Hi everyone! So I thought I would do a few posts about the town I now live in. Albury, situated on the border of NSW and Victoria. The mighty Murray River flows majestically between the two towns of Albury and Wodonga. We have been living here since December 2020. A few years ago in December 2014 we moved from Ballarat to Wodonga. We were only in Wodonga for 18 months moved to Shepparton for work reasons. Yes we move around a bit but we get to see this wonderful country we live in.
Quick history lesson on Albury – Marked by Captain William Hovell in 1824 it is the first evidence of the presence of Europeans in the Albury area. The Hovell Tree, marked by the explorer on November 17, 1824, was flanked by another tree marked by Hamilton Hume which was destroyed by fire in the 1840’s.
Located 553 km south-west of Sydney via the Hume Highway and 326 km north-east of Melbourne, Albury is 183 m above sea-level.
When a mail service was established from Yass to Port Phillip a townsite on the northern bank of the Murray River was surveyed and named ‘Bungambrewatah’, a Wiradjuri term meaning ‘the crossing place’. The name was changed to Aldbury. The following year it was gazetted as Albury, after a village near Guildford in Surrey, England.
Said that would be brief lol. So many things to do here in Albury/Wodonga. One of the main attractions is the Hume Weir/Hume Dam and Lake Hume. On any day of the week you will find people having fun on the lake. Boating, fishing, swimming, camping etc.
Back in 2015 when we lived in Wodonga on the Victorian side, Lake Hume/Hume Weir, the peak of water was at 50%. Today the level is 99.1% full. In late 2016 the level of the Lake was at 97%. Last year the snowy region had a bumper season and eventually that melts and heads down the river system of the Mitta Mitta river and into the Murray river. We have also had huge rainfalls in November, December and January we hit a record of over 300 mls of rain for the month. Crazy times. Lots of thunderstorms and weird lightning shows. Great for photographers not for owners of dogs who hate the storms.
The Hume Weir/Lake is situated 16kms from Albury/Wodonga. Its situated just below where the Mitta Mitta River and Murray River join. It can hold maximum of 3,005,156 megalitres, about six times the volume of Sydney Harbour. The dam’s catchment area of 15,300 square kilometres, two thirds of which is in Victoria, includes much of the rugged Australian Alps where annual rainfall can exceed 2000mm. Flows from the Snowy River may also be diverted into the catchment by the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme.
The Hume Weir/Dam was built to help farmers further down the river to be able to control the Murray River for navigation, irrigation and flood and drought control. As you can see by the difference in the amount of water it goes from feast to famine with the water. 1919 was when the dam began to build and was finished 17 years later. In 1936 when it was finished it was the biggest in the Southern Hemphishere and one of the largest in the world.
Today the Hume Resevior is the main storage of the Murray River system and it supplies water across 3 states, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. When we moved here in December 2020 the lake was low again. It was a long walk from the parking area to the water. Most people drove down the dry beds to get close. Now, you park the car and virtually your at the waters edge lol. Drought and floods.
When they open the gates to let the water flow down the Murray, they have to warn farmers in case of flooding. Its an outing for a lot of people out to the weir when they open the gates.
We often to drive out to the Lake usually at Ebden. It has plenty of parking, a boat ramp, toilets, bbq’s that are under cover from the heat and rain and lovely grassed areas. All around the lake its dog friendly which is great for us. We often have a bbq then let the dogs run chasing tennis balls, swimming etc. We are miles away from the beautiful beaches that are along the Australian coastline so the Hume is our beach. Best thing there is no sharks lol or stingers or salt.
Over the next few posts I will share more about living here in Albury/Wodonga. Its far enough away from the big Cities of Melbourne, Sydney and our capital of Canberra but close enough to visit for a day or two if the need is required.
So today the Hume Dam is currently at 98.8% full.