Nathalia’s rich heritage celebrated

By John Lewis

Nathalia is a town where heritage is visible on every street corner — so it is appropriate it has a centre to celebrate the rich history of the region.

The Barmah Forest Heritage and Education Centre in Blake St has been a showcase for the region’s deep history since it opened in 2011.

A feature of the building is the use of red gum timber recycled from the old wharf at Echuca.

The centre is used as a resource for schools, social groups and visitors throughout the year and features permanent displays of indigenous history, timber cutting, river boats, cattlemen and, of course, the rich history and wildlife of the Barmah Forest.

It also acts as a visitor information centre for tourists to see what the region has to offer.

The centre has locally produced food products such as honey and sauces as well as locally made crafts, history books and DVDs for sale.

Moira Shire Council has partnered with Western Moira Tourism to run the centre, helped by dedicated volunteers who supply information and tours on a regular basis.

Since 2013 more than 45000 visitors have walked through the centre’s doors.

A stunning 3-D floor painting featuring water, fish, lizards, snakes and birds from the area rises up to greet visitors.

The centre’s current exhibition features photographs and stories of more than 50 historic buildings in the area compiled by the Nathalia and District Historical Society.

The display features information on a huge selection of landmarks from the Mechanics Institute built in 1887 to bank buildings, sawmills, hotels, houses, bridges and many more fascinating examples of the town’s architecture.

The Barmah Forest Heritage and Education Centre is open from 9am to 5pm every day.

For more information, phone 58662289.