MURRAY RIVER NATIONAL PARK
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
BERT DIX MOTORHOME PARK
Lyrup Flats, Collogans Camp
JOURNEY: Mildura to Renmark-140kms
WEATHER: Warm and sunny at 10am
Driving out of Mildura we stocked up with delicious goodies from Stephano's Bakery that we devoured at lunch. We were now on the Sturt Hway to Renmark, which is just over the border in SA.
The roadside was bright with newly flowering wattle bushes and the yellow fields of canola were beautiful against a blue sky.
We were stopped at the fruit and vegie quarantine station and gave up the last of our fresh foods.
Renmark is situated on the bend of the Murray and we explored the small town and then installed ourselves at the very lovely Motorhome Park -Bert Dix. We had a perfect view of the river and the houseboats plying the water- some were very luxurious with spas on the decks but at $2000 per week plus fuel we decided against renting one. This was a free camping spot by the bridge which we walked the next morning and enjoyed the changing water views across the Murray.
SATURDAY AUGUST 13
Not sure if we could get access to the camp grounds in the Murray River NP, we took the road to Lyrup Ferry, and happily the gravel road into the Lyrup Flats part of the national park was in great condition.
Collogans campground was deserted and our chosen site was absolute river front and perfect. It became very cloudy after we set up our chairs outside and then the rain came down. Not to worry; we had the Weekend Australian to occupy us for a while and eventually the rain went away and we walked the campground road to investigate the other camping spots.
Most had dodgy sandy access, unsuitable for the van so we were happy with our choice of Collogans. The Black Box site would be ok in drier conditions.
On return to camp, we met our newly arrived neighbours, Roger and Glenn, also in a motorhome and we were pleased that we were not camping alone; we had discussed the issue earlier, and had decided because we had phone reception, were 500 metres from the ferry crossing we would stay overnight. Anyhow our fellow campers made the situation more comfortable and they had stayed here previously and confirmed our feelings of well-being.
Despite the heavy clouds the almost full moon glowed like a lustrous pearl in the night sky and created a stunning reflection in the still river. We both agreed that this was a great spot and with a forecast of sunshine tomorrow we happily extended our stay. Because of the weather and saturated conditions along the river we really have not stayed too long in any place along the Murray, but this maybe it.
Sunday morning dawned cold with a full fog covering the river and limiting visibility. 9.30 am and with conditions unchanged we set off on our walk, meeting a young woman running her dog and no one else. By 11am the fog lifted and an hour later we soaked up full sunshine and warmth for the remainder of the day.
The birds here are many and we added 3 new ones to our bird list. Magic! There was not a lot of activity on the river but it was wonderful to sit and watch the flow! A few cars drove by during the day but no one else joined us at Collogans.
The Murray River National Park was proclaimed in 1991 to preserve the wetlands and fauna and flora in the area. The woodlands are mainly mallee with saltbush on a lower level, further from the river. Lovely!
Watching the full moon rising behind the river was a spectacle on Sunday evening; initially an orange sphere and then golden we enjoyed the event with our camping neighbours. Did we ever take these natural spectacles for granted? No way, and in fact they are always different and awe inspiring.
As forecast the rain came down and stayed around all day, so we decided to tour nearby towns and attractions especially Lake Bonney. we might even find a new camp site!!
Berri is a lovely town and we had a short stop there and then it was on to Barmera, Cobdogla, followed by a drive all the way around the lake. There were a few interesting free camp sites
around the lake but we kept on going to Moorook, Loxton and then back to Collogans. We had a great time on this scenic tour and we happily filled a grey wet day.
Back at Collogans we had new neighbours who greeted us aggressivley with "Do you use a generator?" We don't and they became a bit friendlier and then it rained so we all stayed inside!!!!
It was still raining on Tuesday morning as we headed closer to Adelaide.