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Thread: Murray River Trip & A Bit More, VIC/NSW (Part 2/Final Report)

  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
    Northern Suburbs Melbourne

    Murray River Trip & A Bit More, VIC/NSW (Part 2/Final Report)

    My last report ended with us camped on the Murray, we now left there on our way to finding another spot on a beach. We stopped to check out this humungous windmill in Robinvale, apparently the largest in the southern hemisphere.

    It’s funny, it was a big windmill but it didn’t look absolutely huge to me. Still with a diameter of over 18 metres I suppose it was quite impressive.

    A short time later we had located a suitable beach where we set up camp. The beach itself was just under a kilometre in length and we had it all to ourselves.

    That afternoon we walked up the river to the start of the beach and then swam and drifted with the current back to our site, absolutely stunning.

    Late in the day the slight breeze dropped off even further ,if that was possible and so I was hopeful for some nice reflections later on when the sun set.

    I strolled a few hundred metres downstream from our site to where the river turned and the sun was setting over it’s waters.

    Back in front of our camp the colours were still nice reflecting on the calm waters.

    Every night the stars shone brightly but the moon was increasing in size and rising later so it started to impact on their brightness.

    On our first morning there I was keen to see how the sunrise would look over the very still waters. I was too keen and so sat on the beach and waited awhile before the first pic was taken.

    I was hoping like anything that those clouds would give the sun something to bounce off, and less than 15 minutes later this is the scene that confronted me.

    And then a bit later this.

    I slowly walked back to camp along the waters edge still quite mesmerised by what I had witnessed, and the show continued as the bank opposite our camp was lit up in a beautiful colour with the still water accentuating the scene, absolutely superb/sensational, wouldn’t be dead for quids.

    We had such superb weather on every day of this trip, not just sunny not just warm to very warm but no wind at all. Here are a few more shots looking across the river in front of our camp.

    On a trip down the river it was obvious that some trees had been undermined by the recent floods and in other areas large fresh quantities of sand had been deposited.

    One afternoon we did a trip up the river, it is quite a bit bigger here than closer to it’s source.

    On the right hand bank (southern side) we noticed a change and soon came across these red cliffs, quite different from the usual vegetation and landscape found in the immediate area.

    The formation of these red cliffs and indeed the limestone cliffs along the Murray further down it’s course were due to many varying and complex events.
    The cliffs around Morgan and further on started to form between 22 and 26 million years ago, the red cliffs here and at other places along the Murray are far more recent being formed around 1 to 1.5 million yeas ago. A change of climate then created a far wetter period and the resulting floods created these red sediments that were laid down over much older landforms. Uplifting of the ground level and erosion has over time exposed the various types of sediment that can be seen along the rivers course today.

    Around dusk I returned to those coloured cliffs as I was sure the setting sun would light them up and create plenty of photo opportunities, as I made my way there I snapped this next pic.

    And then those red cliffs in all their glory.

    How good was that, I now turned the boat around and took these next pics as I made my way back to camp.

    We reluctantly packed up after a magnificent three days and headed back along bush tracks towards civilisation.

    One place that I wanted to visit along the way was a campsite on the banks of the Murray used by the explorer Major Thomas Mitchell in June 1836 called Passage Camp.
    Of all of Australia’s explorers he is the one that I admire the least. He was arrogant, had a violent temper and all of the five Governors that he served under wanted his dismissal but he some how held on to his position, (he had powerful supporters back in London). His treatment of the aborigines was an absolute disgrace, on one occasion he felt threatened so he organised an ambush on a local tribe which turned into a massacre. There were many more times that he killed aborigines, children included so you can understand my distaste for the man. Still this was an historic site with a display board that had a lot of information on his travels.

    Looking up the river, then down the river and then the camp itself is where our van is, you can see the display board a bit to the right.

    Only a few kilometres from there was the junction of the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers. Another spot that I had not been to before but one that I had wanted to visit for many years.

    The Bidge coming into the Murray from the north.

    It was here that the Murray River was officially discovered and named. In 1824 Hume and Hovell crossed it up near Albury, it was then called the Hume but nothing else was known of where it went so in January 1830 Charles Sturt sailed/rowed his whale boat along the Murrumbidgee when suddenly rounding a bend, the whaleboat was——

    “…hurried into a broad and noble river. It [was] impossible for me to describe the effect of so instantaneous a charge of circumstances upon us…such was the force with which we had been shot out of the Murrumbidgee, that we were carried nearly to the bank opposite”.

    Sturt named the Murray after Sir George Murray the then secretary of state for the colonies.

    Looking up the river from the junction and a shot of me taken by Kristie as I positioned myself for one of my photos.

    The story of Sturts epic whaleboat journey along the Murrumbidgee and then the Murray to the ocean, and how they rowed back upstream to near Gundagai, (nearly all loosing their lives in the process) is one story that all Australians should know more about. Sturt was indeed one of the greats, such a contrast to Mitchell (“A- - hole”)

    We still had a fair distance to travel that day to our intended camp, plus I wanted to see a few notable things along the way. We stopped at this Moreton Bay Fig Tree in Swan Hill.

    Swan Hill was named by Major Mitchell when he camped there in 1836. He wrote in his diary that he got basically no sleep through the night due to the constant honking and calling of the Black Swans on the river. Well I say well done you beautiful birds Ha!

    We now drove to Baraport, 14 ks out of Boort, there we went on John Piccoli’s (the Spannerman) tour of his property and sculptures. Both Jen and I had been there before but we wanted to show it to Kristie. I have featured John’s story and work in my trip report in the Victorian section called, “Western Victoria, Wimmera Region” so I won’t go into too much detail here but is so worth showing you some of it again.
    Due to having the caravan with us, we decided to park out on the main road as it would have been a pain trying to park it on his property. This enabled us to admire his collection of historic farm machinery which lines his driveway as we walked up to his gardens, house and workshop.

    All of the sculptures that are located in his gardens and around his house are made solely from spanners.

    It isn’t just the sculptures but the lovely landscaped gardens that they are located in which adds to the enjoyment of John’s tour.

    John in his workshop and some of the spanners that he uses to create his stunning works.

    Making our way back down the driveway towards our van.

    If you are ever nearby, do your self a favour and make an appointment to do John’s tour, he is so inspirational.
    Time was getting on so we basically drove direct to the Teddington Reservoir Campground in the Karra Karra National Park.

    We did stop for these pics as we drove through Logan, there are only two buildings in town and these are them.

    We got to our camp in time to set everything up and light the fire just before night fell. What a day we had had from when we left the Murray near Robinvale, we had seen and experienced so much during the day.

    We had to be back home in Melbourne by 10 the next morning so were up early, nothing new for me but the girls saw their first sunrise for the trip and it was quite a nice one as well.

    That was our trip, hope you enjoyed seeing and reading about what we did and saw.

    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
    Forum Enthusiast Spike69's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
    Gymea Bay
    Fantastic thanks Col! I'll definitely be doing the spanner tour! And so many great trees too!
    So much to see, so little time.......

  3. #3
    Forum Enthusiast
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    Oct 2015
    East of Melbourne
    Thanks Col.
    Another great job.
    FZJ105r with Tvan pushing.

  4. #4
    The Boss Smokey2.8's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Sth Sydney
    Col, if you keep posting these great pictures up we will have words ha ha
    Just making me crack out my DSLR from the moth balls.

    Adam aka Smokey

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

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