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Published May 13th 2014
Life in the old days
Swan Hill is a bustling country town situated in northwest Victoria on the banks of the Murray River. The Pioneer Settlement is must-do when you're in the area, showcasing life as it was for the very early settlers in the area from the early 1800s up until the 1930s.
It's a leisurely day out wandering the exhibits at the settlement and watching demonstrations of old time skills such as butter-making (you get to try it - delicious) and blacksmithing. Should you get hungry or thirsty there's refreshments available in the tea rooms.
Rides in the horsedrawn carriage and in a vintage car are included in the admission price. The old fashioned lolly shop is popular as is dressing up in historical costumes and taking photos and having personalised wanted posters printed in the Echo Print Shop.
While the Gem paddlesteamer has taken its last journey you can take a ride on the PS Priap up the Murray River and enjoy the view from the water. The Captain provides some interesting tales on the history of the river, the people who worked and travelled on it and and those who settled on its banks. At night in the Pioneer Settlement there is a sound and light show.
A glimpse of the Murray Downs Homestead from the water
There's plenty to see and do at the Settlement with more than 50 original and replica buildings including houses and shops as well as the extensive array of cars, trucks, tractors, farming equipment and horse-drawn vehicles.
Should you find you're running out of time to see everything, at the time of writing the entry ticket includes a complimentary second day to continue exploring. Tickets for the river cruise and the sound and light show can be purchased separately or in packages with general admission tickets. See here for ticket prices and packages.
The Pioneer Settlement is open every day 9:30am - 4pm (except Christmas & Boxing Day).