Bidgee Riverside Trail at Hay NSW

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February 28th 2013
Published: March 2nd 2013
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Thomas Simpson was the first settler in Hay and was a Blacksmith for the squatters. The chains, bolts and hinges were everyday items for the Smithy and also represent the strength of the pioneer spirit.
We love spending time on the Murrumbidgee River affectionately known to the locals as "The Bidgee". We've found one of the best ways to explore is by push bike, so we grab each opportunity to go for a ride. Hay has this fantastic walking/bike track, Bidgee Riverside Trail that has a series of Stainless Steel sculptures along it with picnic spots. John Wood is the Artist Blacksmith. Last year the track flooded and as the sculptures were mounted on concrete slabs, they survived well and only needed a hose down after the water subsided. Hay itself didn't flood but it came to within cms from the top of the levy bank.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Towards Hay BridgeTowards Hay Bridge
Towards Hay Bridge

This concrete and steel bridge was built in 1972, replacing the old Swivel Bridge.
Warakirri MuralsWarakirri Murals
Warakirri Murals

The bridge pylons are painted with indigenous murals. The Narri Narri tribe are the traditional owners.
The Other SideThe Other Side
The Other Side

Picnic areas and interactive boards are along the track, nestled in amongst the trees.
Swivel BridgeSwivel Bridge
Swivel Bridge

In 1874, this was what the bridge looked like. It was unique because the centre swivelled to let the paddle steamers through.
Lang's CrossingLang's Crossing
Lang's Crossing

This represents a cross section of the river. The methods of crossing first by a ford, then punt, then bridge is also represented, although I have trouble seeing that bit.

They have done the track quite well.
Bark CanoeBark Canoe
Bark Canoe

This dipicts how the Narri Narri tribe used the Red Gums to make bark canoes. The canoes were held together by forked sticks while the bark dried.
Murrumbidgee LandscapesMurrumbidgee Landscapes
Murrumbidgee Landscapes

This represents the river as it flows across the plains with the billabongs.
Simmo's SeatSimmo's Seat
Simmo's Seat

Simmo was the town's blacksmith. In 1867 the skill was an integral part of Hay's early history. The anvil and the horse shoe make up the table and seat.
Swivel BridgeSwivel Bridge
Swivel Bridge

In 1874 Hay Bridge was unusual because it swivelled rather than lifted to allow river trade through.

This is the turntable that allowed the bridge to swivel. 1874 to 1973
Closer LookCloser Look
Closer Look

A caretaker would have to turn a handle and when a boat passed, he would be hanging out in the middle of the river. Young kids loved to have turns as a treat.
Cobb's WheelsCobb's Wheels
Cobb's Wheels

This pays homage to Cobb and Co., the company set up in 1865. Hay was it's most southern base. The wheels have broken spokes to represent the problems faced with establishing reliable transport over thousands of kms of rough roads.
Lang's CrossingLang's Crossing
Lang's Crossing

This was once a well established stock route river crossing, supplying beef and sheep to Victoria. Then a punt was in operation in 1858.
Leonard's PuntLeonard's Punt
Leonard's Punt

In operation 1858 to 1870. That concludes our little adventure along the Bidgee Track. I've walked and rode this track daily since our first experience. Great spot.

2nd March 2013
Leonard's Punt

Enjoyed the journey
Love the photos & the history. Quite a story there with the sculptures. Thanks for sharing.
3rd March 2013
Leonard's Punt

Thanks Janie, glad your looking. Grace

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