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The Timber Cutters Run

Murray River Driving Routes

Welcome to the Timber Cutter's Runtm, a unique touring route along ancient waterways and through ethereal forests. This driving route is not just another tourism hidden gem, but the real deal. It reveals a story of an earthquake 60,000 years ago, the Cadell Fault, the Narrows (Barmah Choke), a 50 km sandridge, the redirection of the Murray River, and the creation of the Millawa-Barmah forests - the largest stand of River Red Gum in the world.

Murray River CouncilWelcome to Murray River Council, covering Moama, Mathoura, Barham, and Moulamein. The vibrant tourism region of the central Murray River region stretching from Echuca/Moama and including iconic access to the Murray, Edward, and Wakool Rivers.

With more and more development along the Murray River, there are fewer and fewer places that remain relatively untouched, enabling visitors to experience real nature.

The Timber Cutter's Run extends from Echuca/Moama past Barmah, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Moulameim and Kayalite, before heading north to Balranald.

Located within the Central Murray River Catchment, the Timber Cutters Run follows the Murray River, Gulpa Creek, Edward River, Wakool River, and the Niemur River.

We respectfully acknowledge that the Yorta Yorta, Perrepa Perrepa, and Wamba Wamba people are the traditional custodians of this area of the Central Murray and so pay our respect to their elders, past and present.

The Cadell Fault

The Cadell Fault Mathoura, Gulpa Creek, New South Wales, AustraliaThe Cadell Fault beside the Gulpa Creek at Mathoura, New South Wales, Australia

Around 60,000 years ago, a seismic event changed the course of the Murray River; it is considered one of the world's most spectacular altering the course of a river. While it may seem a long time in the past, it is good to put it into the context of Australian history that indigenous history reaches further back (65,000 years for the earliest evidence of humans in Australia).

Research reveals that several sizable earthquakes lifted the land between Echuca and Delinquin to the east of present-day Cobb Highway (The Long Paddock touring route).

The findings summarised that the original course of the Murray River was west through present-day Mathoura via Green Gulley, a watercourse that is still visible today. In fact, after heavy rain, Green Gulley fills with water flows from the original watercourse of the Murray River.

Slideshow - Cadell Fault and its effect on the Murray River

The Waterways

  • Around 60,000 years ago, a seismic event changed the course of the Murray River; it is considered one of the world's most spectacular altering the course of a river. While it may seem a long time in the past, it is good to put it into the context of Australian history in that indigenous history reaches further back into history. (65,000 years for the earliest evidence of humans in Australia).
  • Research reveals that several sizable earthquakes lifted the land between Echuca and Delinquin to the east of present-day Cobb Highway (The Long Paddock touring route).
    The findings summarised that the original course of the Murray River was west through present-day Mathoura through a watercourse known as Green Gulley which is still visible today and fills with water during heavy floods.
  • The main fault line, between Moama and Deniliquin, is over 50km long and is up to 12–15 metres in height.
  • The Green Gully course joined the Edward/Wakool River near Wakool (west of Mathoura) and flowed to the present Murray River west of Kayalite.
  • This suggested course meant the Murray River did not flow via Echuca and onto Swan Hill. It was the Goulburn River that flowed to Echuca, then on to meet the Murray River near Kayalite.
  • When the tilt/fault occurred, this dammed both waterways to form two large lakes:
    • The Northern Lake (between Mathoura and Barmah)
    • Lake Kanyapella (between Barmah and Moama)
  • Around 20,000 years ago, with the need to find a new course, the Murray River turned north, creating the Edward River, to present-day Deniliquin, before heading west (Moulamein) and joining the present course west of Kayalite; while also continuing to fill the Northern Lake.
  • The Goulburn, with the southern-sourced Campaspe River, formed Lake Kanyapella.
  • The flow of the Murray River into Northern Lake deposited silt protrusions (also known as silt-jetties) through the lake which became the modern course of the Murray River; this course created a narrower river and is today known as the narrows or choke.
  • The Murray River also created a new course to the southwest via the 'Narrows' (the Barmah Choke), to follow its current path which was created by the ancient Goulburn River, to Swan Hill.

