A Merry Time on The Murray

Psyche Pumps EntranceOur Mildura camp has again been on Murray, this time at Psyche Bends near Psyche Pump.P1080837





The pump is the oldest working steam driven pump in the world and was built by the Chaffey Brothers,  pioneering  the Mildura irrigation scheme in 1887.

P1080833The walks along the riverbank and billabong have been fantastic and there is no shortage of birdlife. We have been entertained by eagles which have a nest on the opposite bank,swans, pelican, black ducks and woodies, plus parrots, wrens, tree hoppers, pee wees, finches, miners, pigeons and magpies. Flocks of swallows feed over the river each evening and morning and land for cover when the eagles are overhead.




The river has been quite busy at times with river boats, house boats, fishermen and skiers. Despite the algae they seem quite happy to dunk in it.

Darling into Murray 2A day trip to Wentworth included a visit to the junction of the Darling and Murray rivers at Lock 10.


It was here that the explorer Sturt passed in 1830.

The 150 year old hardware and general junk store was an eye opener and every floorboard creaked as we walked through.Lock 10 weir 2



GrapevinesAcross the river at Buronga and Gol Gol I reminisced of the time in the 1960’s when my brother Richard and I picked grapes in this area. The old Gol Gol pub is now a modern affair with barely a remnant left of the old pub that I remember.



P1080899On The River Road at Buronga is the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens which included a really lovely rose garden and a surprise find of Sturt Desert Peas blooming.P1080908


Paddle boatOur stay here extended by almost a week as we were having water tank issues and needed bigger tanks fitted and plumbed differently in The Burrow.



Our neighbours camping here have been Colin and Glenda from WA and Phil and Maree from TAS. Happy hours and dinner around a camp fire have been enjoyed by all and have helped make this a special camp to remember.

After packing up we had to call into the fellow who fitted our new tanks as there were a few leaks in pipes which he needed to sort out.

We are now just north of Adelaide and when we connected to the mains water yesterday evening we produced a flood inside with saturated carpet. I pulled the fittings apart inside the wardrobe and found that they had no Teflon to help them seal. Subsequently rectified the problem spots and all seems OK now. As we enjoyed a hot shower after setting up the wardrobe was being sprayed with water. The towels used to soak up some of the mess are now in the wash and a blower heater is slowly drying things out. So much for using an expert to get things done.

Great Free Camp near Swan Hill

Well let’s recap from Sat 2nd April when we left Ky for a quick hop across to Coco Bend at Moama for the rest of the day and overnight.5

We were greeted by Brian and Dawn and welcomed back for our second visit there.

We started serious walking again as we have each gained an ounce or two.





Nyah CampOn Sunday 3rd it was farewell Coco Bend and set the Tom Tom for Nyah. We dutifully followed “Bruce’s “directions and taking a short cut or two we stopped for a coffee break at Kerang. Continuing on through Swan Hill we arrived at the RV Friendly town of Nyah and set up camp in the recreation reserve behind the sporting complex.


The chariot stopped of its own accord and refused to re-start. The RACV came and we found a broken alternator belt and possibly dicky fuel pump were the culprits. Aerostart got us going again on gas and 45 minutes idling restored some battery. Monday morning we started OK and made it into Swan Hill Toyota who found that a seized idler pulley had caused the belt to break and they couldn’t fault the petrol pump issue.  Had all linkages greased and so far have had no issues starting or running.


SW 5We have had a good explore around Swan Hill enjoying lunch on the river bank on several occasions. Visits to the site of Australia’s first rice farm and to Olson’s Pheasant farm were interesting, in particular the pheasant farm.


We were greeted and taken for a tour by the owners, Kevin and Ros, and introduced to Muriel the galah

and Major, a Major Mitchell Cockatoo, who happily choruses “hello Major “for us.Muriel



Hello Major



Pheas 2Golden Pheasantguinea-fowlPheas 1

The farm produces between 10 and 20 thousand free range pheasants a year, plus quail, guinea fowl and partridge. Kevin’s collection of birds and poultry is well worth the visit alone.

SW 10Wednesday was a much cooler day and quite breezy. We had two showers of rain, one of 10 drops and the other of about 20. Fishing for the illusive Murray Cod has been virtually a no go with the river full of blue green algae.

Talking showers, we enjoyed a  hot one at the local roadhouse and skittled a load of washing at Wood Wood, with a quick trip to Tooleybuc while it washed.


Back at camp among the river red gums, there were not as many vans as there had been when we arrived on Sunday, when over 50 were free camping for the night.

Thursday the 7th was a colder morning and after a brisk 20 minute walk around the trotting track we headed into Swan Hill to refill gas bottles.Nyah 04

Had to make a stop for a $45 repair at Beverford as the muffler decided to fall off!!

Back after lunch by the river and “The Honeyman” drove up to remind us that the local footy club bar would be open for drinks and dinner at 6.30pm.

Two football teams were practising plus the girls netball teams and the locals turned out in droves. Ned, the tiler ushered us to the bar and an assortment of UDL cans and beer.

chicken_schnitzelDinner offered a choice of battered fish, chicken snitzy or rissoles, each with the mandatory chips, boiled vege and dark brown gravy.

Three long tables filled the club room and we squeezed in where we could and bravely fought our way through the snitzy. Several burps later we were back in The Burrow feeling very welcomed in Nyah.

It rained lightly overnight and made hitching up a messy job as we set off for Mildura on Friday morning.

Back on the road again!!

Our house sit near Kyabram is over after an enjoyable break for a couple of weeks, and a chance to catch up on some general maintenance on The Chariot and The Burrow.

Jan and Greg arrived home yesterday afternoon and we had a few drinks and nibbles and dinner together mixed with some good yarns. Thanks guys for the opportunity to look after your home and treasured pets, and for your lovely reference.

Cocbend160402eWe were heading for the Swan Hill district ( and still are ),  but have opted to re-visit Coco Bend on The Murray near Moama. We will overnight here and drive on tomorrow.

The sites at this park are almost all drive through and the amenities are good.Cocobend160402a

Here are a few shots taken here today, which will be our last day on the grid for a few weeks as we follow The Murray into S.A.Cocobend160402bCocobend160402d