Day ten Barmah to Echuca - Australia's Great River - CycleBlaze

May 16, 2018

Day ten Barmah to Echuca

Leaving the Barmah Caravan Park behind us the bike turned right onto Murray Street, with a last look down the township's main street past the Barmah Pub, then the bike turned sharp right along the Barmah Road. 

leaving the Barmah Caravan Park
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There were slight indications of a southerly as we rode up a slight rise to the bridge which spanned the Jack Edwards Park and the River Murray, we had now crossed into New South Wales. The road continued to climb very slightly for what seemed like an eternity.  OK it was probably not really much of a hill but we had been riding on the flat all the way up to now.

the endlessly rising road way ahead of us
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vine yards to our right
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The road runs in a north westerly direction which gave us the southerly as a side and tail wind. We cycled on and on across open country side seeing very few vehicles on the road, but we did pass a few workers using huge earth moving machines to clear the farm land of metal wire fences (like those in the picture below) adjacent to the Barmah Road. 

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Eventually we reached the junction with the Echuca-Deniliquin Road / Cobb Highway and turned south again into the now strong southerly which made pedalling hard work.

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After cycling for some time along the Cobb Highway we stopped to park our bike up against some train signals which crossed the Cobb Highway. The train signals ajacent to the roadway provided the perfect spot where we could stop and eat our sandwiches and Mary could drink her bottle of milk for lunch.

Train line very close to Barnes Station, NSW (closed 1979) on the Deniliquin - Melbourne Railway Line
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For train buffs there is a great pic of the semaphore signals at wongm's site per the link below:

Leaving our lunch stop behind us, we continued to cycle along the Cobb Highway,  when we soon started to see temporary road signs advising that cattle would be on the road within the next five kilometres. After a few more kilometres we encountered a large herd of what appeared to be beef cattle grazing along the unfenced road and we did not see any herders or dogs in attendance. Three or four of the cattle had crossed the road and were grazing on the other side of the road: to our right. The grazing cattle seemed used to the passing traffic and trotted away from the edge of the Cobb Highway if large or noisy vehicles passed by : all the trucks and cars moved slowly through the area.


The old practice of allowing sheep and cattle to graze along the side of tracks and roads is called "The Long Paddock".

We found a short history of the long paddock below:-

 "The modern Cobb Highway follows part of the great network of stock routes that became known as “The Long Paddock” – a historic web of tracks and trails linking stock-breeding areas of inland NSW and Queensland with emerging markets in Victoria.

It also provided an escape route from drought when the seasons failed. The Long Paddock is still a working stock route which provides us with a link to times and landscapes that are long since altered".


Rearching the out skirts of Moama we continued cycling along the Cobb Highway, where we passed an industrial area with warehouses on our right-hand side, and residential streets on our left-hand side. On the corner of Nicholas Drive & the Cobb Highway we pulled into a large rest area surrounding a medium sized pond.  We parked the bike next to a large information board showing a pictorial map of Moama and the River Murray. 

The pictorial map also shows the Campaspe River which meets its confluence with the Murray River west of Echuca, and it was this river which we would follow once leaving Echuca and the River Murray to cycle south.

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Eventually we entered Moama the twin town in NSW of Echuca and crossed the Murray again via a very ornate bridge into Echuca : and called into the Information Centre.

train and road bridges across the River Murray between Moama - Echuca
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We then rode the short distance through the historic port area and along Watson Street, which ran parallel to the River Murray and around the bend in the road to our left into Crofton Street, where we found our accommodation at the NRMA Caravan Park .

Murray River Flag and the Union Jack Flag
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The Echuca-Moama Club scene. Not those with loud music and dancing frequented by Millenials but social and sporting clubs. New South Wales introduced gambling machines (slots for our American readers) and referred to as pokies here in Oz. Social and sporting  clubs were permitted to install these in their clubhouses to provide funding for their aims and objectives but were not permitted to distribute any surplus profits to their members so successful clubs were continually rebuilding and upgrading their facilities. To increase their gambling revenue the clubs initially proffered cheap meals but now charge more or less the rates of commercial establishments. One element remains however which is the offer of free bus rides from surrounding areas to their establishments. Before Victoria introduced pokies some of the bigger clubs just across the border used to run free coach trips from Melbourne, provide a free lunch and transport the gamblers back home after a few hours of gambling. So we took up the offer of a courtesy bus pickup from the Caravan Park to the Echuca Workers Club for a meal. Mike had the daily special of a chicken pie and Mary had the roast.

Today's ride: 33 km (20 miles)
Total: 307 km (191 miles)

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