Kotupna is a rural district in north-central Victoria, 35 km east of Echuca and 12 km south-west of Nathalia. Its name was derived from the Kootoopna pastoral run (1843), adjacent to the south side of the Goulburn River, and it is thought that the word described the grass used by Aborigines for net-making.

The Goulburn River east of Echuca enters a meandering course on what is virtually a plain, forming numerous lagoons and providing a habitat for eucalyptus forests. Timber was cut for railway sleepers during the 1870s, and a sawmilling settlement near the river was Kotupna’s origin. When most of the millable timber was cut out the village was moved northwards to a less flood-prone elevation. Kotupna comprised a school (1878), a hotel and a general store. Much of the pastoral run had been occupied by farm selections by the end of the 1870s.

Kotupna’s new location placed it on a road which became the Murray Valley Highway. In 1903 it was described in the Australian handbook:


The flooding of Kotupna’s farmlands was at first lessened by levee banks beside water courses, but more effective control came with the Nagambie, Waranga and Eildon storages on the Goulburn River (1905-27).

In addition to its farming, Kotupna offers locations for fishing and there is a State forest along the Goulburn River. There are a hall and a CFA station, and the Kotupna school closed in 1987.

Kotupna’s census populations have been:

area census date population
Kotupna 1911 306
  1921 257
  1933 204
  1954 135
  1961 113
Kotupna and environs 2011 132

At the 2011 census, farming accounted for 35.1% of employment.

Further Reading

Gillian Hibbins, A history of the Nathalia Shire: the good helmsmen, Hawthorn Press, 1978