Albury sits on the NSW side of the Murray River which is also the state border between NSW & Victoria. Wodonga is its sister city to the south. Albury is the principle city on the Murray due to the historical importance of the river for transport of people, produce and supplies.
The Aboriginal name for the river was ‘Millewa’. It is believed that Aboriginal occupation began as early as 40,000 years ago.
The Albury area knows as ‘Bungambrewatha’, was home to the ‘Wiradjuri’ people before white explorers arrived.
On November 16, 1824, the explorers Hume & Hovell became the first white men to lay eyes on the Murray.
On the river bank today, the mark of a tomahawk can be seen on the tree known as ‘The Hovell Tree’, which marks their crossing point ‘The Crossing Place’.
Twelve years later in 1836, Robert Brown was the first white man to settle permanently in the area. Near the banks of the river he set up a store and market garden. Only a few months later, farmers and graziers began to arrive in search of new pastures for their cattle & sheep. Squatting on the banks on either side of the river, a new community began to emerge.
In 1838 the NSW government commissioned a survey for a township at the ‘Crossing Place’. The new settlement was bordered by Wodonga Place to the west, Hume Street to the North, Nurigong Street to the South and Kiewa Street to the east.
The name Kiewa, the street name where Waverley is located, is derived from ‘cy-a-nun-a’ meaning sweet, and ‘wher-ra’ meaning water. For many years prior to the arrival of these European settlers, Aborigines had appreciated the cool and clear waters of the river. Hence it was decided that one of the main streets in the new town was to be called Kiewa Street meaning ‘sweet water’.