Do you have a love for history and historical bridges? If you do then head to the historical Swing Bridge in Sale which was built in 1883 and spans across the La Trobe River. The historical bridge is the oldest operational swing bridge in Australia.
Built of cast iron and wrought iron cross beams the bridge is awesome to visit. The bridge is open to foot traffic only. The bridge is 61m long and has a swing span of approximately 46m. As we walked across the bridge our imagination started to think about what the area would’ve been like back in 1883. To think back in the day the bridge was opened to enable steamers to pass through and travel between Sale and Melbourne. What a magnificent sight that must’ve been to witness.
Around the Swing Bridge precinct you can read up about the history. Details showing the draft drawings of the bridge to information on the bridgekeepers to the restoration which commenced late 2003 and finished at the start of 2006.
If you’re interested in watching the bridge open, ensure you check out the bridge opening times to avoid disappointment. Unfortunately we didn’t witness the bridge open, the open times were Sat & Sun, 3:00pm & 4:00pm and the 2nd Wed each month at 11:00am. A vast difference to the historical times when it would open up to 20 times a day.
The area is a lovely place to go for a picnic, with spots along the river. For those a little more energetic there is the River Heritage and Wetlands Trail to explore. So ensure you allow yourself plenty of time when visiting the area if you intend to go on the trail.
- Picnic Tables
- Historical information
- River Heritage and Wetlands Trail
Nearby places to explore in Sale
Below are some of the places we explored on our day trip in Sale. They were all great places to visit and learn some history of the area.
- Port of Sale
- Sale Powder Magazine
- Sale Common Wetland
- Lake Gutheridge/Guyatt, Sale
- River Heritage and Wetlands Trail, Sale
Places to explore in the Gippsland Region
We visited Sale as part of a 4 day holiday of the Gippsland Region with the main purpose to attend a family wedding. We took the opportunity to see as much of the scenic region as we could. Yes, we will be back to explore more as there is so much on offer in this spectacular part of Victoria.
Below are some of the places we visited in the Gippsland Region, ensure you check the road conditions before heading off and ensure your vehicle is suitable for some of the roads. If you are heading to the iconic McKillops Bridge, 11km of the road leading to the bridge is said to be one of the most dangerous roads in Australia.
Click on the links to learn more about our adventures:
- Buchan Reserve, Buchan
- Little River Falls, Wulgulmerang East
- Little River Gorge, Wulgulmerang East
- McKillops Bridge, Deddick Valley
- Ambyne Suspension Bridge, Deddick Valley
- Pettmans Beach, Lake Tyers
- Shelleys Beach, Lake Tyers
- Lakes Entrance
- Golden Beach
Swing Bridge Location
Situated 5km south of the city of Sale in Victoria.
- Thomas River Caravan Park, 6879 S Gippsland Hwy, Sale, VIC 3850
- Approximately 217km, 2hrs 37mins from Melbourne CBD (with tolls)
- Approximately 35km, 28mins from Golden Beach
- Approximately 112km, 1hr 30mins from Lakes Entrance
- Approximately 228km, 3hrs 17mins from McKillops Bridge, Deddick Valley
Have you visited any old bridges that you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear about your experiences.