Views of Murray-Sunset National Park, NW Victoria

Murray-Sunset National Park, NW Victoria

Murray-Sunset National Park, NW Victoria

Murray-Sunset National Park begins only about eight kilometres east of where I grew up. My father’s farm was just over the border in South Australia. From the slight rise near the house we could see the tree line in the distance which was the Victorian border. In fact, Dad called his farm “Border View.”

In those days, the 1950s, this scrub land was a sheep station called Sunset Station. We rarely visited the area, despite it being so close. Because it was privately run public access was limited. I remember visiting several spots a few times for Sunday School picnics.

Murray-Sunset National Park, NW Victoria

Murray-Sunset National Park, NW Victoria

In the 1990s this station was changed to national park status. The sheep were rounded up and taken away elsewhere. The national parks people established several campsites and took over the maintenance of the few dirt tracks through the park. Today it is popular with four wheel drive enthusiasts, campers and birders. The range of birds in this park is amazing, with several significant threatened species found here.

Murray-Sunset National Park, NW Victoria

Murray-Sunset National Park, NW Victoria

As we were leaving the park to drive home we saw several large flocks of feral goats. This is rather disturbing as they can do a great deal of environmental damage.  The flocks looked very healthy and included many kids, so they are breeding well. We must have seen several hundred in a ten kilometre stretch. How many more are hidden in the thick scrub away from the track is a disturbing thought.


5 Responses to “Views of Murray-Sunset National Park, NW Victoria”

  1. Raelene Hayes says:

    Hi Trevor, I read your comments about Sunset Station with interest and the fact that your family had a farm near the station. My grandfather had a farm near Taplan, and farmed there for 28 years with his wife and five children. My mother grew up there but they left after several droughts around 1942. I have a photo of mum and auntie Pat near a road sign ” Hart Bar Ranch” . Do you know where that may be? After leaving the farm Grandpa worked on Sunset Station and grandma cooked for the shearers. My family are interested in visiting the area and hopefully staying in the shearers quarters. Auntie Pat is the last surviving family who lived there and is really keen to do this also. Any comments would be appreciated, cheers Raelene Hayes

  2. Just correcting my email address

    • Trevor says:

      Hi Raelene,

      Thanks for visiting my site and for leaving your comments.

      When I was growing up at Taplan in the 1950s I remember that there was a family in the district by the name of Hart, but I can’t recall any attending the school in that period (1954 – 1960). My nephew Mark Hampel still works the family farms at Taplan. He took over my father’s farm and my brother’s farm and has since bought 2 others nearby.

      I can’t ever recall seeing a “Hart Bar Ranch” sign anywhere, and it has probably long since gone. A Google search was no use either which didn’t surprise me. The Shearers’ Quarters in Sunset are still well maintained by National Parks of Victoria. They are in regular use by campers and birders. The adjacent camping ground is also good. I have stopped there for a cuppa and must return and camp there someday. The birds are wonderful.

      I must also post the photos I took in October 2013 of the Centenary Celebrations at Taplan. It was the 90th Anniversary of the Lutheran Church where I went to Sunday School. It was the 95th anniversary of the church building too. About 120 people came to the church service – the normal attendance is about 6.

      After a luncheon we all went to the CFS Shed where special historical displays had been set up. Later the Mayor of Loxton unveiled a monument commemorating the centenary of the Railway from Tailem Bend to Renmark through Taplan. The railway line no longer exists because all cereal grain is taken out by trucks. About 150 people attended the ceremony.

      While it was a great day of remembering, sadly the “town” will probably never see the likes of it again.

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