Posted by: travelrat | September 9, 2013



Goolwa: 5th May 2012

We drove a short distance over to Goolwa, on Lake Alexandrina, where the River Murray doesn’t quite meet the sea. When Matthew Flinders made his circumnavigation of Australia, which established that Australia was indeed one conterminous land mass in 1802, he completely missed the mouth of the Murray.

That’s because Lake Alexandrina is hidden from view from the sea by Hindmarsh Island and the Younghusband Peninsula. These also enclose a long, thin body of water called the Coorong, said to be particularly rich in wildlife … maybe that’s for another time?

We just made a quick stop at the Wharf to photograph the lake and the bridge across to Hindmarsh Island. I was hoping to get some pictures of the Cockle Train, which is said to be the oldest railway in Australia. Its original purpose, as the name suggests, was to ferry cockles from Victor Harbor to the inland port of Goolwa, for transportation up the Murray by boat.

It didn’t happen, though, as it only runs on Wednesdays and Sundays, so that’s another item for the bucket list.

But, what was this? Today was Saturday, but I distinctly heard the sound of a steam whistle.
It came, not from a train, but from a paddle steamer, the ‘Oscar W’, which splashed its way sedately past, and provided a totally unexpected bonus.

Oscar W

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