Wymah, Granya and Bethanga VIC

Sunday, Feb 27, 2011 at 12:00

Member - Michael O (NSW)

Out of Wagga early and had the obligatory brekky stop at the Holbrook Bakery. If anyone makes a better bacon and egg roll, I haven’t tasted it…
South through driving rain to Tunnel Road, which spears off the Hume just before the village of Woomargama.
By the time we reached Samuel Bollard camp at the western end of the Woomargama NP, the rain was quite heavy. We met a cyclist who had been at Tin Mines the previous night and he told me there was a tree down and that the road was closed. Being on our own and with no winch I was starting to have second thoughts...
Then Dave the Ranger showed up and told me that the dozers were working to repair tracks in the Park. “What’s worse” he said “is that some idiots in 4wds” had ripped up some of the track they had just repaired and they would have to do it again. At whose expense? The taxpayer of course…
That meant the traverse across the Woomargama National Park to Lankey's Creek would have to wait another day (and I never did find Beaver Lodge...)
Plan B was a trip across the Wymah Ferry that was marooned high and dry on the bank when we were last there in March 2008. Mick the ferryman was on for a yarn and told us how the Weir was now 90+% full. It's not the Cooper I know but it’s always fun on a ferry…
South to Granya State Park, and the well maintained Cotton Tree Camp. We walked in the fog and rain to see the Scout Hut built in 1937, then up to Granya Falls. There's something special about a bushwalk when the weather's lousy! The bush seems to come alive.....
Back to the main road and then up to the fire tower on Mt Granya. This is a good track a Falcon could negotiate, but on top the fog made sure the view was minimal.
On to Talgarno, then to a park in Bethanga for lunch, then frisbees on the beautifully manicured cricket oval. Bethanga is a pretty little village and was established as a result of the discovery of gold. Gold was first reported in the Bethanga area in 1852, but it was not until 1876 that the discovery of a reef led to the development of the Bethanga goldfields.
Kurrajong Gap gives a fabulous view over the expanses on the Hume Weir so we stopped there for a brew, before dropping down to the village of Bellbridge overlooking the Bethanga Bridge. In past years this bridge was way above the river but presently the deck is only just above the water level…
Bethanga Bridge was built between 1927 and 1930 as a joint venture between New South Wales and Victoria as part of the Hume Dam project as a key element of the River Murray Waters Agreement put in place in 1915 by the Victorian, New South Wales, South Australian and Federal governments to regulate the flow of the Murray River as a provision against drought and to ensure that the three states received their agreed share of water.
The Murray River boundary between New South Wales and Victoria is the top of the southern bank of the river. As such all structures of the river are considered to be in New South Wales. Because of its unique location, over the waters of a dam with the border running down the centre of the body of water, the Bethanga bridge is the only built structure shared by both New South Wales and Victoria.
We detoured for a quick look at the Hume Weir. The construction of the Hume Dam commenced on 28 November 1919 and was completed in 1936. The construction site was initially referred to as ‘the Mitta Mitta Dam site', but in February 1920 the River Murray Commission adopted the name ‘Hume Reservoir' to honour Hamilton Hume, who was one of the first Europeans to see and cross the River Murray.
Next a stop at the Ettamogah Pub and back to Wagga. A 360km journey around a very pretty part of NE Victoria.
Michael O
Monday I have Friday on my mind...
The Easybeats 1966
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