Blowing in the wind.
We organised a function last night at the Tocumwal Historic Aerodrome. As the sun set against a dark sky small aircraft where taxing in and parked for the night.
Tocumwal has a rich aviation history. It played a very important role in World War 2 when the town was used as a major base by the US during the war effort, building the largest aerodrome in the Southern Hemisphere at that time, McIntyre Field, with some 5,000 RAAF and 400 WAAF personnel based here. McIntyre Field was a training base for Liberator Bomber crews.
This weekend the Tocumwal Aerodrome welcomes a whole new generation of pilots. The Murray Border Flying Club is hosting “big kids” from the Peninsula Aero Club - Year 11 and 12 school students here learning moves, formations and attaining their first solo navigations.
Tocumwal also hosts the Australian Aerobatic Club National Aerobatic Championships in November. Our skies are filled with planes doing breathtaking maneuvers and dives.
If you don’t have the stomach for aerial acrobatics then perhaps gliding is more your style. Tocumwal is world renowned for its gliding conditions. Summer days are long which are ideal for gliding. Our local town has hosted the Australian Gliding Championships and the four time world gliding champion Ingo Renner calls Tocumwal home.
Our visit to the Aerodrome last night was totally unrelated to aviation and we are no plane buffs but it is wonderful to embrace the history of your local area and showcase what makes it unique.
This is Hume Dam which is located on the Murray River upstream of Albury straddling the NSW and Victorian borders. Our irrigation district is supplied from water flowing out of Hume Dam.
The original dam was started in 1919 and took 17 years to build. When finished in 1936 Hume Dam was the biggest in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world. It was built to capture the winter and spring rainfall from the Australian Alps and releasing it to regulate the flow of the Murray River for better navigation for the steamboats, irrigation, flood and drought control.
Today it is at 97% capacity and holding 2,896 gigalitres of water. Releases have started to mitigate the risk of flooding downstream as more rain is forecast this coming week. Today 45,000 megalitres is being released into the Murray River causing minor flooding downstream, including at Tocumwal some 320kms (201 river miles) downstream.
It is quite a number of years since the dam has been at full capacity and was well worth the drive to see.
We are fortunate that our farm is only 10 minutes away from Australia’s longest river, the majestic Murray River. The River Red Gum forests & wetlands alongside the river are a natural habitat for koalas.
Pretty excited to come across this koala with her joey on a walk this morning.
Preserving Melbourne’s history.
This is the 50 metre high Coop’s Shot Tower that was built in 1889 to produce lead shots for ammunition. It was saved from demolition in 1973 and is now encased in the Melbourne Central shopping precinct underneath a domed glass roof.