Tag Archives: Murray River

#48 Mess About in Boats

It wasn’t until Form One (as Year Seven was called back then) that I was introduced to the magical world of boating.

This was courtesy of Kenneth Grahame’s engaging tale of the adventures of Ratty and Mole, Badger and Toad in The Wind in the Willows.

Who wouldn’t be seduced by Ratty’s pronouncement in the very first chapter?

quote-messing-about

Alas, I was growing up in a bitterly cold, inland city without a beach or river to its name, nurtured by loving parents who… well… you couldn’t call them outdoor types. (This may explain why, on my first-ever camping trip at age 22, I had no idea that you didn’t pitch your tent in a cosy hollow under a gum tree. Especially without checking for the possibility of torrential rain during the night.) So my love of boating was entirely imaginary for many years.

What better time to change all that now though, and live the dream. A chance to…

#48 Mess About in Boats

Ratty was spot on – it’s so worth doing.

Boats, of course, come in all shapes and sizes. And degrees of safety.

There was that disastrous early experiment with three friends, when we were sent down a raging Murray River in two canoes, on our own, by the Dodgy Brothers’ Hire-a-Risky-Boat Adventures. 

Thanks to life jackets and expert recreational kayakers who raced across to pluck us from the water as we parted ways with our canoes and careened towards South Australia, I lived to brave the river again one late afternoon as dusk was falling. But this time, it was in the back of a canoe with a World Champion/Murray River Marathon winner doing all the hard work in the front seat. Bliss!

Racing down the Murray and up Wodonga Creek taking curves at breakneck speed with an expert guide is truly exciting, even though he mistakenly thought he could further spook me with a diversion past a bat colony.

bats-ahoy

Amazing. Flying mammals! What’s not to like…?


If Scandi Noir is the mood you’re after though, then messing about in a boat at New Zealand’s Doubtful Sound is just the ticket. All dark and brooding and ominous. No wonder James Cook was doubtful it was navigable when he named it.

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You could well be at the end of the earth. Oh, hang on a minute…

Even the silhouette of a travelling companion takes on a sinister hue in this part of the world.

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Exploring in a boat means you can get up close and personal with all manner of wildlife.

Spot seals sunning themselves,

seals

Or water birds doing a picturesque pose694

…in splendid isolation


But you don’t have to travel miles away from home to find a relaxing boating experience.

The Sienna Daisy is a new cruise boat purpose built for the Murray River right here in Albury. No more worries of a river too low to support the mechanism of cumbersome paddle steamers, romantic though they may be.

sienna-daisy

Take a 60 or 90-minute scheduled river cruise or book a private function. Include the Captain’s Lunch of a BBQ and salads if you want and complement this with a glass of wine.  All your worries will disappear into the water as you float along, caressed by the gentle movement and sense of escape.

And If you’ve ever wondered why Noreuil Park has such an unpronounceable name, you can find that out, too.

I could have boated all day…

monument-from-river

and just a stone’s throw from home…


No doubt about it, messing about in boats is the bees knees.

I wonder if it’s too late to consider buying my own boat? Of course, I’d have to get a bigger car, too  – with a tow bar  – and a boat trailer. And learn how to reverse them all down a narrow driveway and a slippery ramp without jack-knifing. Is that do-able for a post-adult woman, I wonder?

Because I can’t help thinking that being the skipper of your own boat would make you feel like a Master of The Universe.

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Wouldn’t you agree, Charlie…?

#26 Explore Your City like a Newcomer

A young friend of mine has recently moved to Milan for love – and possibly work –  so is blogging about her experiences at The Impoverished Hedonist.

Dauntie's site

 

She’s finding the experience challenging, because the Italian city’s not the easiest place in the world to be seriously impecunious while seeking out pleasure and barely speaking the language. In addition, if the population of a city doesn’t appear to put a premium on civic pride it can be difficult for the newcomer to see beyond the superficial squalor.

But my friend’s adjusting well to the challenge by seeking out the very best, sometimes hidden, gems of Milan and its surrounds rather than dwelling on any downsides.

So thank you, D (you know who you are) for inspiring this blog entry:

#26 Explore Your City Like a Newcomer

There can be so much to like about your own city, if you just remember to look.

My place is Albury on the New South Wales/Victorian border, which has a mighty river only a minute from the centre of town:

 Screenshot Noreuil B&WThanks to the wonderful River Deck Cafe at Noreuil Park for this image

And I was particularly interested to explore our newest addition, a walking/bike-riding trail that meanders along the Murray River and is dotted with the most amazing Indigenous sculptures along its length called the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk.

Yindyamurra trail

 

The sculptures speak for themselves, nestled in the superb bushland beside the lagoons and the river:

Sculpture one

Reconciliation Shield by Tamara Murray 

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Creature seatsCreature Seats: Goanna: Liam Campbell, Turtle: Sara Jackson-Edwards, Snake: Raymond Jackson–Edwards and Goanna: Jaidyn Hampton

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Goanna

‘Googar’ Goanna Sculpture by Darren Wighton

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Wirradjuri woman 2

Wiradjuri Woman by Leonie McIntosh 

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Sculpture Walk 2The views between sculptures…

Horseshow lagoon

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Message stick 2

Vertical Message Sticks by Girralang (Carmel Taylor)

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Bogong mothsBogong Moth Migration by Ruth Davys

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net‘Maya’ Fish Trap Sculpture by Uncle Ken (Tunny) Murray, Darren Wighton and Andom Rendell

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Screenshot 2015-02-27 15.35.12

Yindyamarra missing sculpture

It must be somewhere! How can I not find it? 

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Frame 2

The Bigger Picture by Katrina Weston

or for a completely different perspective:

Frame Reversed 2

The Bigger Picture by Katrina Weston

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Screenshot 2015-02-27 13.02.21

by The Wagirra Crew – working on the trail

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face

Teaming Life of Milawa Billa (Murray River) by Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk Steering Committee 

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Wonga goanna

Goanna by Kianna Edwards

Despite my missing sculpture (somewhere between the ‘Maya’ Fish Trap and The Bigger Picture) the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk is such a delight that even this not-very-fit novice bushwalker was entranced along its length. And of course, it’s a smorgasbord for keen bird watchers.

The whippet and I even had a close encounter with a snake, who slithered away in horror faster than we did.

We would loved to have glimpsed a mammal but you can’t have it all. And we did spot something moving past us so fast it seemed to be fleeing for its life.  Just a whir and a blur and a flash of colour. Possibly a mamil

Massive accolades to Albury City Council and the Indigenous artists and community for creating this hidden gem.

The trail deserves to be hugely popular.

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STOP PRESS

The mystery of the ‘missing’ sculpture has been solved. Although there are twelve red dots on the map marking the site of each sculpture, I could only find eleven.

But here’s an excerpt from the Council’s newsletter:

Yindyamarra 11 sculptures!

Eleven, not twelve sculptures…