A wee drop
We are at Wellington having come down from Murray Bridge via Tailem Bend. Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend were both big paddle wheeler and later railway towns back when that was the main transport options in the mid late nineteenth, first half of the twentieth century. Ultimately road took over, maybe rail will comeback who knows these days. A big rail trip still operates though, ‘The Overlander’ from Adelaide to Melbourne via Murray Bridge, twice a week both ways. Takes a day in both directions. Not much else seems to happen though at the historic railway station.
It was not then far to Wellington, we had to cross another ferry over the Murray from East Wellington to Wellington, the Heron There is not much on either side and our caravan park is somewhat basic, but then who needs slippery dips , jumpng pillows, water parks etc. Just water! Our water was from the Murray, untreated. So, it was a bit muddy and instead we drank some bottled water we had brought with us as a reserve option. Wise thing to do.
Wellington though is where we want to be because it is nearby here that the Murray flows into Lake Alexandrina. Gota get a picture of course! Easier said than done though because the Lake is edged by pastoral stations and it is hard to get access down to the Lake. We eventually stumble on one though. It is a track to a little sandy beach used by windsufers. We send up the drone to try to get some pictures of the outflow. Too far away though and a bit disappointing, good picture though of us beside the Lake.
We do though ultimately find a spot much closer to the outflow out past a horse breeding/training establishment, bit of a muddy road. The drone again doesn’t take the right photo! Allthego is beginning to think he might need some drone photography training. It is very over exposed. But readers can get the drift I hope with the captions that try to explain where we are. Good for our diary record as well!
Not far away from us is the Langhorne Creek wine region. Allthego has never paid much attention to wines from around here. Metala is a well known producer. Bleasdale though is the interesting one, some of its commercial wines are seen in shops in Queensland. We had a tasting of some nice wines, the guy helping was from the sixth generation of the Potts family, dating from the 1850s when they planted the first vines.
We also take a side trip down to the top of the Coorong waterway. The Coorong NP is the great stretch of waterway running between the Murray Lakes and the sand peninsular holding back the Southern Ocean. The Coorong is salty, Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert are fresh water, fueled by the Murray spilling into them. The ‘salt’ and ‘fresh’ are controlled by a series of barrages (sort of long weirs), built in the 1940s (?) linking islands across the Murray estuary, stopping the sea and salt working up the River and mucking up the upstream irrigation and water supply systems. There are a couple of small locks on the barrages allowing small vessels to move betwen the Coorong and the Lakes. Sounds easy, but this is but one of the issues in the ‘future of the Murray’ debate which we will not go into here. The Coorong looks a great place to stay in warmer weather!
Wellington doesn’t seem to be promoted as a particularly important place in a journey down the Murray. We both have a view though that this is really where the River loses it’s presence and essence as a flowing stream of water. It just sort of gets lost into a great bath tub, the contents of which rise and fall with the seasons and the needs of humanity along its 2500 km course. We do though look forward to Goolwa for a few days and see where the sea swallows the great River’s waters.