The Landscape

  • Back when this was happening, the landscape was very different from the forests we see today and evidence reveals it a more open woodland and grassy plains including tree ferns. The actual red-gum forest is relatively new, forming around 6,000 years ago.
  • The flow of the Murray was a lot greater than today as glaciers covered the ranges around Mount Kosciuszko (20,000+ years ago) and the melt provided a constant supply of water.
  • During a period of severe drought, the Northern Lake Dried and prevailing winds blew the sand sediment from the lake and created the sand ridge that runs along Picnic Point Road as well as the sandhills around the now named Sand Range woodlands.
  • During the same dry period, Lake Kanyapella also dried and created the sandhills around Barmah, visible along the Barmah road that leads from the Cobb Highway.
  • With the ebb and flow of floods, the native grasses flourished, but the original trees were not suited to the constant wet, but this provided a natural opportunity for different tree species to grow, species like the River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) created the upper canopy while native grasses, sedges and rushes thrived on the ground story.
  • Legend of the First Nation people, the Yorta Yorta, tells a story that ancestors, when the Cadell tilt dammed the water during a great flood, helped the river breakthrough by digging through a sand ridge and enabled the current course of the Murray River.
  • The narrows (Barmah Choke) that were created in the Northern Lake, and formed the modern course of the Murray, is (surprisingly) dated at only 500-600 years. This section of the river exhibits straight-sided banks, which is out of character for the Murray River.
  • The Barmah Choke restricted the flow of the river and created the perfect conditions for the Barmah forest to form and establish itself as the largest River Run Gum forest in the world.
    The Gulpa Creek was diverted north due to the fault line and joined the Edward River about 20 km south of Deniliquin.
  • The Edward River came into being as a result of the Murray River building up as a result of the Cadell tilt and needing a new course, and the resultant waterway rejoined the Murray River southwest of Balranald.
  • The Goulbourn River is believed to have been the main waterway to Echuca and then followed the same course as today's Murray River; the exception being that it was not linked to the original route of the Murray via Mathoura/Green Gulley which ended up flowing north to Deniliquin then west as the Edward River.

Touring Route Introduction

The Timber Cutters RunTM is a touring route through the central Murray Catchment of the Murray-Darling Basin from Moama to Balranald visiting Barmah, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Moulamein, and Kayalite along the way.

This adventure reveals a story of an earthquake 60,000 years ago that caused the redirection of the Murray River, the creation of two ancient lakes as well as the formation of the Barmah Forest.

The Barmah-Millewa forest is the largest stand of River Red Gum in the world.

This earthquake created the Cadell Fault/Tilt, an elevated ridge that stretches from Moama to Deniliquin, much of which this tour will follow, with the section from Deniliquin to Kyalite following the Edward and Wakool River.

If doing the Long Paddock touring route from Moama to Wilcannia, this touring route is an excellent alternative to the Moama-Deniliquin section and does not bypass any of the waypoints of that route. 

The Timber Cutters Run, Australian Touring Routes - CLICK image for interactive Google MapThe Timber Cutters Run, Australian Touring Routes

Touring Route Detail:

  • Total Distance: Full Route: 358 km
  • Road Surface: Mostly unsealed but well maintained - Bitumen alternative routes
  • Vehicle Recommendation: AWD/4WD SUV with good clearance. Camper trailers & small-medium offroad caravans
  • Communications: Good Mobile coverage on Telstra and Optus
  • Food & Provisions: Moama, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Moulamein, Balranald

shoutTimber Cutter's Run - Need to Know!

  • There are times of the year that sections of this route can flood and roads closed as a result. Throughout this touring route, more accessible/safer alternative ways through are possible.
  • After a rain, the roads can become slippery, so care/experience is needed. Check with Park's office and/local authorities if in doubt.
  • For Road Closures and Park Alerts:
  • This adventure follows some amazing waterways and as a result, offers some unique places to camp as a few unique accommodation places along the way.
  • The roads throughout this route are mostly unsealed but well-maintained, and small-medium RV suitable (offroad set-up recommended).
  • Each section of the Timber Cutter's Run will have more detail on the general track access recommendations.

Timber Cutter's Run - Route Sections

The southern terminus of the Timber Cutters Run is Moama on the Victoria/New South Wales border. Just across the Murray River from Echuca, both form the twin towns known as Echuca-Moama and is located about 230 km north of Melbourne.

Moama is on the 'quiet side of the river' and lends itself to a more relaxed pace than Echuca, but provides effortless access to all the highlights of Echuca, and adds some of its own unique experiences.

