Mannum, Murray River Cruise Part 1
Tina and I and a group of friends from Bermagui Probus took a trip on the Proud Mary riverboat from Murray Bridge in SA to Blanchetown weir, returning to Adelaide, a while back. This was augmented by several side trips by coach to spots of interest. Our first stop was an overnight stay on the ship at Mannum. The following day was bright and we spent the early morning after breakfast with a short walk in the park by the riverside, which was home to some very loud cockatiels nesting in the river gums above our heads. Also sharing one of the tree hollows was the bees nest we had been warned about. Mid morning we were collected by our coach to visit the main street, and environs. Then on to an Agricultural Museum nearby.
This was quite fascinating. With sheds full of old equipment pumps, motors, motorbikes, an array that would do the science museum proud. A separate shed had a collection of dolls and bric-a-brac from pioneering days. In the huge yard were early harvesters and similar gear. Well worth a day to visit, but we only had a couple of hours.
Returning to the boat we made our way up stream and were met at a landing by our coach which, after our evening meal, set out to find Hairy Nosed Wombats.
After a drive of many Km's our driver used his spotlight and we saw some movement in the distance. A few K's further and a quick stop, we spotted this little fellow just inside the fence. This species is very rare indeed and the area behind the fence is set aside for their preservation. This one didn't seem to be overly concerned by all the attention. This was taken through the glass of the coach window so it won't win any prizes as a photo but it is a nice memento of an interesting evening and we ended up getting glimpses of five or six.
The next day was spent cruising up the river to Blanchetown. We had a side trip at Swan Reach to an Almond farm which also bred Yabbies in their specialised dams. Didn't get to taste the yabbies but the freshly packed almonds were delicious. They provide a trip around the farm and a talk on the yabbies.
Much of this time on the river we were enclosed by very worn cliffs which turned out to be home & nesting sites for many birds, large and small.
After Blanchetown we pulled into a mooring for the night. Following breakfast the next day we set out again, stopping at Big Bend for a short eco walk to see some of the major trees and flowers. Many of the trees shown had been used by the indigenous peoples for making canoes.
The boat's runabout was launched and groups of people took a much closer look at the riverside and a nearby backwater where we were to see more birds and an albino kangaroo. Back at the mooring a large camp-fire was built, BBQ Prepared, and a sing-along started up with a few of the Probus singers who were on the trip. With full tummies we sat around the fire whilst our erstwhile bus/boat driver sang and entertained us on a guitar. The trip continued the next day with a visit to Ngaut Ngaut Indigenous community, Reedy Creek and the school at Mypolonga.
Till the next - Peter
Keywords: Australia, Australian, Murray River, South Australia, boat, river, ship, sign, trees, water, yabbie
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