Monday, June 4, 2012

The Long Paddock

Today Shane and I decided to be tourists and go on a road trip along part of The Long Paddock. The Long Paddock - I hear you ask - What is the Long Paddock? The current Cobb Highway that runs from Echuca /Moama north to Wilcannia a total of 589kms - one way (approx. 366 miles) follows part of the great network of stock routes that become known as The Long Paddock. All the big and small towns along The long Paddock were originally established as coach changing station for Cobb and Co. Coaches. We decided that our adventure would start in Moama and end in Hay - a total return trip of 404 kms (251 miles). We headed off at around 8.00am and a very cold foggy morning greeted us. Our first stop was a toilet stop in Mathoura and at I must say the prettiest public toilets I have ever seen. The inside walls were all painted with lovely murals created by the local art group and local school. I didn't get a photo as I didn't have my camera or IPhone with me as I wasn't expecting to use it in the loo!! Then it was onto Deniliquin, this town sprung up at a favoured spot on the Edward River where drovers forded or swam their stock across on their long journey. The area was originally inhabited by the Wamba Wamba nation of indigenous people. After another toilet stop, a yummy breakfast and some photo taking it was back on the road again.


The next tiny location was Pretty Pine - all this location consisted of was a pub - that wasn't open on Mondays - not that we wanted a beer, it was just a little early. Then it was onto Wanganella which didn't even have a pub but it's claim to fame is the introduction to the world the famous Australian Peppin Merino (sheep known for it's high grade wool).

On another 36kms (22 miles) we travelled through another one and only pub location called Booroorban. The hotels Headless Horseman bar is named after the legend associated with the area. Drovers around the black swamp in the middle of the 19th century told of a horseman who appeared suddenly at a campsite, mounted on a horse, a cloak but no head.

Our final destination was the town (or maybe it is classed as a City) of Hay. I have fond memories of this town. As a little girl I travelled up there a few times with my parents to visit my Dads best friend - David Davies - whom I just happened to be named after. Uncle David and his wife Auntie Biddy owned the Hay Caravan Park and while I was there it was my job to serve people when they came into the little shop. It made me feel as I was so grown up - but I wasn't. After a look around town and some lunch we headed for Shear Outback, which is a sheep shearing museum and also The Shearing Hall of Fame. I would thoroughly recommend that any travellers visit this attraction as it was very interesting.

Then it was back home to our little camper in Echuca. We have just had dinner and it is raining outside, so what better thing to do than write my blog.