Echuca/Moama to Barmah

The Goulburn River and Murray River junction near Echuca, NSW, AustraliaThe Goulburn River and Murray River junction near Echuca, NSW, Australia

Touring Route Description

The start/finish point of the Timber Cutters RunTM is Echuca/Moama with the first leg to Barmah following the Murray River along the Victorian side of the river from Echuca to Barmah with some beautiful river vistas along the way.

This route crosses the Goulburn River, a tributary of the Murray which is sourced from Woods Point and the Victorian High Country and is believed to be the original course of the Murray River before the events that caused the Cadel tilt.

There is an opportunity also the see where the Goulburn River joins the Murray River, but large caravans are not advised on this track as there is little room to turn around. It is an easy walk from the main road though.

It is a worthwhile experience to see where the ancient Goulburn river joins the Murray River and consider that upstream to Mathoura is a relatively new waterway.

Timber Cutters Run - Moama to Barmah.Timber Cutters Run - Moama to Barmah. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Touring Route Details:

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Goulburn Road 2.20 2.20 Right Sealed
Bangerang Road 7.25 9.45 Left Sealed
Stewarts Bridge Road 22.50 31.95 Left Gravel
Barmah-Shepparton Road 5.96 37.91   Sealed

About Barmah:

Trivia Time: Barmah is the only Victorian town north of the Murray River. (due to the winding nature of the river, this section has Victoria to the north of the river.)

Barmah is a small Murray River town that is known as the gateway to the superb Barmah National Park which is home to the largest forest of red gum in the world. It is the importance of the red gum forest and the appeal of the Murray River, which is central to the attractions in the area.

It is thought the town's name comes from a Yorta Yorta word 'Paama' meaning 'meeting place'.

In 1863-64 the railway line from Bendigo to Echuca was built and consumed large volumes of sleepers cut from the red gums in the Barmah forest. A punt began operation, joining the tracks from Echuca to Yarrawonga where they crossed the Murray River. In 1886 a town was surveyed on elevated ground near the punt, and the resulting Barmah village became a river outlet for wool from surrounding pastoral stations. It also became the shipping point for railway sleepers cut for domestic use and exported to India and New Zealand.

By the 1950s there was evidence that the weirs built on the Murray River for irrigation were decreasing the flood frequency in the Barmah forest. The change of rhythm reduced the germination of red gum seedlings and interfered with the breeding of water birds. Effluent from human and farm activity also adversely affected water quality. Flood regulators were installed by 1959.

The Barmah National Park covers 28,500 hectares and with the adjoining Murray Valley National Park in New South Wales, forms the world's largest River Red Gum forest. The complex ecology of the forest is possible due to the Murray River and its flooding regime that has created a diverse natural habitat for a variety of wildlife, especially waterbirds.
Internationally recognised and listed under the Ramsar Convention, the wetlands of forest represent all of the four freshwater wetland types in Victoria. The forest provides critical habitat for over 200 recorded species of birds, with Brolgas, Night Herons, Spoonbills, Sea Eagles and Azure Kingfishers can all be seen in the Park. River Red Gums line the Murray River for most of its length.

The iconic River Run Gums can reach 45 metres and live for more than 500 years. The trees need periods of flooding and can survive inundation for months. Their seeds are washed onto the higher ground during a flood and germinate and grow before the next deluge reaches them. Hollows and broken branches provide nesting for Galahs, Cockatoos, Cockatiels and various Parrots; while fallen branches offer habitat for other animals.

Barmah to Mathoura

Now the real fun begins!

The Murray River along Barmah River Road, Barmah, Victoria, AustraliaThe Murray River along Barmah River Road, Barmah, Victoria, Australia

Touring Route Description

The journey from Barmah to Mathoura (Picnic Point) follows the Murray River (on the NSW side of the river) through the Murray Valley National Park (Moria section) with excellent access to the river along well-maintained tracks through the forest.

shoutBarmah Lakes Alternative Route!

At times of flooding and after heavy rains, some of this route may be closed, an alternate way should still be possible. (Check with Parks Office: Murray Valley National Park (See Alerts) or call NPWS Moama office on 03 5483 9100)

  • Take left at Rushy Rd, off River Rd, and not Algeboia Rd which is further upstream.
  • Turn Right at Dora Rd
  • Once past Millewa Canal, go past Swifts Creek Rd and turn right at Porters Creek Rd (Poverty Point Rd)
  • See Map for detail.

