Travelling Australia - Journal 2015c




14 July 2015


After a cold night (3°C minimum on the outside thermometer) the morning began sunny with a blue sky. We set off to look local attractions which took us south of Cobram and driving on minor roads across completely flat land from horizon to horizon; this was almost exclusively a dairy cattle area with many paddocks devoted to irrigated pasture. There is a large Murray Goulburn depot in Cobram as well as a large irrigation equipment dealer.

By the time we had been to both planned places we were fairly close to Yarrawonga/Mulwala and decided to have a look at Lake Mulwala which we understood had very low water level. We found maintenance work in progress on the weir and the lake level was very low leaving the two very large channels usually feeding irrigation water from Lake Mulwala to Victoria and to New South Wales had been reduced to a series of large puddles. Most visually impressive was the lake itself which was designed to hold irrigation water prior to release to farmers. When the weir was built to form the lake a river red gum forest was flooded without removing the tree-stumps which remain in place, mostly just below the water surface. Now the stumps were clearly visible.

lake mulwala

Draining Lake Mulwala has exposed the red gum stumps left from flooding a red gum forest when the lake was formed. The black horizontal bands are related to the normal water surface level.

We returned to Cobram along the Mulwala to Barooga road north of the Murray River; one reason for this decision was our experience that minor roads are often in better condition than major road such as the Murray Valley Highway; this proved to be the case.

The Mulwala to Barooga road, running north of the Murray River, occasionally touches the river reserve but for most of the way passes through agricultural land displaying a variety of uses We saw many cattle, and some sheep, grazing as well as many paddocks under crop we identified as wheat. Approaching Barooga we passed a couple of extensive, very neat and carefully tended, vineyards stretching from the road over the distant hills. According to signage these were Seppelts vineyards.

14 July 2015 - Cobram, page 2

From Barooga we drove across the Murray River to Cobram. The road between the two townships, crossing the Murray River, runs through the timbered floodplain along the river. In New South Wales this is known as the Murray Valley Regional Park but across the border in Victoria it is the Cobram Regional Park. Both regional parks have an interesting assortment of tracks, paths and beaches worth investigating in better weather. By the time we had reached Cobram the sunny weather earlier in the day had been replaced by cloud and rain; the earlier cold wind continued.

Weather during the afternoon was poor so we stayed in the van. The sound of rain on the roof continued through the afternoon into the early evening. The wind remained cold.