Saturday 8 March 2008

Leader: Phil Gibbons

Phil kept us entertained with stories about local families and the history of the area.

We travelled along the back roads and stopped at interesting vegetation along the route.

Our select group 11 people travelled in three cars in an area that was once a swamp but has been drained for farmland.

Kanagaroo Inn. We stopped for a cuppa near the Kangaroo Inn Settlement School and looked at the remains of the inn. The walls were over 30cm thick. The inn and the school have an interesting history.

Beachpoort. We stopped for lunch at Beachport on the beach and a few of us walked along the old jetty. It also has an interesting history.

Woakwine Cutting. On the way back we stopped at the Woakwine cutting. What an incredible engineering feat, and completed in only three years! It was accomplished by two men using a small bulldozer, a road plough and scoop, to cart the soil out at each end of the hill/mountain. The mind boggles at the cost of such a job in manpower, technology, machinery and money – not to mention wrangling/fighting of government bodies, studies for this, and the other thing, aboriginal land titles, ”greenies”, and the prohibitive cost of the public liability etc in 2008. Not likely that it would never get off the ground (or into the ground).


  • Reptiles. Along the dirt roads we saw a brown snake, another unidentified snake, and a goanna running across the road.
  • A pair of wedgetail eagles soaring.
  • Galahs at work. A Manna Gum had a section of bark removed, from the upper sloping side of the tree. The bark was removed by cockatoos, to prevent goannas from raiding their nests.
  • Snails. At one of our stopping places along the track we saw what seemed to be hundreds of thousands of finger-nail sized, white-shelled snails mostly on the southern (cooler) side of the fence posts. There were also smaller brownish varieties with pointed shells. More white snails posed as blossom on lucerne plants.
  • A fine Cherry Ballart.
  • A great patch of grasstrees – a chance to practise my photographic skills.

Grace and I were fortunate to travel with Joylene and Phil, who kept us informed and entertained along the way.
I have been a farmer all my life and seeing such a wide range of various types of farming in other areas is most interesting, especially when we travelled with two walking encyclopedias.

Few birds were seen, no doubt because of the heat and shortage of water. Bool lagoon and other areas were very dry. The birds seen or heard include

Wedge-tailed Eagle  

Silver Gull

King Parrot

Rainbow Lorikeet

Fan-tailed Cuckoo (h)

Welcome Swallow

Grey-crowned Babbler

Restless Flycatcher

Little Wattlebird

Noisy Miner

New Holland Honeyeater  


Magpie Lark


All in all, it was a great day. Especially thanks to Joylene and Phil for making it so.

Nance Foley (Mid-Murray Field Nats)