Saturday, March 6, 2010

Some views of Wyangala

The headwaters of the Lachlan River were discovered by Deputy Surveyor George William Evans in 1815, and named in honour of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. By 1817 Lieutenant John Oxley had explored the Lachlan from its junction with the Belubula River to the Great Cumbung Swamp. Settlement of the Lachlan Valley began soon after it was found. The discovery of gold in the region in the 1860's attracted many gold seekers, eager to make their fortunes, who eventually settled in the valley.

By early 1900, development in the region was considerable, although it was restricted by variable and uncertain river flows. A dam was needed to regulate the river flow and in 1928, following the completion of Burrinjuck Dam on the Murrumbidgee River, work started on the original Wyangala Dam

This is an historic image of the Dam at Wyangala - one when it was full and water flowed over the spillway and down the Lachlan River.  These days the dam is but a shadow of its old self - drought has taken its toll.

As this image taken earlier this year shows, the dam capacity is down dramatically and is currently around 7% of its capacity.
This does not stop some intrepid 'boatees' from fishing and skiing on it, however, skiing (for my money) is a risky business as there are lots of snags projecting above (and just under) the water surface and there are still some deep drop-offs.
As the water level drops access to the water becomes more arduous.

The Park surface extended the boat ramps to assist the boating fraternity:

But after a few furtheer extensions those ramps became like roadways, so they gave up:

But the reduced water capacity has its compensations - its not so crowded a venue now and the flora and fauna off the area roam more freely with less people and we also found it a 'cool place' to camp. At first we towed our little Jayco van up their and used it for a base to explore the area with is rich in early Australian European settlement and industry.

We now have a more permanent base and will tell you more about that in futureposts and and our explorations of the region.

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