|Travelling Australia - Journal 2012
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|30 April 2012 - Numurkah to Gunbower|
I had connected caravan and Pathfinder the previous afternoon so departure from Numurkah Caravan park was relaxed and made even more relaxed because we stopped in the town for some shopping and a cup of coffee with a close friend who had been staying in Numurkah for some weeks. When we did finally leave it was onto the road to Nathalia on the Murray Valley Highway. Paddocks beside this road were still very wet (as they had been when we drove to Nurmukah a little over a week ago) and the waterbirds were still making the most of the good conditions. Australian and Straw-necked Ibis were quite common as were Purple Moorhens striding about in the grass and across the road. Traffic on this relatively minor road was moderately heavy but the road was mainly long straight stretches and nearly dead flat so overtaking was not a problem. Road surface was generally good and the weather excellent for travelling with no wind, a high sheet of cloud and moderate temperature.
Approaching Nathalia we had to stop for about ten minutes while tar was sprayed and gravel laid on the road to repair flood damage.
At Nathalia we turned onto the Murray Valley Highway towards Echuca. The Highway passes through the edge of Echuca's built-up area then continues north-west towards Kerang. We were not going as far as Kerang today but had selected the small village of Gunbower (population 263) to stay for a couple of nights.
Between Nathalia and Echuca was mostly very flat, irrigated pasture carrying a large number of dairy cows. There were also paddocks of sheep, mainly pregnant ewes which would provide the farmer with prime lambs to be sold in a few months. Beyond Echuca much of the land was still irrigated, either flood irrigation or overhead sprays but there were also dry-looking paddocks which had not been irrigated.
We turned off the Murray Valley Highway in Gunbower and set-up as the only tourist caravan in a small, neat caravan park.
In the afternoon I went to Torrumbarry Weir and Lock 26 on the Murray River holding water for the Torrumbarry Irrigation Scheme extending north-west to Swan Hill. This new structure replaced a weir which began construction in 1919 but reached the end of its life in the 1990s. The information centre alongside the weir contains useful details on the old and new weirs.