Friday, May 25, 2012

Murray River, The Riverland

We were blessed with near perfect weather during our stay throughout The Riverland Region, the nights were somewhat cool but the days were sunny and virtually no wind. We mostly stayed in Caravan Parks and several of these were situated on the banks of The Murray.

This is our final camping experience in South Australia, the next move will take us over the state border and into Victoria. There are several differences to other states when living in South Australia. The stand out difference is the fact that retailers do not supply carry bags, we could never come to grips with that one. We would shop at the supermarket then find ourselves with a trolley full of loose items that we would have to toss into the back of the wagon and unload individually when back at the caravan. Another individual quirk is the 10c deposit on all drink containers, under the bed was my storage area for the empties until we reached Renmark. There I took them all to the recycle centre and got all my deposits returned to me. The woman ahead of me collected $65.00. All along the Murray River region at most crossings one comes up to the free ferries, they operate 24/7, some places there are duplicate ferries for the two way traffic. Bridges are only constructed on the major highways.

This is the Murray River Queen, berthed at Waikerie. This is a sister vessel to the Murray River Princess that I featured previously. 

Waikerie boasts a river cliff top walk that provides great views of the Murray River and the extensive back waters that are evident in this photograph.

All areas along the Murray River have an irrigation past. This massive fuel oil powered motor once delivered water to the Waikerie Irrigation District. The 6 cylinder motor with a bore and stroke of 15" was built by Worthington, it produces 540 hp @ 260 rpm and drives the 24" pump that delivered 500,000 kph right up until 1965. This was 40% of the irrigation requirement.

It seems that all towns have a display of water pumps that were once used in the area. This one is in Berri. There is no information displayed but the motor is a triple expansion steam unit.

House boats on the Murray River at Berri with the Loxton - Berri Bridge in the background, no river ferries here.

Lake Bonney at Barmerah. Lake Bonney is connected to and contains water from the Murray River.

Just before sunset on Lake Bonney.

Located at Cobdogla, near Barmerah, is a fantastic Motor Museum. All the restoration is undertaken by volunteers. This motor is chuffing along and the engineer is going to give it a shot of oil from the oil can.

This motor proved to be very obstinate, it would not start for the engineers. Another exhibit at the museum was a Humphrey Gas Powered Pump. This pump is the only working model in the world and there was about 100 spectators waiting for it to start up. Unfortunately the volunteers could not coax it into life. One of the volunteers become overcome with gas in the Pump Pit. An ambulance was called and took him to hospital for observation. Two Ambulances, the Police and the Fire Brigade turned out with sirens blaring to the call-out. The Humphrey Pump has a 27 foot cylinder but no piston, the cylinder is full of water and when ignition occurs in the cylinder the water is expelled to the irrigation channel and a recharge of water flows into the cylinder from the Murray River ready for the next cycle. The pump runs at about 8 cycles per minute, when it starts.

A fountain in gardens at Renmark with the Murray River in the background.

The PS Industry is berthed at Renmark. It only runs once a month on the last Sunday.

We were camped right on the river at Renmark. This large tuft of reeds just floated past on the speedy current of the river, most unusual sight!

The streets in Renmark are very wide and the main street, Renmark Avenue is divided by a central park strip.

The imposing Renmark Hotel, one of the grand old buildings in Renmark.

It is a hard life camping along the Murray River. Just watching the water flow by with the lift bridge in the background.

Our neighbours, Jan and Neil with pooch Sadie, at the River Bend Caravan Park.

The Murray River Bridge at Renmark has a lifting span to allow river traffic to pass through. The span only lifts at 9:30 AM and 2:30 PM and then only if river traffic requests it to open.

An old station house directly opposite us at the Caravan Park on the river.

Across the river from the Caravan Park is the town of Paringa. On display in the main street is "The Black Stump", a worms eye view.

No comments:

Post a Comment