Koondrook developed faster than Barham, which was more isolated, until the towns were linked by the bridge over the Murray in The Bonum Sawmill, occupying land at the Northern edge of Barham, incorporated several significant value-adding enterprises, such as a kiln, veneering and finger-jointing before closing in when the New South Wales government closed access to many of the forest areas following many years of drought and poor tree growth. The bridge replaced a punt that was used to ferry people, stock and goods across the river, and allowed road access between the Riverina and the Victorian markets, while permitting the passage of paddle steamers when the middle section was raised.
This part of the Murray rewards anglers with the odd Murray Cod, golden perch, silverfish and catfish, while dobbers can land some very tasty yabbies. There are now fifteen statues two in Barham and 13 in Koondrook including such notables as a Pioneer Woman and a Paddle Steamer Captain, a range of local "characters" and iconic local animals as a Murray Cod, kookaburra and wedge-tailed eagle. It was built in and was constructed so that the central section could be lifted so that paddlesteamers plying the river between South Australia and Echuca could pass under the bridge. At one point towards the end of the 19th century the population was sufficiently large to set up a school on the island. It is a service centre for an area known for its red rivergum timber industry and its citrus growing. The carvings depict wildlife and local people who are significant to the region. Until it was motorised in it was operated by a system of weights worked by two men turning wheels. The twin towns service the extensive pastoral and horticultural regions, but they are also adapting to the increasing demands of tourists. Visitors can canoe down the Gunbower Creek there is a 5km canoe trail , walk and wander across the island, take a motorbike along the tracks or traverse the island by 4WD. This is a rustic "art form" which is hugely popular in the redwood areas of the United States - Alaska and the northern Pacific states - but still quite rare in Australia. Koondrook State Forest has excellent camping spots on the banks of the Murray and good fishing. For drivers the Gunbower Forest Drive entry from Cohuna offers an excellent overview. Barham Lakes East Barham Road. Further on, Riverside Park is a popular picnicking area. It wasn't until the s that Europeans realised the value of the river red gums, particularly for railway sleepers, and timber cutters started camping on the island and cutting down the trees and transporting them to the nearby mills. The Bonum Sawmill, occupying land at the Northern edge of Barham, incorporated several significant value-adding enterprises, such as a kiln, veneering and finger-jointing before closing in when the New South Wales government closed access to many of the forest areas following many years of drought and poor tree growth. From until it was mechanised in the lift section of the bridge was raised and lowered by two men using a system of pulleys and weights. You can catch the mood of the Murray with a leisurely stroll along the Redgum Statue River Walk , test your golf on a championship course, picnic on the banks of the Barham Lakes Park. It is 80 metres above sea level. The island is characterised by swamps, river red gums and, on the higher ground, box forest. The walk was started in and a new statue is added each year. People holiday in the area because Murray River is a wonderland for bushwalking, swimming, canoeing and fishing for the Murray cod, golden perch, carp, silver fish, catfish and yabbies which abound in its waters. The most popular team sport is Australian rules football , the town in conjunction with neighbouring township Koondrook across the Murray having an Australian Rules football team competing in the Central Murray Football League. Timber industry[ edit ] From the early s, timber cutters began to set up camps and log the River Red Gums Eucalyptus camaldulensis that grow in the surrounding forests. The line operated until for passengers and for goods. It was called a 'tramway' because only light rails were used. Beyond the wetlands is Kow Swamp, where in the late s anthropologists uncovered 13,year-old fossilised bones.
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