Tallangatta, located 39 kilometres east of Wodonga (338 km north of Melbourne) and 230 metres above sea level, describes itself as 'The Town That Moved' and that is its central claim to fame.
Tallangatta was physically removed from the Murray River valley when the Hume Weir was built in the 1950s. There is now a plaque on the side of the Murray Valley Highway (the road from Corryong to Albury) which reads 'The township of Tallangatta was originally situated in the valley immediately below this point on land subject to inundation by waters of the Hume Reservoir. The transfer of the township by the State Rivers and Waters Supply Commission to the new site five miles to the west was completed on 29 June 1956.'
In 1997, when the waters of the Hume Reservoir had reached an unprecedented low level, although it was 40 years after the town was drowned, it was still possible to make out, quite clearly, the streets and to see the remnants of the old buildings. It was very easy to see the foundations of the NSW Bank which once stood on one of the town's street corners. It was easy to see where Towong Street and the former Murray Valley Highway ran through the valley.
The town which was drowned was established in the middle of the nineteenth century on land which was reputedly the home of the Pallanganmiddang Aborigines. It had a brief brush with fame on 2 April 1865 when 'Mad Dan' Morgan, a notorious bushranger, crept into town on a moonless night and stole a racehorse.
The town did not die with its transfer in the 1950s. Sadly, however, it lost much of its character and became just another modern Australian suburb - albeit surrounded by agriculture and green fields. As you drive through the rather unexceptional town (it is located just off the main highway) it is clear that much of the building has occurred since the 1970s and that there are many modern 'suburban style' buildings. There is no feeling that this is an old town. It is modern with a park in the middle of the main street.
Things to see
Tallangatta Lookout, which is located on the Wodonga side of town and clearly signposted, offers excellent views over the entire Hume Reservoir valley.
Old Tallangatta is located 7 km to the east of the present township. There is now a plaque on the side of the Murray Valley Highway (the road from Corryong to Albury) which reads 'The township of Tallangatta was originally situated in the valley immediately below this point on land subject to inundation by waters of the Hume Reservoir. The transfer of the township by the State Rivers and Waters Supply Commission to the new site five miles to the west was completed on 29 June 1956.'
Mount Granya State Park
Mount Granya State Park is a 6000-ha reserve of steep, rocky slopes and plateaux dominated by open eucalypt forests. It stretches from the Murray Valley Highway in the south to the Murray River in the north.
To get there head east of Tallangatta along the highway for 16 km then turn left at Bullioh heading north on the Bullioh-Granya Rd. Mt Granya Rd (signposted) heads west from this road to the summit of Mt Granya (871 m) where there are picnic facilities, views of the valleys and distant mountains, and the Lyrebird Walking Track. Further north Webb Lane (signposted) also heads west off the main road to the Cottontree Creek Picnic Area (there is a short walk from here to the nearby Granya Falls). Open eucalypt forest grows on the steep slopes and plateaux of the park. Horseriding and nature studies can also be enjoyed, tel: 131 963.
6 km north of Granya is the Herb and Horse, an 1890s homestead on the edge of Lake Hume offering canoe trips, horseriding and very pleasant accommodation, tel: (02) 6072 9553. Access to the park is equally possible from the Murray River Rd which follows the course of the river east from Albury.
Mt Lawson State Park
Mt Lawson State Park (13 150 ha) supports a diversity of fauna and flora, especially in spring when there is a spectacular wildflower display. The park is full of birds and springtime wildflowers and has small but very enjoyable waterfalls on Flaggy Creek. Possible activities include scenic drives, bushwalking, hiking, nature studies, horseriding and fishing along Keotong Creek. Dispersed bush camping is permitted if you first contact the ranger at Tallangatta, tel: 131 963.
18 km east of Bullioh on the Murray Valley Highway is Koetong. Turn left here onto Burrowye Rd (a good gravel road). Turn left onto Hempenstall Rd then right at the T-intersection onto Mt Lawson Rd which leads to the summit of Mt Lawson (1021 m) from whence there are spectacular views and two short walking tracks. This route is fine for 2WD, at least in dry weather. There are many other roads and tracks but they are for 4WD (contact the ranger to check on the state of the roads).