Benalla to The Rock

Oh dear…..we were both a little dusty after our very late night celebrating our anniversary. Our neighbours in the free camp on either side of us brought their chairs over and we all enjoyed a nibbles plate and lots of wine. I think we eventually got to bed after midnight.

The others called by when they were leaving to say farewell. We were still having breakfast!. At least we were out of bed, showered and dressed!

The Jaycee Island Campground in Benalla is a great spot however there is only room for a few vehicles. The sign even says only 3 self contained vehicles. It is right beside the walking track around Lake Benalla and would be a perfect spot if it wasn’t for the huge flock of Corellas that call the area home. They fly in at dusk and screech so loud you can’t talk to each other then first thing in the morning they start screeching again. Not a great noise to be woken by, especially feeling dusty!

We eventually set off from Benalla with the aim to make it to The Rock. On the way we went by a huge solar farm at Glenrowan West. It was spread over acres and acres. I just had to look it up to find out more about it. Glenrowan West Solar Farm is HUGE and covers 323 acres. At full capacity is provides 149 megawatts of electricity. It has 373,248 solar panels installed that can provide power for up to 41,000 homes.

We stayed off the freeway and our drive took us through Glenrowan, famous for being bush ranger Ned Kelly’s last stand.

The Big Thing at Glenrowan – Ned Kelly

We travelled on the back road on to busy town of Wangaratta. Then we headed northwards to Corowa on the mighty Murray River passing through historic Wahgunyah on the Victorian side of the river.

At Wahgunyah/Corowa is an amazing single lane bridge across the river and because it is single lane there are traffic lights on either side.

Originally the bridge was a toll bridge built by an enterprising John Foord and others who formed a private company in 1862 to construct and operate a wooden bridge across the Murray River. The wooden bridge cost 10,000 pounds. The colonial governments of Victoria and New South Wales agreed to the construction of the bridge only with the option that the government could purchase the bridge after 21 years. If the option was not exercised then the company could continue to have operating rights for 99 years.

The tolls charged were:
Pedestrians 3 pence
Vehicles 1 shilling per wheel
Sheep 1/2 pence
Pigs & Goats 2 pence
Cattle 4 pence
Horses 1 shilling

In 1877 the two governments resisted pressure from locals to purchase the bridge and make it toll-free.

In 1889 the wooden bridge had become dangerous and finally in 1893 it was replaced by a new narrow iron bridge and despite vocal objections the bridge was built only 18 feet wide. Locals wanted it to be 35 feet wide.

In 1894 the old wooden bridge was pulled down by a bullock team however when the water is very low remnants of the old bridge can still be seen.

We stopped to check out the bridge. Corowa obviously has a large Rowing Club as their shed was huge with concrete wharves to launch the boats from. On the other side of the river was a group of houseboats. What a pretty park and so well maintained. Well done Corowa.

Our journey continued via Howlong, then on back roads through Burrumbuttock, Walla Walla and Culcairn before we stopped for a lunch break in Henty. We also stopped for fuel and Richard asked the attendant where was the best place for lunch in Henty. “The pub”, was the reply.

So off to the Doodle Cooma Arms Hotel for lunch where we enjoyed really good pub grub.

With very full bellies we continued on to The Rock. WikiCamps showed a free camp at the Recreation Ground and we found that, used the dump point and set up camp. The Rock community make their Recreation Ground available for self contained vehicles. There are toilets and hot showers, a dump point and potable water is available. There is lots of room for many RV’s. There were already 3 others when we arrived. There is a donation box in the amenities block for use of the showers however we thought it was worth a $10 donation just to be able to camp in that lovely spot. We had a flat spot and access to the other facilities and, if you felt like it, you could walk to the Bowlo for a meal. It was just up the road. However after our huge pub grub lunch we didn’t need a lot for dinner and gave the Bowlo a miss.

The local AFL club had a training session and we watched them as we sat and read our books. They looked young and very fit.

It was an early night for us after our late one. I think we were in bed by 9pm.

Recreation Ground, The Rock NSW


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s