Grey Fergies to the rescue at the Murray-Darling junction

Grey FergieDid you know the Grey Fergie saved Wentworth?

No. Neither did I.

I’m not sure if that’s bad marketing by the town of Wentworth, or if it’s something wrong with me. But Doc knew. Or perhaps that’s just him – after all, we do have a grey Fergie in our backyard!

After our rainy trip on the dry weather only road, we stayed in a cabin at Wentworth last night.

I’d wanted to camp at the confluence of the Murray and Darling Rivers. The two greatest rivers in Australia. Given the ongoing rain, a cabin right at the junction was the next best thing.

Where the Murray meets the DarlingNaturally, as soon as we arrived in town we had to go to the junction and just soak up the atmosphere. And take a couple of photos.

While walking around Junction Park (yes, named because it’s where the rivers meet) there was a direction to “take photo here”. It was just a garden in front of us, but I decided to do as I was told. It wasn’t until I was looking at the photo later that I discovered the effect.

It’s strange isn’t it. We only see what we want to, or what we’re conditioned to. I looked at the garden, not at the garden as part of the whole scene. But in the photo there is only one scene, so you can see the whole effect. I was impressed anyway! See if you can work it out.

Garden, with houses behind. It appears as if the houses, gum trees and the garden in front are all one sceneThen we checked into a cabin, dried off, and had a drink. What else do you do when it’s raining and you’re camping?

Did you also know that Wentworth has the world’s first monument to a tractor?

No. Neither did I, but I do now and we have the stubbie holder to prove it.

They also have a grey Fergie statue in Fotherby Park, or maybe that is the monument and the one in the middle of the road is for something else. I’m so confused. I came here to see some rivers!

The old Nunnery at Wentworth, with a corrugated iron sculpture of a nun in the foregroundSo after looking at more rusty old machinery I dragged Doc off to look at old buildings, including Customs House at the old wharf where taxes and customs duty was charged on goods coming in to NSW, and the nunnery, and, of course, back to the river for the lock and weir.

One very interesting place (to both of us) that we discovered in Wentworth was Thegoa Lagoon. Fed from the Murray, it is an important wetland, as well as a significant cultural place for the local Barkindji people. There are a number of significant sites, including scar trees, middens, and hearths, and probably many that aren’t listed. And the local tourist information centre provides notes on the sites around the lagoon so you can drive or walk around it yourself, and learn something of the local culture. Of course, Doc chose to drive, but at least we did stop a few times to get out of the car and look around.

Wooden structures on the dried out lagoon, We stopped at what appeared to be a section of the lagoon which had dried out, with three built wooden structures. Before we could get to the structures to have a closer look we had to walk through long grass, through the gum trees, saplings and other bushes, then across the green vegetation. In thongs. All on dried out, cracked, ground. The last time I walked on ground like that I ended up thigh deep in mud, and thought I was going to disappear altogether.

Needless to say I wasn’t the most confident walking across there and was glad nobody was watching my very tentative, high stepping walk that probably looked like I was doing a John Cleese impression. Not even Doc who was off exploring on his own!

The same wooden structures as in the previous photo, only this time in the water, acting as a bird perchA bit further around the lagoon, where there was water and birds to watch, we discovered what the structures are for. They’re bird perches. It probably should have been obvious really.

Then we went for a walk right out to the point between the Murray and Darling Rivers, where we could stand on the one spot and look up river along both of them. Lunch was had looking at the Murray, with the Darling at our backs, and only one hooning jetskier to disturb the peace.

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