Day Eight: Narrandera to Jerilderie to Tocumwal. 1 hour 59 minutes, 166 km.
Overall Grade: B+
1 hour 59 minutes, 166 km. Overall Grade: B+
Hacky sack count: 16 - Continuing to Improve
Home Stretch! We head to the Koala Reserve across the river once we're up. We walk along the path, meandering through the trees keeping a look out for grey balls of fur high above us. We're here to see Koalas, and by the end of the morning I'll have a sore neck, but right now I'm overcome with the tranquility of it all.
The Narrandera Flora and Fauna Reserve seems like a million miles from anywhere. Filled with river gums, you can hear the leaves rustle in the breeze and birds conversing over-head. The grass is lush and green and the soil dark and rich. Dew lingers on the foliage as the morning sun filters through the trees. We're here to see Koalas, and by the end of the morning I'll have a sore neck, but right now I'm overcome with the tranquillity of it all.
We walk along the path, meandering through the trees keeping a look out for grey balls of fur high above us. The track takes us past an antique picnic area, along the banks of the Lachlan River where the remnants of the March 2013 floods are still evident, and right under a baby koala.
Voila! Suddenly we're looking up at a grey ball of fur silhouetted against the blue sky. It's pretty cool to see one in the wild. It doesn't do much though - just sits there. So after a few minutes and a few attempted photos we continue on our way. We don't chance upon another, but with the one found we're content to wander back to the car and call it a win for the morning. Thankyou Narrandera Flora and Fauna reserve.
We stop for coffee after at Sal's (or something like that) in town. We sought out an antique/artefact store but discover it's now defunct, and so without much else in town of note, we continue our drive south.
On the way we find a magnificent brown freshly-tilled field and stop to take some Awesome photos. The farmer stops the plough and comes over to say hello. We meet Katie, who with a super firm handshake, tells us not to photograph the not-so straight plough lines and requests that we don't drive through her freshly ploughed field but stick to the fire trails that run round its edge. I tell her that that's ok, we don't want to get shot... Genuinely.
Photos are taken, and we continue on to Morundah only to find the Pub's closed. Lunch at 1.45 pm… what were us city-slickers thinking. We ask about the opera in the pig barn. We're told that the barn, christened the Paradise Palladium Theatre - is a building made up of a shed and an agricultural pig shelter. It seems that Opera Victoria holds a couple of operas out there a year. Pretty cool place to go and experience the Opera!
We continue on for lunch at Jerelderie bakery, then head off on the Ned Kelly walk. It's poorly labelled and somewhat disjointed, seemingly trading in on the Kelly name. I feel like it could be much better managed and maintained, but it’s still a worthwhile and interesting walk back through history.
There's also a big windmill down by the river, although I find the claim that there's no bigger in the Southern Hemisphere hard to believe. Perhaps it's got something to do with the specifics of it? Or maybe I'm just road tripped out? What’s not to love about a big windmill?
Spent the night in Tocumwal. A lovely little town nestled on the banks of the Murray River. So naturally, on the way into town there's a Big-ish cod sitting by the visitors centre. There’s a wide variety of camping spots in and around town. We opt for Town Beach, a once free but now $5 per night camping spot on the banks of the river where the only drawback (in Winter at least) is the cold showers. But then for $5 who’s complaining?