Explore the natural scenery and incredible landscapes in Greater Hume Shire. The countryside offers plenty of vantage points to enjoy the view or to bring a camera and capture the spectacular imagery.
Hanels Lookout within Woomargama National Park provides amazing views across the shire and of Benambra National Park. Bring the 4WD and head further into the park to Norths Lookout where you will experience spectacular vista's of the Victorian snowfields. Follow the creeks to find magical looking waterfalls and enjoy the peace and quiet within the park.
Walk in the footsteps of explorers on the Hume and Hovell walking track. The track transverses the park, and follows the trail that the explorers took on their journey south.
The eastern area of the shire features steeper and extensively vegetated (both remnant and plantation) country, changing to low rolling hills and plains country in the west. The highest point of the shire is Mount Jergyle at 889 m located within the Woomargama National Park. Our diverse agricultural industry, environment, landscape and heritage is evident when driving, riding, cycling or walking around our country highways and roads.
The outstanding geographical feature of the district is Table Top Mountain, a group of three main peaks, emerging on the southern end of the Table Top Range. The actual Table Top peak is a flat plateau (a table top) rising to a height of 621 m (2037 feet). The other two peaks are Pulpit Rock 602 m (1975 feet) and Loka Peak or Rock 666.2 m (2185 feet). The shape of the mountain changes with the location of the viewer, from a series of three or four individual peaks, to appearing as a single peak. From whatever angle, it is impossible not to be impressed by its beauty, enhanced by an array of ever- changing colours. The mountain was known by the aborigines who lived and hunted in this area as “Mullyan-yar-gunyah” or “Mullyanyandera” broadly translated as “the home or breeding place of eagles”.
Many aboriginal artefacts have been recorded from this area. A cave that was reputedly used in the 1860s as a refuge for the notorious bushranger Mad Dan Morgan is also located here. Access to the area is by way of 4WD through private land. Table Top Mountain Experience provides guided tours, bushwalking or 4WD access to look at the geology, flora, fauna, and history of Table Top Mountain (including after dark tours).
Woomargama National Park was gazetted as a national park in January 2001, and covering an area of 24,185 hectares, is the largest protected area west of the Great Dividing Range. The park is home to a large number of endangered species such as the Booroolong frog and the rare wattle, acacia phasmoides. Birdwatching reveals wonders such as the regent honeyeater, superb parrot and powerful owl.
Access to the park is via Tunnel Road, Woomargama. You can follow in the footsteps of explorers with the Hume and Hovell Walking Track which traverses the Park, following the Tin Mines Trail for the majority of its length. With over 100 km of unsealed trails, test the capabilities of your 4WD or mountain bike cycling skills, however many trails terminate at private property and there is no legal access through private lands. Visitors are advised to only use Park trails and recommended access routes.
The National Park, once a tin mining extraction site, today offers peace and quiet away from the fast-paced world with the Tin Mines and Samual Bollard picnic and camping areas (suitable for backpack and vehicle based camping, not caravans) allow you to indulge in lots of wildlife watching. Both grounds include sealed pit toilets, shelters, wood BBQ’s (bring your own firewood), picnic tables and rain water tanks. Horse riding is permitted on Park trails, however overnight camping with horses is not permitted.
Spend a day within the park and pack a picnic, or you could just soak up the fresh air on foot, admire the multitude of wildflowers and enjoy the view. From either Hanel’s or Norths lookout, the vistas are among the most spectacular in the region, providing views of the Snowy Mountains to across the Riverina. Directions can be obtained from our Accredited Visitor information Centre, click here for contact details.
The Hume and Hovell Walking Track was developed as a government Bicentennial project in 1988. It is maintained by the Department of Lands with the cooperation and assistance of Forests NSW and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Discover the natural attractions, explore rugged bushland or visit one of many picnic and camping track heads. The Walking Track follows the famous footsteps of Hamilton Hume and William Hovell on their expedition to Port Phillip (Melbourne) in 1824. Stretching over 440 km between Yass and Albury, the track offers a multitude of visually stunning and historically fascinating walking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The track winds its way through the south of the shire and maps can be obtained from our Accredited Visitor information Centre or Lands Department.
On the Culcairn to Walla Walla Road,is a massive white granite outcrop known as Morgan’s Lookout. In what is otherwise low undulating country, bushranger Dan Morgan is alleged to have used this granite rock formation as a vantage point to watch for approaching police. It was importantly used as a district lookout for bushfires during the last century. Access is signposted via a private driveway; visitors can enjoy the magnificent 360 degree views of the region. There are many picnic spots around the rock formation and pit toilets are available.
Greater Hume Shire has a rich agricultural heritage supported by active rural communities often centred around small public schools or community halls such as Alma Park, Bethel, Bowna, Bungowannah, Carabost, Cookardinia, Goombargana, Lankey’s Creek, Moorwatha, Mullengandra, Wymah, Yarra Yarra and Little Billabong which showcase the agricultural abundance that has defined our shire.
