Monday, 18 September 1995

Katarapko Creek

Murray Valley NP -  Nuriootpa, Waikerie, Barmera, Berri (Sturt Highway) 187 kms

We left the Barossa Valley by mid morning, following a stop for groceries at Tanunda. Our path took us north to the Start Highway and then east to Waikerie and Barmera, where we accepted directions into the Murray River National Park.

The Park is divided into three sections - Bulyong River, Lyrup Flats and Katarapko Creek - and highlights the qualities of the Murray River in an area extending from north of Renmark, past Berri to an area occupying much of the space between Berri and Loxton. Katarapko Creek is a small arm which branches off the Murray south of Berri and rejoins it near Loxton. It runs through fat river land easily inundated, despite the weirs which help control the flow of water.

Our arrival coincided with a large body of water passing down the creek and consequently, many of the water-side campsites were flooded, therefore reducing the number from which we could choose. However, despite this, we were able to find an excellent site, with shade and afire place. The wear and tear on the area was evident from the lack of grass, but this was the only drawback.

We spent the afternoon fishing and after such a long wait, the children were surprisingly patient and had a lot of fun casting and chasing the elusive fish. By dinner time, with all of their lures exhausted and no fish for the pan, they finally called it quits. The veal Sue had as our back-up was gladly received !

Once the children ventured off to dreamland, bush showers were heated by virtue of the remaining
coals from our campfire and we enjoyed the luxury of hot showers under the stars. Clean and dried, we spent the next few hours sitting by the fast f owing Katarapko Creek, enjoying each other's company under God's Heaven and reflecting on our journey. This was one of the best evenings of the trip and proof of the worth of what we had set out to achieve as a couple and as a family. The stars twinkled down on us as we talked, laughed and reminisced about this epic journey we had dreamed about for so long. Our partnership and the children who were growing from it, had never been better and the shine above was matched by the sparkle our marriage was showing.

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