Find­ing wrecks’ true trea­sure

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY JARED LOUGHNAN

The wrecks of old pad­dle steam­ers and barges on the muddy floor of Lake Mul­wala re­main a mys­tery but a new ef­fort to find out more about them could un­lock a great tourism at­trac­tion trea­sure.

That’s why the staff at Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Tourism and Busi­ness (YMTB) are on a mis­sion to find more about them and re­veal their mys­te­ri­ous past.

“We are cur­rently work­ing on cre­at­ing a num­ber of her­itage tours in the Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala re­gion start­ing with the wrecks,” YMTB Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Noel Wright told the Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle.

“YMTB in­tends doc­u­ment­ing the in­forma- tion to en­able us to cre­ate an ac­cu­rate and in­for­ma­tive tour to en­cour­age vis­i­ta­tions to Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala.

“The cre­ation of this type of ‘tourism prod­uct’ will re­sult in in­creased vis­i­ta­tions and an in­crease in the length of those vis­i­ta­tions.

“We have an in­de­pen­dent ex­pert and a few of his friends com­ing to as­sess and sur­vey the wrecks this week­end and we are ap­peal­ing to the gen­eral public for more in­for­ma­tion.”

Mr Wright said they have al­ready iden­ti­fied four wrecks on the bot­tom of Lake Mul­wala. Two just off Miss Ross Hill in Mul­wala and the PS Pi­lot and Fed­eral Barge 300 me­ters east of the cur­rent bridge on the NSW side of the river chan­nel (cur­rently still un­der­wa­ter).

Mr Wright said the wreck about 15 me­ters off the Miss Ross Hill carpark is be­lieved to be Hal­burds Punt and the other about 60 me­ters off the Miss Ross Hill carpark is the Rita, which has been cross-ref­er­enced and con­firmed by Al­lan Wright along with Rob­bie and Fraser Knowles.

“We will also be look­ing into the sub­merged fenc­ing just off the Yar­ra­wonga lake pool which is out of the water now.

“We have re­ceived ad­vice of an uniden­ti­fied wreck at the 1957 km mark about 30km down­stream of the Mur­ray River to­ward Co­bram.”

Mr Wright said the ‘Aus­tralien’, be­lieved to be the last work­ing pad­dle steamer in Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala re­mains on a pri­vate prop- erty in Echuca. The boat was left aban­doned on the banks of Lake Mul­wala at the old saw mill lo­ca­tion ad­ja­cent to the Mul­wala Ski Club for many years be­fore it was sal­vaged and sold off by a pri­vate con­sor­tium in 1989.

“We are look­ing for public as­sis­tance to pro­vide any ad­di­tional wrecks that peo­ple may be aware of.”

Mr Wright said if any­body is are aware of any wrecks or in­for­ma­tion about the wrecks they can con­tact the YMTB in­for­ma­tion cen­tre on 5744 1989 or email info@yarra­wonga­mul­wala.com.au., ide­ally be­fore this Thurs­day, July 12 so rel­e­vant sur­vey work can be done while in­de­pen­dent ex­perts are in town.

This uniden­ti­fied wreck about 60 me­ters off the Miss Ross Hill carpark is be­lieved to be the Rita, which has been cross-ref­er­enced and con­firmed by Al­lan Wright (pic­tured) along with Rob­bie and Fraser Knowles.

This wreck about 15 me­ters off the Miss Ross Hill carpark is be­lieved to be Hal­burds Punt.

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