Kerang - Places to See


Tourist Information
The town's information centre is located in the Lester Smith Lookout Tower, an old water storage tower built in 1883 which has a display of local and exotic gemstones. It also offers excellent views of the area. The tower is located at the corner of the Murray Valley Highway (Wellington St) and Shadforth St and is open daily from 10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m, tel: (03) 5452 1860. Behind it is an olympic-size swimming pool and a waterslide for the kids in summer.

Museum
Kerang Historical Museum is located in the former Franklin homestead in Atkinson Park, next to the caravan park in Riverwood Drive. It features displays relating to local history, including farm machinery, cars and material on town founder Woodford Patchell who pioneered the use of irrigation in the district. It is open on weekends from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., tel: (03) 5452 2225.

Memorial Clock
The fine memorial clock at the corner of Wellington and Victoria Sts was established in honour of schoolteacher Karlie McDonald who died in 1927 while trying to save one of her students from drowning in the Loddon River.

Loddon River and Pyramid Creek
The Loddon River contains carp, redfin, yellowbelly and brim together with smaller populations of trout and cod. 2 km north of town is Pyramid Creek which features large carp, yellowbelly and redfin.

Kerang Wetlands System
There are about 50 small lakes, swamps and lagoons around Kerang. Each spring around 200 000 straw-necked, white and glossy ibis breed in the reedbeds of the local lakes which are, in fact, the world's most populous ibis rookeries. The added advantage of this natural phenomenon is that they eat at least five tonnes of insects a day, largely from local paddocks, thereby helping to protect the crops in the district from infestation. Interestingly, these waterfowl only breed with the onset of floodwaters and allegedly abandon their nests if the water recedes.

The wetlands are also home to thousands of other waterbirds, including egrets, spoonbills, kites, harriers, sea eagles, grebes and heron.

The main lakes are adjacent or just off the Murray Valley Highway to the north-west of town and, as they are so readily accessible, they are very popular spots for recreational activities.

Reedy Lake
The first lake you will come to, if you head north-west of Kerang, along the Murray Valley Highway, is Reedy Lake (8 km). Signs will direct you to Apex Park Recreation Area where there is a grassy embankment with picnic facilities, a lake beach with shallow water for safe swimming, as well as boating and yachting opportunities. This is not really noted as a fishing lake but rumour has it that the deepest part of the lake (denoted by a sign saying 'Danger Deep Water') contains things which have snapped a 20-pound line like a piece of cotton.

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Middle Lake and Bird hide
Another 2 km along the highway is a sign directing you to the Ibis Rookery of Middle Lake. This is the principal breeding ground of the ibis. There is a viewing tower which is best attended at dawn and dusk when the sky is black with tens of thousands of ibis leaving and returning to their nests to or from a day's foraging. It is also used for fishing.

Reedy Lake Sanctuary
Three more kilometres along the highway is the sign to the third lake, the Reedy Lake Sanctuary where there are picnic facilities.

Lake Charm
19 km from Kerang is the small settlement of Lake Charm, situated beside the lake of that name which is a popular waterskiing, boating, fishing and swimming spot with boat ramps, tennis facilities, holiday homes, scenic drives and Lake Charm Foreshore Park where there are caravan and camping grounds, tel: (03) 5457 9212. Lake Charm is especially noted for its large redfin.

Racecourse Lake
Just north of Lake Charm is Racecourse Lake, on the highway, which is a good fishing spot with picnic facilities.

Lake Kangaroo
7 km past Lake Charm is Lake Kangaroo where you can catch some yellowbelly and redfin. It has picnic and barbecue facilities, swimming areas, boat ramps, scenic drives, plenty of waterbirds and Hiawatha Lakeside Caravan Park, tel: (03) 5457 9318. Access is via Gorton Drive, off the highway, which is lined with jacaranda trees and citrus orchards.

Lake Meran
Lake Meran is 19 km south-west of Kerang along the Boort Rd. When it has sufficient water it is also a very popular spot for fishing, boating, waterskiing, swimming and picnicking amidst a lovely arbour. It is stocked with trout, cod, redfin and yellowbelly. Condely Lane runs off the Boort Rd to Condely's Log Cabins where the former Cameron homestead and Yeo house, both of drop-log construction, have been reconstructed and furnished in the style of the pioneer era on the banks of Lake Meran, tel: (03) 5457 7233.

Leaghur State Park
A few more kilometres along the Boort Rd from Lake Meran is the entrance road to Leaghur State Park (1580 ha) which is an outstanding section of blackbox forest. Many trees have been scarred by Aborigines who used the bark for canoes, shields and shelters. The canoes were presumably used to catch some of the local birds. Saw and axe marks bear testimony to the early days of European settlement. There is a self-drive pamphlet at the park entrance which identifies some of the park's flora. For more information ring (03) 5452 1237.

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