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Nathalia in Victoria is a great little country town
Nathalia in the heart of Australia's "food bowl"
For some reason or other, it seems that the town was named after the Queen of Serbia, possibly because some of the early settlers migrated from that country. Situated almost midway between the Murray and Goulburn rivers, land was first taken up in 1843 and the town established in the late 1870s. Some of the buildings in the town, the Browne, Corke & Co. building and the old Post Office are classified by the National Trust.
Visit the Barmah Forest Heritage & Education Centre and find out about the fascinating and diverse history of this iconic region. From pre-history to the present day, learn of the struggles and be amazed at the achievements of our forefathers. Stories are told in an easy going style that educates and enlightens. Learn about local indigenous history, the timber industry, woodcutters, riverboats, leech and feather collectors, cattlemen and more.
Nathalia Historical Museum
Located in the old Mechanics Institute in Pearce Street, houses a collection of artifacts and memorabilia from Nathalia's past. Open every second Sunday of the month.
Points of interest close by
Eastern entrance to the Barmah Forest. Turn off the Murray Valley Highway towards the west at Picola-Katunga Road and follow it to the township of Barmah. Take the Moira Lakes Road, next to the Barmah Hotel, for 9 km, to the edge of the forest, then follow Sandridge Track to the Dharnya Centre. Barmah Forest, listed as a Wetland of International Importance, comprises 290 square km of river red gum and is home for abundant native bird and animal life. The forest has 112 km of Murray River frontage and during floods the water flows out into the forest and fulfills the cycle of replenishing the forest with water and encouraging river red gum seedlings to take root and sprout. It is an important region for honey production. Throughout the forest are reminders of Aboriginal habitation with canoe trees, middens and burial sites being visible. When the Millewa Forest of New South Wales is added to the Barmah the combined area makes up the largest river red gum sanctuary in Australia.
The Dharnya Centre is an education complex and visitor centre built with the co-operation of the local Aboriginal (Yorta Yorta) community. It houses displays about the history and culture of the Aboriginal and European communities living in the district, as well as information about the forest, its inhabitants and the river. The complex also provides accomodation for groups of up to 56 people. Open daily (except Christmas Day and Good Friday) 10am-5pm.
Self drive tour and walks
A self-drive tour of 70 km (at least two hours) commences in the Barmah township. It takes in many of the notable features of this interesting, and much used and abused, river red gum forest.
A series of Barmah Walks have been developed close by the Dharnya Centre that are flat and easy walking. However in mid summer they can be unpleasant, and are impassable during floods. Always carry water.
Maps available at the Dharnya Centre for some local walks:
- Lakes Loop 4.5 km, 2 hours
- Broken Creek Walk 7.5 km, 3.5 hours
- Steamer Plain Track 5 km 2 hours
Wetland tours of the Barmah Forest are conducted on Kingfisher, a 32-seater punt that takes visitors through the Barmah Forest lakes and creeks. Kingfisher Cruises (2 hours duration) departs Barmah Lake. Minimum numbers apply, bookings essential, groups by arrangement.
Morgans Beach to Barmah township: The Murray can be entered at Morgans Beach, some 56 km east of Barmah. Take the Murray Valley Highway and turn off to the left. The return car ferry takes about 1.5 hours. This section of river offers the flat-water canoeist a wonderful glimpse of Australia's wildlife and is best taken when the river is high during the summer months.
Morgans Beach to Picnic Point: The first stage between Morgans Beach and Picnic Point, a holiday resort in New South Wales, takes about 2 days (12 hours) paddling. There are numerous creeks and backwaters which give better access to view the wildlife. Numerous camping sites are available. However, keep a sharp look out for snakes.
Picnic Point to Barmah Lakes: A half days paddling (3 hours) from Picnic Point brings you to the Barmah Lakes. The Moira Lakes on the northern bank of the Murray are in New South Wales.
Barmah Lakes to Barmah Township: A further 3 hours paddling downstream brings you to Barmah Township. Here the river widens and the river banks increase in height. The journey onto Echuca takes a further 6 hours paddling but is not as interesting as the previous two day's paddling.
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