Robinvale & Euston Accommodation etc

 

Robinvale - an attractive town on the Murray River
Robinvale is a picturesque border town of some 1800 people surrounded on three sides by the twisting tendrils of the Murray River which extends 2530 km from north-eastern Victoria to the coast of South Australia, forming the bulk of the Victoria-NSW border. This makes it one of the longest navigable rivers in the world with a catchment area covering 14 per cent of the continent. The local section of the river is quite attractive and is popular with anglers. The town's huge median strips are so wide you almost need to pack a lunch to travel from one side of the road to the other. They are actually broader than the roads on either side.

Robinvale is located 480 km north-west of Melbourne on the Murray Valley Highway, 136 km north-west of Swan Hill and 83 km south-east of Mildura.

Bumbang Island, which is diagonally opposite the north-eastern corner of town, contains clear evidence of pre-colonial settlement. It is thought the earlier inhabitants were the Yitha-yitha people.

In 1830 explorer Charles Sturt and his party became the first known Europeans in the area. He was followed by surveyor Thomas Mitchell in 1836. The first settler in the district was Edmund Morey who established the 'Euston' station in 1846. The following year, John Grant obtained 19 000 acres at what is now Robinvale, naming the station 'Bumbang'. His property was sold at the end of the century to A.J. Creswick who was one of the area's early wheat-growers. The first successful steamboat voyage up the Murray passed by the future townsite in 1853, thereby triggering Australia's inland river trade.

In 1912 Herbert Cuttle settled on the future townsite with his family. The railway from Bendigo arrived in 1924, plans were made for a bridge over the river, and work on the weir and lock began. Consequently, Cuttle subdivided his land and allotments were advertised for sale in Melbourne in 1924 with a special train organised so that prospective buyers could attend the auction. A townsite was surveyed and named by Cuttle after his son, Lieutenant George Robin Cuttle, who was killed during air combat over France in the First World War.

Although the railway closed in 1943, soldier settlement took place here in 1947 with a view to developing grape and citrus-growing. Herbert Cuttle Jnr, who did much to facilitate the development of the town, established a large olive grove in the late 1940s. Today, it is the state's largest olive plantation and a major supplier of the country's olive products.

Citrus fruits, vegetables, almonds, pistachios and wheat are also grown. One of the mainstays of the local economy is the dried fruit industry, managed by a co-op formed in 1949.

The Bumbang Crafters' Festival is held in December.


Things to see:

Tourist Information
The Robinvale-Euston Information Centre in Bromley Rd can help you with local information and they also sell local craftwork and produce. Opening hours are 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. weekdays and 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. Saturdays, tel: (03) 5026 1388.

Windmill
Driving into Robinvale from the north (or heading out of town towards New South Wales) there is a caravan park on the southern bank of the river. Turning down River Rd towards the caravan park the visitor will notice a huge windmill, erected in 1948 to supply the town with water. At 18.3 m, it is supposedly the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. There are good views of the bridge and the river.

Robinswood
Continuing along River Rd, past the entrance to the caravan park and along the bank of the Murray, there is a pleasant private house called 'Robinswood', erected on the site of Bumbang homestead (c.1847). Set in pleasant gardens with distinctive palm trees, it was built c. 1926 as the home of the town founder, Herbert Cuttle. Both house and town were named in memory of his son and Robinvale was twinned with the French town of Villers-Bretonneux, located near the site of Robin Cuttle's death. In fact, the school at the French town was rebuilt with money raised by the Victorian government and an appeal organised by local schoolchildren.

Although better than most of the houses in town at the time of its construction, this is really an ordinary brick-and-stucco middle-class dwelling of its period. Inside are historical items relating to the French connection. It can be opened for inspection by contacting the caretaker who lives next door.

Indigenous Garden and Bumbang Island
Also on River Rd is the Aboriginal Indigenous Garden and nearby is Bumbang Island which contains a number of important historic items such as middens and canoe trees but it is only accessible by boat and only by permission. However, both sites are owned and have been developed by the local Koori community and permission must be obtained before entry is attempted. For further information ring the Koori craft shop where in Perrin St on (03) 5026 3353.

Euston Weir
Euston Weir and Lock 15 are located on the south-western edge of town at the end of Pethard Rd. Built to store water for irrigation, it features a fish ladder which allows fish to jump over the weir. There are picnic-barbecue facilities, pleasant lawns and shelters.

McWilliams Wines
One of McWilliams largest vineyards is located near the Robinvale Producer's Co-operative in Moore St which runs parallel with the highway on the other side of the railway line. It was established in 1961 and specialises in a cream sherry made almost entirely from local grapes.

The tasting room is an old log cabin from the 'Prill' property near Euston. It is open weekdays from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 1.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. Tours of the winery can be arranged by appointment only, tel: (03) 5026 4004.

Robinvale Organic and Bio-Dynamic Wines
Free wine-tasting and sales are available at Robinvale Winery, 5 km south of town on the Sea Lake Rd. Established in 1976 it produces a large range of wines, non-alcoholic beverages, pure grape juices and a range of biodynamic, organic and preservative-free wines. They are open from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. every day but Sunday when they open from 1.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.. There is a children's playground, tel: (03) 5026 3955.

Belsar Island
Belsar Island is a remote state forest area containing floodplain vegetation and waterways. Swimming, bushwalking and fishing can all be enjoyed. The access road is signposted from the Murray Valley Highway to the south of Robinvale.

Kyndalyn Park
Kyndalyn Park Almond Farm is located off the Murray Valley Highway at Kyndalyn, 23 km south-east of Robinvale. It supplies 30% of Australia's almond market. There are door sales of dry-roasted, scorched and smoked almonds and a video which details the entire process. If you want to see 200 000 trees in bloom, mid to late August is the best time to visit, tel: (03) 5026 9216.

Murrumbidgee Junction
About 45 km south-east of Robinvale along the Murray Valley Highway is the small town of Boundary Bend. A dry-weather gravel road heads off the Murray Valley Highway to the junction of Australia's two biggest rivers, the Murrumbidgee and the Murray. The store can help you to pinpoint the track.

Wilga Park Flora and Fauna Sanctuary
65 km south-east of Robinvale is a 12-ha flora reserve of drought-resistant native trees, shrubs and wildflowers from around Australia. It is signposted off the Murray Valley Highway.

Lake Benanee
15 km north-east of town, just off the Sturt Highway, in NSW, is Lake Benanee, a pleasant swimming and water sports spot with sandy beaches.

 

Information About Euston

  The Euston Bowling & Recreation Club