Take a leisurely walk beside ancient river red gums on the Murray River at Wahgunyah. The track winds along the river for about 2 kilometres and then veers off to pass the Wahgunyah Recreational Reserve where during the winter you may be able to watch a local game of AFL and netball being played.
As you head back to the start of the track there is a substantial red gum at the bottom of Short Street known as the Mass Tree. The river red gum is the site of the first mass held by Dean Tierney of Beechworth in the tent of Mrs. M.M. Burrowes. The plaque commemorating the event was placed on the tree by the local Catholic Women’s Guild.
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Start Walking: Mass Tree Carpark
Start at the Mass Tree Car Park where there is a toilet and walking signage. Facing the Mass Tree head away from Wahgunyah along the entry road - go left at the walk/cycle sign.
The Wind in the Willows
Taking any kind of delicious detour around these parts is pretty easy going, especially as you head towards the wine country of Wahgunyah. Make a pit stop at the magical (did someone say castle?) All Saints Estate. The cellar door experience is top-notch; the restaurant is of the hatted variety; and there’s even a delightful duck pond shaded by old oak trees. We couldn’t possibly let you drive on by.
Follow the bitumen Trail, there is a seat at the 900m mark. Continue on past an interpretive and walk/cycle sign. Find another seat at the 1.6km mark.
With your rations filled by the Indigo Food Co, it’s time to head northwards to the Short St carpark. As the name of the walk suggests, the area is dotted with the iconic willow trees on a gentle and winding walk along the mighty Murray. In summer, the hypnotic hum of cicadas is punctuated by the ‘endearing’ squawk of cockatoos overhead – it’s a uniquely Australian part of the world.
The walk loops you back towards the car park where you started off. Luckily there is a handy reserve, with a picnic table and BBQ facilities so you can gracefully devour your carefully curated picnic basket.
There is a junction at the 2km half way mark. Go left and continue on the bitumen Trail keeping the flower farm on the right. The Wahgunyah Speedway is on the right at the 2.8km mark and there is a crossing of Grimmond Lane. Beware of cars at this point.
A seat at the 2.9km mark takes in the views of the recreation reserve and surrounding landscapes. Continuing on the Trail there is another road crossing being the Wahgunyah Football Oval entry road. Cross the road, carefully, and turn left following the bitumen Trail. There is a seat just past the Grimmond Lane sign at 3.3km mark.
If you’ve packed your togs, take a splash in the river. There is swimming access from the reserve, just keep your wits about you as there is a bit of a current. As you splash and paddle about, take note that you will be crossing back and forth into New South Wales.
At the Blanche Street intersection go straight ahead following the gravel road heading north, crossing the bridge here will take you in Wahgunyah. Continue straight ahead past the Albert Lane turnoff and a short time later the Mass Tree Car Park is straight ahead.
You might not have heard of Wahgunyah before now, but a springtime migration to this little gem of the North East might very well become an annual tradition.
End Walking: Mass Tree Carpark