Torrumbarry interpretive installation: framing a living river

As the third longest navigable river in the world (after the Amazon and the Nile), the Murray River is no stranger to storytelling. And we are certainly familiar with the nuances of the Living Murray river restoration program, so it made sense we were handed the challenge to reinvent the Torrumbarry Weir interpretive centre near the tourism centre of Echuca-Moama.

On numerous occasions Ecocreative has been engaged to reimagine the interpretation of culture, history and nature along trails or within tourism sites, sometimes when there is already a form of interpretation in place. Such was the case at Torrumbarry, home to an impressive weir, amidst the world's greatest River Red Gum forests of Victoria and New South Wales.

Following a scoping study, including a site visit, many chats with people in the know and recording of the existing installations and displays (now looking worse for wear) we developed a unique approach to creating a concept for the whole centre, but upgrading it in stages (as resources became available).

We learned a lot about the relationships between forestry, conservation and could see how the growth in ecotourism could be matched by a different approach to storytelling. We needed to create something that did not need to hug the perimeter of a building that had very few straight walls or right angles (as can be seen in our 3D model of the space). Our multilayered concepts of themed content (crafted with the input of catchment organisations, Indigenous stakeholders and the operators of the weir), 'signage' evolved to wrap around three frames built by a local carpenter from lengths of red gum we tracked down to the local Arbuthnot Mill (after giving up on our passionate hunt for salvage timber from a demolished bridge).

Although this all took some doing, the effect of being inside the story of the Living Murray within a building perched right near the river itself has delivered a new dimension to the visitor experience and, hopefully, increased appreciation and understanding of what makes places like this so very special.

I have worked with Ecocreative on a number of projects, including their interpretive installation at Torrumbarry. Their team was very professional, creative and able to come up with solutions for conveying a lot of information in interesting ways. They were really adaptive to the challenges of working with numerous project partners, including the local community. I am very happy with the final product and it's a great addition to their interpretive installations at Mildura and Goolwa along the Murray River.
Denise Fowler, Living Murray Communications & Consultation

Client

Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Services delivered

• Research
• Project management
• Creative direction
• Design
• Illustration
• Writing
• Editing
• Proofreading
• Production management

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