Our next stop after re-charging at Moama is Benarca Campground – only about 18kms from Moama!
Sunsets and quite river locations are much nicer than a caravan park.
Falling dead branches are always a threat when you camp by the river but fortunately none fell on us. We had 3 nights at Benarca and we spent time just relaxing by the river.
We couldn’t spend all the time just lazing about. We went in search of the Azure Kingfisher with Kingfisher Cruises along the ‘Barmah Choke’. The Choke is an interesting formation. It’s a channel through which the Murray flows between the Barmah and Moira Lakes and limits the flow of the Murray to about 8,500 mega-litres per day reducing water availability downstream. The river flows about twice as fast through the Choke. The Murray-Darling Commission has a fact sheet that explains…”During summer and autumn, river operation aims to keep flows at or below channel capacity to minimise unseasonal flooding of the Barmah-Millewa Forest. This constraint provides challenges in meeting downstream peak water use demands and transferring water to Lake Victoria and South Australia, even in relatively dry years. The constraint has led to a restriction in water trade from areas upstream to downstream of the Barmah Choke.” Here the Murray River separates Victoria’s Barmah National Park from Moira, Millewa and Gulpa Forests in New South Wales – combined the area ranks as the world’s largest stand of River Red Gum. The Channel is completely natural and the seasonal flooding of the forest gives rise to a unique ecological area home to lots of bird life and in particular the Azure Kingfisher we sought, and we weren’t disappointed.
There were also lots of Spoonbills and Pelicans.