The Best Swan Hill Wedding Photography Locations
Nestled on the ‘heart of the Murray river’, Swan Hill is a small town in northern Victoria that offers an abundance of different wedding photography settings, only a stone’s throw away from each other.
Brides, grooms and their photographers have access to beautiful river backdrops and towering forests that are juxtaposed by red sandy tracks and open lakes.
I have been photographing weddings in Swan Hill for almost 5 years now and have been lucky enough to visit some of the best wedding photography locations in Swan Hill. Below is a small collection of what’s on offer to help you organise your own wedding.
Nyah State Forest
My favourite place to take wedding photos in the Swan Hill area is actually slightly out of Swan Hill at Nyah State Forest (and Vinifera Forest – see below).
This bushland reserve offers a magnificent backdrop of the beautiful, wide Murray river, perfect for taking photos on the banks. The views of this riverbank provide wonderful colour contrasts for your wedding photos and plenty of natural light – a photographer’s dream!
The Nyah State Forest is easily accessible by car and provides plenty of shade to keep you cool and relaxed on your wedding day, however to get the most of out of this location ensure that you have some bug repellent with you if your wedding is going to be held in the spring and summer months of the year (flies are not fun!).
Bonus tip: You are able to have your ceremony at the Nyah Forest. It’s a great location for your vows as it offers you an amazing backdrop for your ceremony photos, but it also provides shade to keep your guests happy and comfortable.
About 5 minutes down the road, along a dirt track, you will find the Vinifera Forest. This forest is easy to access and offers a dramatic setting of towering bushland.
This wedding photography location offers both bushland and earthy backdrops as well as river access. Here at the Vinifera Forest it is easier to access shots with the impressive bushland as your background due to being more densely packed than the Nyah State Forest. It also offers a variety of fallen timber and smaller growth to give you a variety of shots under the canopy.
River access is also good. You can get quite close to the river at some points creating a different option than the Nyah State Forest.
If you’re not keen on travelling too far on your wedding day, the Pioneer Settlement may be your ultimate location to hold your Swan Hill wedding. The establishment has locations for ceremonies and a beautiful open-air function room (which was recently updated) for receptions. It is also an easy walking distance from most motels!
As a photographer The Pioneer Settlement is a gem (excuse the pun). The location offers many different backdrops including garden backgrounds, beautiful rustic buildings, fun old-fashioned transport and river views all within an extremely short walking distance. The Pioneer Settlement also allows photographers to get creative with unpaved roads, balconies and window displays.
The location is easily accessible and allows brides to get around in all different footwear. It is also a central location that can be used just for wedding photos without adding much time to the wedding day schedule.
Please note, you should contact the Settlement prior to your day to ensure it is not booked for another event etc.
Approximately a 45 minute drive from Swan Hill (but only a short drive from Kerang!), Lake Charm is the farthest lake location on our list but it is well worth the drive!
Beautiful blue backdrops await you as you enter through the caravan park to gain access to the shoreline of the lake. Gorgeous green grass, gumtrees and wooden seats line the edge of the lake providing many opportunities for stunning wedding photos.
Lake Charm is perhaps best visited at sunset for wedding photos. Due to the reflective surface and undisturbed views of the lake, it is perfect for the ultimate sunset wedding photos.
Bonus tip: You are able to have magical wedding ceremonies at Lake Charm, check the Gannawarra Shire Council’s website for details.
Pental Island (Pental Island Caravan Park)
Pental Island is another location that offers ceremonies, receptions and an abundance of wedding photo opportunities all at the one place, that is still very close to Swan Hill (approximately a 10 minute drive).
This location offers the opportunity for beautiful rustic wedding photos with some of my favourites being the old barn, the cream road lined with old gums by the river and the garden.
This setting is similar to the Nyah State Forest but is privately owned and would require booking for wedding photos if you were not having the ceremony or reception there.
The closest lake to Swan Hill, Lake Boga also allows for beautiful wedding photos with a beautiful blue backdrop.
Lake Boga is only about a 10 minute drive from Swan Hill so it is far more convenient for wedding photos, however it does not offer the trees at the water’s edge like Lake Charm and Kangaroo Lake does. Instead you can find sandy shorelines, perfect for kicking off your shoes and enjoying your wedding photos on.