Our agricultural influence is shown during the year as the countryside explodes with colour from oil seed and cereal crops or noisy with the bleating of lambs or mooing of calves. Visitors can enjoy real farming experiences in Greater Hume Shire through the Farm Host program. The program allows visitors to watch as the farm comes alive when feeding animals, or enjoy the vastness of the crops, or witness a sheep being shorn or a crop being harvested if you are there at the right time. Talk with traditional Australian farmers and indulge yourself with true Australian country cooking from home baked cakes and roasts to a delicious hamper for a picnic. Spend a weekend, an evening or a day on the farm. Catering for individuals and/or families (bookings are preferred, providing at least one week’s notice) or bus, coach and touring groups (bookings, with at least two weeks’ notice, are required for groups of 10-40 people, allocated to farms, with 2-4 guests per farm). Fees and rates are available upon application.
Contact one of our co-ordinators either Culcairn Farm Host Co-ordinator (covering Culcairn, Henty, Walla Walla, Jindera, Walbundrie, Brocklesby, Burrumbuttock areas) on Ph (02) 6029 2240 or Holbrook Farm Host Co-ordinator (covering Holbrook, Cookardinia, Woomargama, Mullengandra, Little Billabong, Carabost, Morven areas) on Ph (02) 6036 6137.
Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre began in 1995 on 4 hectares of public land in Burrumbuttock, which was originally a stock reserve and public watering place, with a large dam.
Wirraminna provides opportunities for discovery and learning about the natural environment, the ecology of the local woodlands and the beauty of native plants in our gardens. Wattle beds feature a large number of species, with a wattle in flower nearly every month of the year. Small ponds and the large dam contain a diversity of wetland plants. It is a popular outing for clubs and organisations and many visitors to the region call in to explore the gardens and learn about our local environment. Interpretive signage and a self-guided walk around the park tell the environmental story. A strong environmental education program is run every year for regional schools. There is a picnic area with a free electric barbecue beside the picturesque dam.
The remnant natural Box-Gum woodland is being restored towards its original diversity, with reintroduction of many of the fast-disappearing wildflowers and grasses of the district. A seed production area produces seed of many of these plants to allow more extensive grassland restoration in the future.
Wirraminna was created and is maintained by volunteers, and has been supported by a wide range of funding sources. The rammed earth Discovery Centre is used by school and community groups and contains an aquarium for native fish and a colony of threatened Southern Corroboree frogs.
Travelling Stock Routes part of ‘The Long Paddock’ were established as an authorised thoroughfare for the walking of domestic livestock such as sheep or cattle from one location to another. Easily distinguished from an ordinary country road, the grassy verges on either side of the road are very much wider so the livestock may feed on the vegetation that grows on the verges as they travel. By law, the travelling stock must travel ‘six miles a day’ (approximately 10 kilometres per day), to avoid all the roadside grass from being cleared in a particular area. A TSR is a fenced paddock set aside at strategic distances to allow overnight watering (from bores, dams, windmills and troughs) and camping of stock.
Pioneered by colonial explorers and overlanders, many of the TSR’s were located along corridors that followed river systems, indigenous trade routes and trails. Before the railways were extended cattle were often walked up to 3,220 kilometres (2,000 miles) on the main stock routes. These early drovers sometimes had to contend with droughts, dust storms, floods, poisonous plants and hostile aborigines. These established routes were recognised and dedicated as roads between the 1860s and 1890s. From the early 1900s the state governments established a program to develop stock route water facilities, each located the distance of a droving day apart.
TSR’s are also used as emergency refuges during floods and drought, local agistment, public recreation or as corridors for native vegetation ecosystems, providing a crucial habitat for flora and fauna, connectivity for many endangered species and ecosystems, thus providing a comprehensive sample of the landscape and biodiversity of eastern Australia prior to the colonial period. Some of the shire’s more notable TSR’s such as Brittas, Henty, Back Creek, Kirndeen, King’s and Ten Chain are also part of our birdwatching trails.
There are a large number of birdwatching sites in Greater Hume Shire. Some of these have been identified by the Riverina and South West Slopes Bird Route Project, which focuses on protecting and promoting remnant native woodland vegetation conducive to bird watching activities, bird watching sites and good visitor access.
The identified sites are:– Woomargama National Park; Walla Walla ‘Gum Swamp’; King’s, Henty, Back Creek, Brittas, Kirndeen and Ten Chain Travelling Stock Routes; Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre; Henty Government Dam Nature Reserve and Ten Mile Creek (Holbrook). There are many birds which inhabit these sites including Noisy Friar Bird, Dusky Woodswallow, Australian Hobby, Grey Crowned Babbler, Weebill, Thornbill, Swift Parrot, King Parrot, Gang Gang Cockatoo, Speckled Warbler, Honeyeater, Rufous Whistler, Brown Treecreeper, Sacred Kingfisher, Peaceful Dove, Rufous Songlark, Pardalotes, Crested Shrike-tit, Golden Whistler, Flame Robin, Rainbow Bee-eater, Zebra Finch, White-browed Woodswallow, Australian Pipit, Tawny Frogmouth, Bush Stone Curlew and Varied Sittella.