Touring Route Details:

The River Road follows the river until Moira Creek Road (a right turn) which proceeds up to Moira Lake and westward along the Millewa irrigation channel. There is no route along the Murray River north between Moira Lake and Barmah Lake, hence the need to go around Moira Lake to the west.

Once around the lake, Swifts Creek Road heads east back to the Murray River and Swifts Creek campground.  Similar to the south of the lakes, vehicle access to the lakes along the Murray River is not possible, but from the north of the lakes, it is possible to reach the lakes via a walking trail.

Timber Cutters Run - Barmah to Picnic PointTimber Cutters Run - Barmah to Picnic Point. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Barmah Road 1.00 1.00 Right Sealed
Barmah River Road 7.50 8.50 Right Gravel
Moria Creek Road 7.40 15.90 Left Gravel
Dora Creek Road 1.60 17.50 Right Gravel
Algeboia Road 0.90 18.40 Right Gravel
Dora Road 4.00 22.40 Left/Merge Gravel
Coolamon Road 4.30 26.70 Right Gravel
Swifts Creek Road 3.90 30.60 Right Gravel
Hut Road 7.60 38.20 Right/Merge Gravel
Poverty Point Road 2.70 40.90 Right Sealed
Picnic Point Road 1.00 41.90   Sealed

Murray Bank Caravan Park, Picnic Point, Mathoura, NSW, AustraliaMurraybank Caravan Park is an established park on one of the prettiest bends of the mighty Murray River. The park is situated just out of the Barmah and Millewa National Parks – home to the world’s biggest single stand of River Redgum.

From Swifts Creek campground, the route heads north towards Picnic Point with lovely vistas of the Murray River.

The Murray Valley National Park:

In 2010 the Millewa, Gulpa and Moira State Forest was converted into a National Park, now referred to as the Murray Valley National Park. The well-known names are used for each section:

  • The Moira Section: Barmah to just north of the Gulpa Creek with the Cobb Highway being the western boundary and Murray River the east boundary.
  • The Millewa Section: From the Edward River in the west, running along with the Murray to the west of Tocumwal)
  • Gulpa Island Section: Bounded by the Gulpa Creek and Edward River.

About Mathoura

Mathoura is an integral part of the Long Paddock touring route that retraces a historic cattle run from Moama (just over the Murray River from Echuca), through Deniliquin, Hay, Ivanhoe and Wilcannia.

Mathoura, NSW, AustraliaWelcome to Mathoura... unspoilt access to natures' best experiences. Mathoura, the gateway to the largest Red Gum forests in the world, is a real hidden gem; unspoilt forest experiences and waterway access to the Murray & Edward rivers as well as the Gulpa Creek section of the Timber Cutters Run touring route.

Along the way - at Moama, Mathoura, Deniliquin, Pretty Pine, Wanganella/Boorooban, Hay, and Ivanhoe - are various sculptures depicting the history of the route; in addition to interpretive signs to learn more about this iconic stock route.

Walking one of the many walking trails around Mathoura, NSW.Walking one of the many walking trails around Mathoura, NSW.

Mathoura began as a market garden and a pub on a drovers track (part of the Long Paddock) in the mid-1800s and built itself as a timber source for the developing young nation of Australia. Not surprisingly, timber remains an economic mainstay of the area ever since the woodcutters first arrived in the 1850s. The Red Gum timber is used for railway sleepers, furniture, landscaping, firewood, fence posts, and much more.

Mathoura is one of the best places to experience all that the forests and rivers have to offer. The town of Mathoura grew out of a need to service the drovers’ route of the Long Paddock between Deniliquin and Echuca. As the stock route became less critical, attention in the area turned to the treasured resource of the Red Gum forests, and soon the valuable timbers were harvested to help build our growing nation. Red Gum was a useful resource for roads in Melbourne as well as sleepers for the expanding railroads.

Mathoura See and Do:

The very well-appointed visitor information centre is a great place to learn about the area and can provide information on what the region has to offer including:

  • Local Forests and Wetlands
  • Indigenous Culture
  • River eco-systems
  • Reed Bird Hide
  • Heritage Trail
  • Walking Trails
  • Cadell fault/tilt and associated sand ridges
  • The original course of the Murray (Green Gully)
  • Picnic Point

The Barmah-Moira lake system in addition to the Edward River and Gulpa Creek makes the area an excellent place to experience an abundance of birdlife and some unique fishing spots along the way.

