Kerang is a township of some 7,000 people built on the Loddon River, on the edge of a series of wetlands made up of some 50 lakes and swamps and home to hundreds of thousands of birds who return to the area to breed in Spring. Otherwise, the township is a commercial centre for the local agricultural and livestock industries.
The Ibis Rookery at Reedy Lake. The symbol for the town is the Ibis, which isn’t too surprising considering that each year from August to April, 200,000 of the birds visit the area to breed in the wetlands. The species of Ibis that are found in the wetlands are the straw-necked ibis, the white ibis and the rarer glossy ibis. Other birds that can be seen in the wetlands include pelicans, swans, spoonbills, cormorants, darters, egrets and ducks. It is estimated that the birds in the wetlands eat 5 tonnes of insects daily, a boon to the local farming community.
The Loddon River at Canary Island, downstream of Korang.
The beginnings of the town have much to do with the Loddon River. By 1845 squatters had started to arrive in the area. One Richard Beyes set up an inn at a river crossing close to where the future town was to located. In 1857, Woodford Patchell set up a farm in the area and pumped water from the Loddon River. By 1863, Patchell had built a bridge a little upriver from the Beye’s establishment, followed by a hotel and this became the seed for the future town.
The heritage listed former bank building in Kerang was erected in 1889 for the London Chartered Bank. The building was designed in the Queen Anne style, with one of the architects being Henry Kemp, one of the best exponents of this architectural style in Australia.