Nyah and Nyah West

Nyah and Nyah West, about 3 km from each other, are 25 km north-west of Swan Hill. Nyah is on the Murray River. Nyah West is on the railway line from Swan Hill to Piangil and is the larger of the two towns. It is thought that the name was derived from an Aboriginal word describing a bend in the Murray River.


In 1892 a township was surveyed and named Tyntynder, but within two years it was renamed Nyah. Farm selection blocks were made available and a community village settlement was established. A school was opened at Nyah in 1896. Private pumping schemes drew irrigation water from the river (1902) and water was also drawn from Long Lake (near Lake Boga) and channelled to Nyah West by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (1903). The commission installed a pumping station at Nyah Bend in 1909, mainly for fruit production.

Nyah West

In 1915 the railway line was extended northwards from Swan Hill, bypassing Nyah and prompting the formation of the Nyah West township. A school (Nyah Railway Station School) was opened in 1915. A fruit growers cooperative was formed in 1915 and in the mid-1920s it built a packing shed at the railway siding. Nyah West was the site of the district hospital (1920s) and a grain elevator was added in 1943. Nyah West thus became the business focus of the Nyah district, but for some time both towns had Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches. The Catholic church was at Nyah West where Anglican and Uniting churches are now located. A district newspaper was established in 1921, carrying the name Nyah and Piangil Times.

Recreational and sports facilities slightly predominate in Nyah, including a trotting track, swimming pool, tennis, football and cricket venues. A boat ramp is on the river. Nyah West has the bowls and golf clubs. The towns’ two hotels were rationalised in 1955, the Grand Hotel at Nyah West being the one which has continued. Another rationalisation was the closure of the Nyah school (1896-1996). The Nyah District primary school had 58 pupils in 2014.

There are extensive vineyards extending westwards from Nyah to beyond Nyah West. Irrigation efficiency was improved in 1981 when a pipeline replaced open channels. The Nyah West district also has livestock and grain farming.

The Nyah Harness Racing Club moved to the Swan Hill racecourse in 2012.

The census populations have been:

census date population
  Nyah Nyah West
1901 44 -
1911 130 -
1921 557 483
1947 460 829
1961 459 588
1981 351 535
1996 358 519
2001 314 547
2011 263 491

Further Reading

Alice E. Lockhart, Souvenir of Back to Nyah, Nyah West, Easter 1974, Back-To committee, 1974

Lesley Scholes, A history of the Shire of Swan Hill: public land, private profit and settlement, Swan Hill, 1989

Grace Willoughby, On this bend of the river, Nyah, 1993