The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

23 March, 2014

Upper Murray Region

After picking up the van from Melbourne we spent a week in Albury at the Albury Motor Village to finish sorting through the last of Briony's possessions, then it was time to get out of the hussel and bussel of Albury and shopping centers to find some quite free camps on the mighty Murray River.

Bridge Hotel - Jingellic

The free camping area behind the pub, a little tooooo crowded for our liking.
We had heard about Jingellic approx 100km east of Albury, up stream on the Murray River.  This was a free camp next to the Jingellic pub right on the river ...... seemed a good spot to start. After travelling to Jingellic we arrived at the camp spot, it was like bees around a honey pot, caravans around a pub!! I think everyone had the same idea, walk up to the pub, roll back down to the van.  We also knew that there was another free camp about 3km west along the river and thought this might not be as busy as there was no pub and no facilities, you had to be self contained which would suit us.

Gadds Bend Reserve was a great spot, around 10 acres right on the river, there was only one other van so had plenty of room to choose a nice spot.  We finished up staying here for 3 nights and on the Sunday drove into Jingellic for a pub lunch, just didn't have the luxury of rolling down the hill to get home.

Gadds Bend, nearly all to ourself.

Could watch the cows grazing over in NSW.  Even warmed up enough for a quick dip.

Our closest neighbor was 300m away.
After leaving Gadds Bend (200m above sea level) we drove up to Tumbarumba, a small country town on the western foothills of the Snowy Mountains about 750 meters above sea level - you could feel the chill in the air (this was their summer!!). After a stroll along the main street and a nice coffee at the bakery we went to Henry Angel camp just 12 km south east, was a nice area but decided to go to Paddys Creek Reserve a further 12km.  This was another nice free camp, even had hot water in the ablution block, a nice bonus.  The area was a little smaller than Henry Angel but a good spot to stay for the night. In the morning decided to move back down to the river, thought it might be a bit warmer lower down out of the mountains.

Paddys Creek Reserve

Up at this altitude needed warm footwear, beanie, coat and a little something to warm the insides.

On the way down to Towong on the Murray River we stopped at the Southern Cloud Memorial scenic lookout.

Crash site was way over in those mountains

The Southern Cloud, was one of 5 three-engine Avro 618 Ten aircraft flying daily airline services between several Australian cities. On 21 March 1931, the Southern Cloud left from Sydney for Melbourne. On board were six passengers and two crew members. Weather conditions en route were hazardous and much worse than predicted. The aircraft never reached its destination and disappeared.
The search for the missing aircraft lasted eighteen days and involved over twenty aircraft. No trace of the missing aircraft was found.
It was Australia's first major airline disaster. Australian National Airways folded later that year as a result of both this and another loss.
The Southern Cloud fate remained a mystery for 27 years until 26 October 1958. On that day, Mr. Tom Sonter, a worker on the Snowy Mountains Project, accidentally discovered the wreck. The crash site was in heavily timbered mountainous terrain within the Snowy Mountains about 25 kilometres east of the direct Sydney–Melbourne route. Investigations concluded that the severe weather conditions at the time of the flight most likely contributed to the crash.

Towong camp on the NSW side of the Murray River

 Once down by the river at Towong, just 14km from Corryong we had another great camp on the banks of the Might Murray. The only facility at this camp spot was a long drop toilet.  This would have to have been the strongest "outback dunny" I have ever seen!.  The door was that heavy I thought it was made of 1 inch plate steel but on closer inspection was 1/8 inch steel plate double sided the same as the wall construction. Story has it that the door was continually getting shot up so the council decided to make a stronger door, and they certainly did that.

Built like an air raid shelter, could withstand any blast!!

More campers moved into the area waiting for the Man from Snowy River Festival held @ Corryong

While staying at Towong Reserve we did a day trip to Corryong which is at the base of the Australian Alps Upper Murray River. Corryong is also the birth place of the legendary Man from Snowy River (Jack Riley) and the town hosts the Man from Snowy River Festival in April. We had meet several campers who had started to gather for the festival which was in 11 days time.

Man from Snowy River - Corryong

Information Centre - Corryong

You couldn't stay in the Snowy Mountain area without a visit to one of the Hydro Power Stations.  We drove to Khancoban and visited the Murray One Power Station which is located approx 10km above Khancoban.  The station consists of 10 water turbines generation a total of 950MW.

Murray 1 tour - can you pick the Territorian? (check the footwear)

Murray 1 Power Station - 10 x 95MW turbines

I did try my luck at fishing without any success, a passing local told me that the river was too low and the temperature had been too hot for fishing ........ otherwise I surely would have caught one or may be it was the barra lure! - wasn't any good for barra either :o(

We headed back to Albury following along the Murray River staying one night at Burrowye Reserve before crossing Lake Hume at Bellbridge and into Albury.

Again on the Murray River at Burrowye Reserve

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