993) who often travelled to Central Australia during the fifties to live with tribal Aborigines: his statues, made for over fifty years, reflect his philosophy, connecting with Aboriginal spirituality. Heading west is the Gippsland region, with rolling hills, farmland and nature reserves, like the Lyrebird Forest Walk near Dundalk and Tarra-Bulga National Park, 23 kilometres northwest of Yarram.