There are several excellent walks through the forest along the Gulpa Creek as well as fantastic forest drives that can be undertaken by car or bicycle; the peaceful nature of the latter is enhanced by the natural beauty of the serene forests.

A short drive from Mathoura, along the now-sealed Picnic Point Road, through the forest along the Gulpa Creek, is Picnic Point Reserve. Located on a horseshoe bend of the Murray River Millewa, Moira and Barmah forests, it is a place of water activities, nature walks, accommodation and a new bar/cafe/restaurant aptly named The Timber Cutter.

In 2010 the Millewa, Gulpa and Moira State Forest was converted into a National Park, now known as the Murray Valley National Park.

Discover More About Mathoura

Mathoura (Picnic Point) to Gulpa/Edward Junction

edward river gulpa creek junction 1The junction of the Gulpa Creek and Edward River, north of Mathoura, NSW

While the run along the Murray River between Barmah and Picnic provides an insight into the river and forests around the Murray River, the route from Picnic Point to the junction of Gulpa Creek and the Edward River is something different.

The Edward River and Gulpa Creek are anabranches of the Murray River meaning they leave the course of the river only to return further downstream. The Edward River flows from the Murray River upstream (north) of Picnic Point and flows northward while the Gulpa Creek flows westward before heading north (as a result of the Cadell Fault). The two meet up 20 km to the north.

Along the Picnic Point Road section, just past Millewa Road, be sure to check the Reed Beds Bird Hide.

The Reed Beds Bird Hide, Mathoura, NSW, Australia.The Reed Beds Bird Hide, Mathoura, NSW, Australia.

Touring Route Description

The route along the Gulpa Creek follows this winding waterway along the Cadell Fault as it meanders northward, and along the way, there are some beautiful, secluded, campsites and picnic areas to experience the wonders of this ethereal place fully.

Touring Route Details:

Timber Cutters Run - Picnic Point to Gulpa Creek and Edward River JunctionTimber Cutters Run - Picnic Point to Gulpa Creek and Edward River Junction. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Picnic Point Rd 14.80  14.80 Right Sealed
Gulpa Creek Rd 11.38 26.18 Right Gravel
Junction Rd* 5.65 31.83 End Gravel
- - - - -
Junction Rd* 5.65 37.48 Right Gravel
Gulpa Walliston Rd 0.96 38.44 Right Gravel
Cobb Highway 21 59.44 Right Sealed

Turn-around room at the end of the track is good, but might be a little tight for big caravans; in that case, consider the Edward-Gulpa Loop listed next which enables camping along the way (or at Mathoura or Picnic Point)  to explore the area.

The road, well maintained by National Parks, can be closed seasonally due to wet/flooding conditions.

To reach the Gulpa-Edward junction, turn right just before the Gulpa Creek Bridge and follow Junction Road all the way (not along any of the side roads/tracks). 

About Deniliquin

Deniliquin, or Deni as it is affectionately known, is a famous rural service town built around the Edward River and a series of lagoons that are surrounded by both parkland and state forest.

Apart from the iconic Deni Ute Muster (which is now in its twentieth year), the town is famous for its water-based activities and being the heart of an irrigation area that covers 725,000 hectares.

Agriculturally, the area produces rice, wool, beef, dairy products, wheat, barley, fat lambs, vegetables, fruit and timber.

Gulpa Creek- Edward River Loop

This loop along the Gulpa Creek and Edwards river can be started at any point along the route and head out for a beautiful day of touring. The circuit is not long, but with a day to do it, it allows for a more relaxed way to experience the area.

