Tyntyndyer (Tyntynder in modern spelling) homestead is in the Swan Hill irrigation district, 16 km north of Swan Hill in north-west Victoria. The heritage-listed homestead was built in 1846 by Andrew & Peter Beveridge who took up the Tyntyndyer pastoral run. The pastoral run was the first European settlement in the Swan Hill district.
The Tyntyndyer Plains, stretching along the Victorian banks of the mighty Milloo (Murray River) was home to the Watti Watti people for thousands of years. Their homes were built of bark and mud, mia-mias and they farmed the land. Native grass seeds and nardoo were harvested and ground for flour, stubble was burnt and lush regrowth attracted grazing stock – kangaroos and emu. Fish nets were woven from the fibrous roots of reeds and quandong, the native fruit, was harvested and dried. reeds, for spears, and possum skins were traded for green stone, used for axes. Major Mitchell arrived at ‘Matakupa’ in 1836 and named the area Swan Hill. In 1846 the Beveridge brothers travelled from Kilmore by bullock dray and settled on 300 square miles of land. The property retained the name of these rich grass plains and became known as Tyntyndyer Station.
The construction of the homestead, of drop log cabin cabin of Murray Pine, was commenced in that year. Bricked over in 1850, with had made bricks, this has been classified as the first brick veneer in Australia. The homestead was completed in 1854 with a solid brick extension and in 1860 roof iron, brought from Glasgow, was placed over the stringy bark shingles.
The homestead, furnishings, collections and artifacts have all remained intact and now offer an excellent, authentic and fascinating insight into early colonial days.
- Wonderful inventions that remained at Tyntyndyer from the early settlers
- Cellar – filled with an amazing collection of Aboriginal artifacts and curios from indigenous cultures around the world – protected under the custodianship of the Watti Watti people
- Chock log cabin kitchen – floor to ceiling full of bric-a-brac and pioneer memorabilia (1854)
- Enter the schoolhouse and tutor room (1854) and see the assorted collections of sewing samplers, school work and early photographic equipment
- “Tyntyndyer” is the Aboriginal name of the area and means “song of the birds” and true to it’s name the quiet gardens and huge trees which shade the homestead today play host to a variety of beautiful native birds (garden established in the mid 1800s with assistance from Baron Von Mueller)