Murray River - Gunbower NP to Hattah Kulkyne NP Week 9 - August 23rd 2010
From Gunbower NP through Koondrook, Vinefera to Hattah-Kulkyne NP.

Hema 7 Pages 46-47

Ali admiring the river at Halfway Bend (Gunbower National Park).

We saw some undergrowth here, but still not as much as we expected. Much evidence of grazing.

  We drove many km along the river bank to Shillinglaws Regulator.

There are creeks which leave the main river then re-join somewhere downstream. They provide water for wetlands.

The regulator is a weir. It was open, the channel was filling, and the forest was flooding.

  From the regulator we'd planned to return to the Murray Valley Highway.

The first track we tried got a bit muddy so we tried another.

A ranger coming the other way mentioned there was some water over the track that he'd had a bit of trouble with - but "you'll be ok in that".

About 700mm deep where we crossed, a lot deeper to our left.

  Quite a few "lift" bridges on this section of the Murray. The middle lifts to let boats through.

This one was at Koondrook.

  The working wood mill at Koondrook. Source is River Red Gum. It was due to close the week after we were there.
  Some ephemoral lakes (Kerang Lakes). This is Lake Titchewop. Just a bit SE of Swan Hill.
  Lake Boga was a flying boat base during the second world war.

The old Catalina is in a shiny new shed (from economic stimulus).

Interesting bits and pieces with some history in the old communications centre.

Vinfera was another fine campsite beside the Murray.

By this time we'd become used to watching the river rise.

On one walk through the forest we realised that there was water filling the wetland behind us.

Oops! Time to leave.

Very shallow depression filling from the Murray.

At last we'd found some young trees.

Still not much other undergrowth though.

It did confirm "time to go".

Subsequently several rivers upstream (Goulbourn, Ovens, Broken, etc) flooded which extended into the Murray. I guess we were lucky!

We moved on to Hattah Kulkyne National Park. Still part of the Murray system, but hopefully a bit less water.

A couple of Mallee Ringnecks at Hattah Lakes.

The Apostle Birds were quite cheerful and cheeky. This one only just stood still long enough for photo.
Reminiscent of plants at Lake Tyers. Found in salt pan at Hattah Lakes.

Pig Face again.

Green Rosella at Hattah Lakes
Hattah Lakes are surrounded by Mallee country. All the recent rain had brought out the flowers. Seemed like a carpet.

Now we think we know what Mallee looks like we can look forward to Mulga, somewhere North of the Murray.

Hattah Lakes are fed by Chalka Creek. Just like others we have seen it leaves the Murray and re-joins it later.

Unfortunately the Murray would have to rise a few more metres for Chalka Creek to flow naturally. Hattah Lakes have been dry for several years.

In some sort of deal with irrigators who can't use the water unless they also have rain it is being pumped into Chalka Creek (photo of pump outlet).

To our inexperienced eye the Lakes were recovering well.

We watched as the water slowly began to fill one of the Northern lakes through this channel.

We really don't know if its too late for these trees or not.

We believe Red Gums have many strategies for drought, including shedding limbs.

We think its a Regent Parrot. Also at Hattah Lakes.
Apart from not knowing what they are (we need a flower book to go with the bird book) there are too many to photograph.

The country is really putting on a show for us.

Here's a bit of a montage.

A bit confusing, we think we were in Murray Kulkyne Reserve, which is next to the National Park.

Either way, the Murray isn't far away and the camping was good (though still somewhat chilly).

Wentworth, Mungo National Park, Menindee Lakes Week 10 - August 30th 2010