About the Hunter River Explorer
Many great things have been written about the Hunter River, including songs, poetry, histories, essays, research papers, protest letters, and government reports. All of this reinforces what a major influence the river has had and continues to have in the lives of people living and working in the Hunter region.
The Hunter River Explorer website has been created for the community of the Hunter catchment. It has been developed with funding from the Thiess Riverprize, which was awarded to the Hunter River and presented to the Hunter Catchment Management Trust and its partners in 2003 for their outstanding conservation work in the Hunter River catchment.
The Hunter River Explorer takes visitors on a journey along the Hunter River, stopping at various sites to hear from those who live and work along its banks and aims to highlight the fascinating history of the Hunter River, while also raising awareness to the important issues land managers are currently facing and addressing in their part of the catchment.
The project recognises a long history of conservation in the Hunter Valley. In 1950, just prior to the great flood of 1955, the Hunter Valley Conservation Trust (later known as the Hunter Catchment Management Trust) was established to oversee, monitor and manage the health of the Hunter River catchment.
Over a number of decades the Trust, in partnership with other government and non-government groups, invested substantially in the rehabilitation and conservation of the Hunter River catchment. An important aspect of this work was an emphasis on providing education, advice and financial incentives to landholders with riparian lands to encourage land management practices that would protect the river and aid its recovery into the future. Since 2004 the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has continued the work begun by the Hunter Catchment Management Trust.
The CMA has been fortunate to secure the permission of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) to incorporate into the Hunter River Explorer website a series of interviews conducted by reporters Phil Ashley-Brown and Murdo MacLeod as part of the popular River Stories program that was produced by Newcastle ABC Local Radio in 2003. These interviews bring to life the experiences of a number of local identities, who each tell us why the Hunter River is so important to them.
The CMA is also indebted to the generous support and contributions of the community of the Hunter catchment through the development of this project. The result is a tribute to their enthusiasm and commitment to protect our region's precious natural heritage.