Again, this location is perfect for sunset photos as there are limited things blocking your view of the lake and the colours of the sky, but to really take advantage of this open space I highly recommend waiting until night falls and the stars come out. Lake Boga is perfect to capture magical night-time wedding photographs and you get that added reflection from the water.
Kangaroo is my favourite lake out of the three and is located along the main highway to and from Swan Hill. It is almost in the middle of Lake Boga and Lake Charm.
I prefer Kangaroo Lake as it offers more variations for photos. There are a lot more plants living along the edge of the lake including bush reeds and willows and many BBQ areas that you can stop at for wedding photos. The lake also has a small jetty that makes for gorgeous photos. On top of this, there is also uninterrupted views of the lake on one side, similar to the others.
Mystic park pub is also a short drive from Kangaroo Lake, serving as a fun stop off during your wedding photos to refresh (if that’s your sort of thing).
Swan Hill Wetlands and Riverside (Boat ramp)
If you are running low on time in your schedule but want a variety of backdrops for your wedding photos, then the Swan Hill Wetlands and walking track is the way to go!
Located at the end of Milloo Street, the wetlands offer backdrops of a variety of foliage, woodland, and a water feature in the form of a dam.
A very short walk from this spot will lead you to the banks of the mighty Murray river and magnificent old gum trees.
Sandy back-roads on the way to Ultima
If water isn’t really your thing, there are plenty of dusty, country roads just waiting to be explored.
These beautiful dirt roads offer such unique wedding photo locations! The rich red colouring perfectly contrasts with stunning white wedding dresses (with another bonus of this Swan Hill wedding photo location being that in dry weather the sand will shake right off)!
Although there are many tracks around the Swan Hill area, I highly recommend visiting the roads that run between the Sea Lake–Swan Hill Road and the Lake Boga- Ultima Road, on your way out to Ultima. These roads could include Dalrymple Road, Devine Road, Dog-netting Fence Road and my favourite (a road I have walked many times due to living near it once upon a time) Mason Road.
These roads have plenty of opportunities for photos with rolling paddocks or Mallee shrub, and depending on the time of year you hold your wedding, you may even find yourself a canola paddock.
Most of these roads are easily accessible by most cars in the dry, but I do recommend checking them out a day or two before your wedding to confirm there are no road blocks and the terrain hasn’t changed.
Railway Nyah West
If you’re planning on taking the trip out to the Nyah Vinifera Forest, you may consider returning via Nyah West to utilise the railway for wedding photos (and perhaps stop in for a refreshment at the old Grand Hotel, also known as the Nyah West Pub).
Beautiful earthy tones and blue skies that go on forever await you along the railway where you can live out your railway wedding photo fantasy (if that’s your thing – seriously Pinterest it if you don’t know what I talking about!).
Bed of Roses (Airbnb Accommodation)
Looking for another closer place for photos? Bed of Roses is an Airbnb accommodation that offers a relaxing place to stay and beautiful gardens to take wedding photos in.
Located near the Swan Hill Racecourse, it is a central location that is perfect for some tranquil wedding photos, particularly for an intimate wedding.
This location features amazing architecture too that includes large, impressive front doors and garden statues. It also have a very unique inside garden which is perfect if you are needing respite from the weather.
Please note, this is a private space so it would need to be booked for wedding photos, however it is likely you will have guests needing accommodation – why not utilise the space for both wedding photos and awesome accommodation?
The Old Courthouse, Moulamein
This location is only for those that have time to travel as it takes about an hour to drive out to this small town. It is perfect for first look photos or pre-ceremony photos!
Take a trip along the Swan Hill Road out to Moulamein (stopping along the way for photos in front of rolling paddocks if you desire) where you can pause for magnificent photos by the river and in the forest. You can also get impressive photos of your car if you have chosen to invest in wedding cars.
Continue into town and follow Carne Street around to Nyang Street to find the crossing to the Old Moulamein Courthouse.
The courthouse is located across an old wooden bridge over a (dry) billabong and is a striking place to take exquisite wedding photos. Bushland surrounds both sides of the bridge and serves as another magical backdrop with the outside of the courthouse also offering a contrasting setting.
On your way back, you can stop at the Moulamein pub, just around the corner from the Moulamein wharf, another wedding photography location in this area.
Did you find this list helpful or did you have a wedding photography location in Swan Hill that you think should be added?