Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
1 April 2006 - Mulwala  

Location map We remained at Mulwala today. The weather has cooled appreciably and we spent a lot of the time in the van appreciating the warmth of the sun and listening to the cold wind rattling the van's fittings. A week ago we went outside as much as we could to escape the heat.

The townships of Mulwala (in New South Wales) and Yarrawonga (in Victoria) are entirely focussed on Mulwala Lake which is a large body of the Murray River impounded behind Yarrawonga Weir and used to feed two large irrigation channels - one into Victoria, the other into New South Wales. The weir is the focus of several caravan parks and motel complexes and visitors are encouraged to use the weir for water sports and fishing.

After lunch I went for a walk in the river red gum forest beside the Murray River. A healthy river red gum forest should be flooded at least once every three years for weeks or months; the red gums thrive in the flooding but other trees are killed so a red gum forest consists of only river red gums and a few grasses; there is no undergrowth. The trees are spaced so that quite a lot of sunshine gets through and the trees themselves vary from long straight trunks to others having spreading, twisting branches. Lack of undergrowth and the wide tree spacing meant I could wander around without having to worry much about tracks.
Dead trees in Lake Mulwala Many of the gum trees submerged when Lake Mulwala was formed are still standing in the lake water.
Lake Mulwala wall. Concrete dam wall of Yarrawonga Weir holding back Lake Mulwala. The River Murray continues below the wall while two large channels carry water from behind the dam wall into New South Wales and Victoria. The dam was built well after the heyday of river traffic and a lock for boats has not been included.