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My happy place (Phil Palmer)

Published 17 Sep 2019 

Scottsdale Reserve Manager Phil Palmer on the Murrumbidgee River.

Phil Palmer

Scottsdale Reserve Manager

I’ve grown up on rivers; I spent my childhood on the Murray River and then I spent 20 years on the Fitzroy River in the Kimberley, and now I’m down here living alongside the Murrumbidgee River. So, mountain rivers have always been a big part of my life.

When I moved down here to Scottsdale I didn’t expect to fall in love with the ‘Bidgee, but I really have. It’s especially amazing here where it comes out of the mountains and flows through this lower land country. And the more time you spend on the river, the more in tune you become with its movements and its seasons.

There’s a place on the Murrumbidgee River about a kilometre upstream from the boat ramp and just around the corner from the rest of the world. When you sit on a beach there with the Scottsdale bushland behind you, you can look across the river and you see the Namadgi Main Range and it’s really easy to envisage what this place would’ve looked like hundreds of years ago. There’s no sign of agriculture or disturbance - it’s just that good, natural bushland.

When I’m there, it feels like I’m connected with the country. On a hot day you can swim in the waterholes, fish and eat good food, and it brings back memories for me of being back in the Kimberley.