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  • Writer's pictureTrekking Downunder

Stepping back in time, The Pioneer Settlement Swan Hill Review

Pioneer Village

We were recently encouraged by some really good friends of ours to check out the Pioneer Settlement in Swan Hill, Victoria. As you know by now I (Amy) am a massive enthusiast of all things old school and history related....... Well Ryan has just recently started to overtake me on an attractions historical appeal. Having never had a massive interest in things outside his trade, its so awesome to see that this trip has awakened his inner historian.

As a little girl, I had some of the best memories of visiting Old Sydney Town with my family, it’s just like the Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement, a little village in which you literally step back in time and walk down the streets and into the stores that existed back in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.

Such incredible family adventure memories I hold, but I was always so disappointed the day it shut and like many historical interactive attractions, closed and disappeared for ever. Well Swan Hill’s attraction was just what I had hoped it would be, if not more.

After 52years of business, this true life recreation of the Mallee Township was interactive, educational and mind blowing- even the mini trekkers didn’t know where to look, with so many exhibits, activities and so much detail.

What made the day even more special for us, was that it just happened to coincide with our middle mini trekkers 7th Birthday. What an incredible way to spend the day. We not only enjoyed the pioneer village, but we relaxed on the PYAP- a gorgeous paddle steamer cruise down the Murray River before heading home to our van in Nyah for dinner and returning for the Heartbeat of the Murray night time laser light show.

Experience is in the details- things like, when one of the beautiful characters in costume on the streets of old school Mallee was told by Lucas it was his birthday, she played her ukulele and sung him ‘Happy Birthday’. Later in the day she also sung to our miniest trekker, ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ whilst we were trying to get him to sleep in the pram. Its things like the complimentary cruise around town in the 1925 Dodge vintage car and the stroll around the village in the vintage omnitransport horse and carriage (both of which are included in your ticket price).

The Blacksmith found us wondering around the ‘Boys Toys’ and asked if we’d like to come on over for a demonstration where he made old school nails for the boys to each keep. And it’s things like the numerous homesteads on display with real life room settings and education plaques...... But this really is only the tip of the iceberg to what we saw and did on the day.

Fun Fact; Did you know that in the later half of the 1800’s- houses were built of mud-brick and that it was not uncommon for kitchens to catch fire. So kitchens were always built seperate to the main homestead, that way in the case of fire (which sounds strangely frequent) the kitchen would burn down but not the entire house.......

Along with incredible recreations of an entire township with authentic tools, working machinery, vintage cars, incredible variety of horse carriages, enormous collections of steel wheel tractors, a functioning blacksmiths workshop, full shop kit outs (pharmacy, bank, library, musical shop, general store, newspaper printer, post office, barber, bakery, church plus so many more) and the characters wondering the streets with you- you will be welcomed by gorgeous staff, incredible volunteers, interactive demonstrations and numerous activities...... So much to experience, so much to see.

We linked in our village visit with a ride on the PYAP paddle steamer and the Heartbeat of the Murray laser light show in a 2 consecutive day family 3-1 pass (best value, single admission prices available) but you can mix and match for a 2-1 pass or just visit the one top of your list- (Family pass covers 2 adults and up to 4 kids).

But either way you do it- if you have the time, I definitely recommend you take two days to explore and really enjoy all that the Pioneer Settlement collection has to offer, especially if you have kidletts.

Don’t miss this incredible attraction- there are not many like this little Gem left.

If your in the Swan Hill region- saddle on over, and tell them Trekking Downunder sent you.

Just wanted to send out a special thank you to all the staff who all took the time and made our visit a super memorable experience.

For more information and ticket details visit or call 1800 981 911


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