The Old Coach Road - Chowilla Game Reserve

Saturday, Mar 13, 2021 at 15:32

Stephen L (Clare) SA

If there is one drive that is so special to us when we are in the Riverland, a drive we have done countless times over the years, it’s the Old Coach Road through the Chowilla Game Reserve, north of Renmark off of the main Wentworth Road. The name was derived from when this used to be the main road between Renmark, Wentworth and destinations further afield such as Sydney in the old horse and coach days of the 1800’s.

The drive is full of local history, so it’s is one not to be rushed. Those with a very keen eye will see old Aboriginal Canoe scare trees, old aboriginal middens, old European sheep bridges onto small islands and some very special scenery. Then there are a couple of old tell tale signs of work that was started in the early 1960’s that intended to make this area one of South Australia’s largest water catchment dams, but never got off the ground.

The rich aboriginal association with the area is shown by local names of the creeks you will be driving along, like Chowilla Creek, Monoman Creek, Punkah Creek and there are those with European association like Sheepskin Creek, Hancock Creek to name a couple.

As previously mentioned, there some special features to see along the drive such as the Todd Obelisk, the old ruins of the Scab Inspectors house, old pumping sheds and Suicide Bridge, the bridge what was built in the wrong location of Lake Limbra and was never put into use.

So next time you are in the Riverland and want to see another side that is not on the average tourist drive, why not explore that very special part of the Riverland. As long as you are prepared to drive a dirt road less travelled, a capable two wheel drive passenger vehicle will get you to these very special places, providing that it is not wet.

Stephen Langman

March 2021
Smile like a Crocodile
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