January 6-7, 2015
The hour drive from our house to Murray Bridge saw quite the change in landscape. We left the canopy of trees and vines of Adelaide Hills to discover the vast, Riverlands prairie somewhat resembling Southern Alberta and the foothills.
As it happened to be a scorching 45 degree day, we were happy to have great air conditioning in our car. We replenished our sunscreen several times throughout the day. Our walks in and around Murray Bridge were intriguing but incredibly hot. Along our Murray River walk, Sean and Doug left the footpath and tried to navigate their way back to the car by zig-zagging from shade to shade in an attempt to stay less hot. In the end, however, they created a longer path resulting in more time in the heat with a little less time in the direct sunshine. Had we made like the locals, we would have gone for a swim in the Murrary River, of course watching for the river monster, the Bunyip!
We had a delicious lunch in Steamer’s Cafe on Main Street, Murray Bridge and caught a few overs of Cricket on the tele.
A stop at the tourist information centre, lead to a bit of history in the area and highlights to check out. Then it was up the road to Mannum, driving through farmland and several large poultry producing facilities.
We were excited to try out first river-crossing on the cable ferry. These ferries function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are absolutely free for passengers, cars and cargo (within the weight restrictions of course!).
Arriving in Mannum, we first stopped at the Tourist Information centre and museum. Our next 3 hours was spent engrossed in local history and information about the Murray River and Steamboats at the P.S. Marion Museum… in the air conditioned museum.
After checking into the Mannum Motel, we played a few games of cards and enjoyed dinner in the lounge over-looking the Murray. After dinner we took a brief walk down the main street and enjoyed the colours changing as the sun went down over the river.
Next morning, we were up early and on the road again. We crossed the river at Walker Flats, took a quick stop to take photos at the lookout and then made our way to Kroehn’s Landing. There we met Issy and her companion interpreters at the entrance to Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park (Pronounced, “Not Not”). Once the two bus loads of Scout’s arrived, our tour began.
We toured the cliffs, walking up well-worn footpaths to the top to visit the preferred camping site of visiting tribes. Then, we came back down to view the men’s and women’s areas where generations of indigenous peoples lived, hunted, fished and carved images on the rocks. It was an absolutely fascinating experience!
After our incredibly hot Ngaut Nguat tour, we drove back to Murrary Bridge for lunch and then home in time for Sean’s Cricket practice (which in the end was cancelled due to the extreme heat). Instead, Sean and Doug splashed in the pool to cool off from the day!