Straddling the Victoria-New South Wales border and the Murray River, the combined city of Albury-Wodonga is a thriving commercial and residential centre of 72,000.
The region has always been important to the Aborigines as a rich source of food, with fish and waterfowl that lived on the river, lakes and wetlands and kangaroos and emus which grazed in large numbers on the lush grasslands.
Today the Murray and its attendant Lake Hume and weir remain the dominant features in the area and play vital roles in both the working and recreational life of the community.
Set up as a military camp during the early days of World War II, a government complex at Bonegilla was converted into a transit camp to help cope with the flood of refugees and migrants who poured into Australia at war's end. From 1947 to 1971, the Bonegilla Migrant Reception Area gave shelter to more than 320,000 people from 31 different countries. Bonegilla is now back in Army hands.
The decision to locate one half of the city, Albury, in NSW and the other in Victoria wasn’t exactly planned. The boundary between NSW and Victoria was supposed to follow the route of the Murrumbidgee River well to the north of Albury, but a clerical error led to the Murray being declared the official dividing line.