At times of flooding and after heavy rains, some of this loop may be closed. (Check with Parks Office: Murray Valley National Park (See Alerts) or call NPWS Moama office on 03 5483 9100)

Touring Route Details:

Timber Cutters Run - Edward River LoopTimber Cutters Run - Edward River Loop. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Millewa Road 2.21 2.21 Right Gravel
Picnic Point Road 4.36 6.57 Right Sealed
Gulpa Creek Road 4.01 10.58 Slight Right Gravel
Little Edwards Road 0.45 11.03 Right Gravel
Duggans Road 3.00 14.03   Sand
** Sand Ridge Woodlands   14.03    
Duggans Road 3.26 17.29 Left Sand
Little Edwards Road 0.43 17.72 Right Gravel
Gulpa Creek Road 10.80 17.37 Right Gravel
Junction Road 6.40 16.98   Gravel
** Gulpa-Edward Junction        
Junction Road* 6.40 23.77 Right Gravel
Gulpa Creek Road 0.68 24.45 Left Gravel
Taylors Bridge Road 4.93 29.38 Right Gravel
Tuppal Road 1.24 30.62 Right Gravel
Edward River Road 8.25 38.87 Right Gravel
Millewa Road 0.58 39.45 Right Gravel

Along this unique route, there are several places to see the sandhills and sand ridges that extend along the Cadell faultline, created as a result of sediment from the two ancient lakes being blown by the prevailing winds in a similar way to the Perry sandhills near Wentworth and the dunes at Lake Mungo. Of particular note, Sand Ridge Woodland, off Duggan Road, provides vehicles access to the hand ridge via maintained, sandy, tracks. (Not RV friendly... and always stay on the formed roads)

Sand Ridge Woodland

The Edward River

Deniliquin to Moulamein

The Edward River Werai Reserve Outback NSW Australia

Touring Route Description

With a stopover in Deniliquin, it is time to continue the journey towards Balranald but now we follow a very different waterway as the Edward now flows west, to the north of the Cadell Fault. 

As the Edward River weaves its way towards the Murray River, it is joined by the Wakool and Niemur rivers as well as a few creeks.

This area is home to the Perrepa Perrepa and Wamba Wamba First Nations.

A highlight along this route is the Werai Reserve, an area that includes several of the waterways and is managed by NSW NPWS on behalf of the traditional owners. 

shoutWerai Reserve Alternative Route!

At times of heavy rains or after environmental water releases, some of the roads through Werai Reserve may be closed, an alternate way should still be possible. (Check with Parks Office: Murray Valley National Park (See Alerts) or call NPWS Moama office on 03 5483 9100)

  • After crossing the Edward River, do not head west along Finns Rd, but continue along Old Marago Rd.
  • Turn right (west) to take Calimno Rd.
  • Continue along Calimno Rd which becomes Rangemore Rd.
  • Turn right (north) on Moulamein Rd.
  • See Map for detail.

If the roads are flooded, please use the alternative route.

Touring Route Details:

Timber Cutters Run - Deniliquin to MoulameinTimber Cutters Run - Deniliquin to Moulamein. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Wakool Rd 11.45 11.45 Right Sealed
Calimo Rd 11.70  23.15 Right Unsealed
Colligen Creek E Rd 12.5  35.65 Right Unsealed
Old Morago Rd 3.68  39.33 Left Unsealed
Finn Rd 3.59 42.92 Continue Unsealed
South River Rd 30.27 73.19 Left Unsealed
Balpool Rd 35.1 108.29 Right Unsealed
Moulamein Rd 1.7 110 Destination Sealed

About Moulamein

The township of Moulamein is located 373 km north of Melbourne and 70 km northeast of Swan Hill, with the Edward River flowing through the centre of town.

Debate reins about the origin of the name with some believing it is named after the Burmese seaport of Moulmein in 1842 by an early settler to the area (Augustus Morris), while others attribute the name to a transliteration of a local indigenous word meaning 'the meeting of the waters'.

The reference to the meeting of the waters is due to the Billabong Creek flowing into the Edward River in the town. The Billabong Creek is the longest creek in Australia flowing over 320 km from near Holbrook to the east.

Settled as early as 1830, Moulamein is the oldest town in the Riverina and was its administration centre as it was an important crossroad and port where the paddle steamers plying the Edward River could exchange cargo in the days when the river system was the most effective means of transport.

With the railway reaching Echuca in 1864 and becoming the most important port on the Murray River and Moulamein's status as a transport hub started to decline.

Today it is a quiet little town on the banks of the Edward River and Billabong Creek servicing the surrounding wheat and rice-growing properties.

