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Thread: Murray River Trip & A Bit More, VIC/NSW (Part One)

  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
    Northern Suburbs Melbourne

    Murray River Trip & A Bit More, VIC/NSW (Part One)

    Easter 2017

    This year we decided to avoid the main Easter crush by taking a holiday a week or so before it. That happened to be the first week of our Victoria’s school holidays so our daughter Kristie joined us. Being a school teacher we waited for her to get home from her term breakup, and then by 4pm on Friday afternoon we were on our way.

    We were going to spend the next 8 days at a couple of spots along the mighty Murray River I was sure it would be far quieter than what it would be in a little over a week. Our first destination was Ulupna Island, with so many beaches to choose from we new that at this time of year we were basically going to have the place to ourselves which turned out to be the case.

    Most times when we head up to the river it is early in the day, so this time in the small town of Wunghnu (about thirty ks before the river) the afternoon sun was lighting up the historic Mechanics Institute which was originally built in 1887, it then burnt down in 1888 and rebuilt in 1890.

    It is thought that the name Wunghnu was derived from an Aboriginal word meaning boomerang and is pronounced “one-ewe". In 1873 pastoral runs were being taken up in the district and by 1877 the first few buildings including a post office had been opened up.
    The township is on a boomerang-shaped bend of the Nine Mile Creek, where today many scar trees can still be seen.

    Just after 6.30 we had arrived at the river, a quick set up and as Jen prepared tea I got this shot of the sun setting just downstream from our camp.

    That night it was great to be reacquainted with the stars above, this next pic was taken just before I hit the sack. That bright star is in fact the planet Jupiter, the next photo was taken around 3am when I got up for a pee!

    No sleep in for Col as the best part of the day awaited, not much of a sunrise but the early morning colours cast around our camp were so nice to see.

    Not a breath of wind, so serene and peaceful (other than the screeching of the Cockies!)

    A few pics showing our beautiful camp spot.

    Cruising up and down the river in our boat was a favourite past time, seeing the various beaches and how the recent floods had impacted on them was to us quite interesting.

    This next shot is of Point Beach, here a large gum on the far left of the beach had succumbed to the flood but otherwise it was as it had always been.

    Some beaches had a bit less sand but others had more deposited on them. It’s this flood activity that had created these beaches over thousands of years. And then a pic of lovely small paddle steamer/houseboat we came across moored along the rivers bank.

    Another sunset, it wasn’t just the view towards the sun that I liked but the colours that it cast back towards me were special as well.

    Sunrise the next morning.

    We went for a ride up a backwater a short distance down the river from our camp, this had at one time been the main river channel, the course of the river is constantly changing.

    Another sunset and then some warm morning colours near and around our camp.

    On the three days that we stayed at Ulupna there was hardly any wind at all, this gave me many opportunities to capture reflections cast upon the river.

    On every day we had a swim, the water wasn’t too cold!!!!!! although being well into April it was a bit cooler than in the height of summer! Here’s a couple of pics of Jen and I having a dip, taken by Kristie.

    We had a fantastic three days on the Island but it was time to leave and head off to our next destination, the Murray around Robinvale in the north west of the state.

    As we passed through Tocumwall I photographed the historic Terminus Hotel.

    Along the Cobb Highway from Moama to Wilcania, there are a number of sculptures with interpretative panels that inform the modern traveller of what life was once like along this old stock route. North of Deniliquin and outside the Pretty Pine pub there is one called “Smoko” depicting a timber worker having a cuppa on a just felled log. I love the stand off between the dog and the Cocky!

    From there we headed towards Moulamein, along the way we stopped at the historic Baratta Woolshed. Baratta Station was first taken up in the mid 1850s and was once far larger than it is today. As was the case with most of these large holdings the shearing shed complex was a quite some distance from the main homestead.

    The shearers quarters, the kitchen and then the meat house.

    The boss or head shearer would always have their quarters separate from the rest of the men, this gave him a bit of status plus a better nights sleep!

    The shearing shed has had some work done to it to help it withstand the rigours of time and use. All of these buildings date from the late 1800s.

    Our next stop was at Moulamein, we have stopped here on numerous occasions but it was all new for Kristie. The old courthouse is a must visit, built in 1849 it is the oldest building in the oldest town in the Riverina.

    One of the unique features of the courthouse is that to access it from the main town you have to cross a narrow footbridge over Billabong Creek. The main river in town is the Edward, this river leaves the Murray and then after 383 kilometres rejoins it, quite a unique geographical feature.

    Looking up the Edward River from the main wharf.

    Our next stop was at the historic Yanga Homestead which was built in 1870. William Wentworth the explorer first created the property in the 1830s and at one stage it was so large it was the largest privately owned station in the southern hemisphere.

    The inside view of the northern wing and then the outside view which over looks the beautiful gardens and the close by Yanga Lake.

    Under the northern verandah and the the original cladding on the eastern wing.

    One statistic that shows you just how big this place was, is the 9 kilometres to the stations Woolshed which is located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. I’ve featured most of these places in previous reports so won’t go into all the history etc but it is still worth showing you some of this remarkable National Park and its early European history.
    The Woolshed is huge, built in the 1880s it was able to house over 3000 sheep at one time and 40 shearers could work simultaneously.

    Inside the Woolshed there are a number of interpretative panels and visual and sound displays that help you get a feel for what a working shed was like all those years ago. I also liked this add for the new La De Da car that had just been released.

    The shearers quarters were built of a rammed earth concrete type mix which made them far cooler than those elsewhere usually built out of corrugated iron, just as well as this area gets stinking hot in the summer.

    Their quarters and the main kitchen.

    The managers quarters were located right beside the river and wharf area, there he got the benefit of any cooling breeze and was also able to keep an eye on proceedings as the wool was loaded on to the river barges.

    One more interesting thing about the original Yanga Station is that it was the first place in Australia to have a telephone line installed (between the Homestead and Woolshed) the manager at the time was Alexander Bell’s cousin.

    The type of country that surrounds the Woolshed.

    Well it had been a pretty full day since leaving Ulupna Island and we still had another 100 ks or so to go before we could set up camp so it was head down and bum up, so to speak.
    Time did get the better of us as we drove down bush tracks trying to find a nice beach to camp at, we didn’t find one so decided to stop here, and then find a beach in the morning.

    Kristie’s tent and then looking across the river, again the warm colours of dusk looked so nice.

    Next morning I was again rewarded for my early rising as another lovely sunrise greeted me.

    The colours cast on our campsite were again really nice, note the flood level marks on the trees that had only happened about 4 months prior to our arrival.

    Time to leave there and find our new camp, that and a whole lot more will be shown in the next and final report from this trip.

    Col, Jen and Kristie.
    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

  2. #2
    The Boss Smokey2.8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Sth Sydney
    Col you’ve got a eye for the photography, the afternoon light pictures of the gums and shows of the camp on the river very calming.
    Gotta love a quiet camp all to yourselves.

    Adam aka Smokey

    2.8's Sound great, but a worked 3.0L goes better

  3. #3
    Forum Enthusiast
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    Aug 2015
    Blue Mountains, NSW
    Great report. Absolutely love the river when we stop there, pretty much anywhere along it! We found Yanga by mistake on a previous trip and to be honest, didn't really want to leave...ever! Thanks for the report and reminding me of it.

  4. #4
    Crossed-Over greig's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    central coast
    We stayed at Yanga in the 1st week it was a nat park campground....lovely spot..

  5. #5
    Senior Member 2Lost's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Great stuff Col

  6. #6
    Junior Member peter01's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    again a great read
    2014 GLXR Triton auto -- towing a 2013 Ezytrail camper trailer

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