The muddy appearance does not indicate an unclean waterway. In fact, the Yarra is probably one of the cleanest capital city rivers in the world. Since the major clean-up campaigns of the late s and s, the river has again become home to several species of fish and even the occasional dolphin. The Yarra has a tidal range of 2. More information Melbourne Water. The Yarra has played a pivotal role in the pre-European history and the modern development of Melbourne.
They camped on both banks of the river, especially near present day Government House and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
They caught eels in the swamps and lagoons of the river and fished using funnel-shaped fish pots. Wedge asked local aborigines what they called the cascading waters on the lower section of the river.
On the banks of the Yarra on 8 June, John Batman enacted his now infamous purchase of , acres of land with a group of local aborigines. He constructed huts on the south bank. Click on each of the following Chapter MP3 files to hear the story of the vision of many architects, urban designers and planners to realise the potential of the area, woven into a history of the river from pre-white settlement to today. The discovery of the Yarra, and its fresh water, was crucial to the founding and subsequent development of Melbourne.
During early years of settlement, ships travelled upstream as far as Queensbridge Street, where a rock barrier and water cascades blocked them. The falls separated the salt water of the bay from the fresh river water used by early Melburnians for drinking, bathing, irrigation and fishing. Early commercial and housing development clustered near where the ships berthed.
The ancient delta of the Yarra meant that the land between Williamstown and St Kilda was mostly swamp. Early Melbourne, therefore, was built on the higher northern banks, relegating the south bank to light industrial development until the s. As industry spread upstream, suburbs such as Collingwood and Richmond grew out from the centre. Fashionable homes were built on the south side, such as Como House in South Yarra. Before bridges spanned the Yarra, ferries and punts carried people and their animals from bank to bank.
The first bridge at the main Swanston St-St Kilda Road crossing was a timber structure built in Development caused problems of sewage and industrial waste contamination of the lower Yarra. Albert Park Lake is the last remnant of those delta swamps. The floodplain gives the world-famous Yarra Valley wine region its very productive soils. With 24 tributaries and a catchment area that covers about square kilometres - the Yarra was historically an unpredictable river, with frequent severe floods.
The first flood was recorded in The first white explorers noted evidence of floodwaters rising 20 metres or more. In the century between the founding of Melbourne in and the devastating flood of which left 18 people dead, homeless and spread as a single lake from South Yarra to Warrandyte it was the Yarra River that determined how the city developed. The rock bar was blasted and the river was widened and straightened.
This was designed by British engineer Sir John Coode. It took 20 years to construct and not only shortened travel time up the river for boats, but also created Victoria Harbour and Victoria Dock. Between and , the Board removed 24, items of natural debris from the river to improve flood control.
In a new river channel was cut at Burnley, which created Herring Island in the process. In the s the construction of the Eastern Freeway further altered the course of the River. Everywhere you look along the river valley there is evidence of how the Yarra helped to shape the city of Melbourne.
The Yarra River has been under pressure ever since the early years of European settlement when it was used as a dumping ground for industrial waste.
Epidemics of typhoid and diphtheria led to a Royal Commission in the s. As a result of the Commission, the Western Treatment Plant was built at Werribee to stop sewage flowing directly to the Yarra. In the s, Melbourne homes began to be connected to the sewerage system. At the same time, about , hectares of land around the source of the Yarra was locked up to provide high quality drinking water.
More recently, gains have been achieved through further sewerage system upgrades; councils and the development industry working with water authorities to reduce stormwater pollution; and farmers, community groups and water authorities becoming partners in a range of Yarra River improvement programs. These and other initiatives have helped maintain water quality levels in the Yarra in the past 10 years - a significant achievement in the face of continued urbanisation and intensification of agriculture.
One day two boys were playing in the bush, throwing their toy spears at whatever bird they saw. After a while they tired of this game and, sighting an old wattle tree, went up to it in the hope of finding some wattle gum, of which they were very fond. They saw some gum on a bough fairly high up, and one of the boys climbed the tree and reached it.
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