Moulamein - See and Do

  • The Old Court House
  • Old Wharf (Replica)
  • Moulamein Lake
  • The Old Bullock Drays

Moulamein - Kyalite - Balranald (Lake Paika)

The Edward River between Moulamein and Kyalite, Murray Shire, NSW, AustraliaThe Edward River between Moulamein and Kyalite, Murray Shire, NSW, Australia

Touring Route Description

The last section of the Timber Cutter's Run is pretty much all sealed road, but there are still some awesome places to access the Edward River and Wakool (which it flows into) for some camping, fishing, picnicking, or just some river relaxation.

Touring Route Details:

Timber Cutters Run - Moulamein to BalranaldTimber Cutters Run - Moulamein to Balranald. CLICK image for interactive Google Map

Road/Track Distance (km) Cumulative (km) Turn Road Type
Balranald Rd 30.0 30.00 Straight Sealed
Kyalite Rd 28.8  58.8 Kayalite Sealed
Yanga Way 35.2  94 Right Sealed
Sturt Highway 2.8 96.8 Left Sealed
Ivanhoe Rd 16.5 113.3 Destination Unsealed

About 12 km past where the Balranald Rd heads north (and you are continuing on Kayalite Rd) just before the sharp bend north (to the right) there are several access roads leading off to the south for probably the best access to the Edward which stretches for several kilometres.

Up next is the iconic Kayalite pub which is always well worth the stopover for refreshments, a meal, or even an overnight stay.

From Kyalite, it is a straight run along the Yanga Way to Balranald on the Sturt Highway west of Hay.

All good things must come to an end... and with Balranald on the horizon, there is only a short 10 minute (17km) drive to our accommodation destination, the wonderful Lake Paika Accommodation.

About Balranald

The quiet and pretty town of Balranald is located on the Murrumbidgee River 859 km from Sydney. Originally inhabited by the Wemba-Wemba Aboriginal group, who called the area 'Nap Nap', Balranald was probably the first town settled on the New South Wales side of the river. Balranald is now one of the major entry points to the Lake Mungo National Park and the recently opened Yanga National Park.

The population of Balranald Shire is approximately 2,500 people and the township has become renowned for the habitation of a frog! But not just any frog: Balranald is home to the highly endangered Southern Bell frog species (Litoria Raniformis) which is listed on the NSW Endangered Species List.

Gazetted a town on the 4th of April 1851, Balranald is considered the oldest settlement on the Lower Murrumbidgee.

George James McDonald, the Commissioner for Crown Lands, named the town after the place he was from, Balranald on the Isle of Uist in the New Hebrides.
The town prospered on the primary industries of wheat, wool and red gum timber. Agriculture is still a strong factor in the economy of the town with farmers now growing canola, cotton, wheat, barley, fruit, grapes and vegetables.

Balranald is a potential geographer’s living classroom. It is a pivotal place of two great Australian landscapes, to the east the Riverina Plain and to the west the Murray Darling Depression.

Culturally, this area is rich in both Aboriginal and European history. World Heritage Listed Mungo National Park has attracted world attention arising from archaeological sites containing human remains of at least 50,000 years.

Aboriginal Culture is also in abundance at Yanga National Park. These days it’s a National Park that celebrates its Indigenous heritage, pastoral history and many natural wonders.

There is much to see and do in and around Balranald:

  • Visit the Interpretative Pavilion,
  • The Museum,
  • The Old Gaol,
  • The Wintong School and the Skate Park
  • The Discovery Centre
  • See Aboriginal Art and Craft at the Discovery Centre and The Gallery
  • Visit the Art Gallery with its many exhibitions
  • Walk the Heritage and Military Trails and see the Swing Bridge
  • Visit the Royal Theatre
  • Birdwatching enthusiasts can walk the Ben Scott Memorial Bird Trail.
  • Take an Outback Geo Adventure’s tour to Yanga and Mungo
  • Of course, Balranald also offers wonderful parks with playground equipment for those travelling with children.
  • A swimming pool in the heart of town is the ideal spot to cool off in the warmer months.
  • See interesting shops and enjoy the town’s restaurants and eateries

bindara station menindeeTake a step back in time, unwind, relax and enjoy unique accommodation in the restored self-contained Workmans' quarters. Experience this natural wetland, reinstated in 2012, after more than 100 years of being stranded from its lifeline, the Murrumbidgee River.

Timber Cutters Run Map - Touring Guide for Outback NSW

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Simon Bayliss


PHONE: 0466646323