b' FeatureWalking the MURRAYVILLE TRACKThe crew at the finish line. Im on the left.Big DesertThings dont always go according to adventures. A series of campgrounds know where the Netting Fence is, Implan. 2020 is evidence of that. are popular as base camps and there a bit vague as to why we have one However, I like to think I am resilient are tracks winding through the Big or at least the ruins of one.and can adapt as needed and so my Desert State Forest, Wyperfeld Poring over history books hasnt madeplanned walk in South Australia was National Park and the Sunset Country me any wiser. Newspapers and govern-changed to a walk in Victoria. to the north. Originally the Murrayville ment records of that time state variouslySpecifically, to walk the Murrayville Track was a wagon track, cut through it was to prevent dingoes and rabbitsTrack and then ride a pushbike back the desert in the 1860s to provide moving further south, keep dingoes inhome again. droving access for cattle and sheep the north and rabbits in the south, stopI am always amazed that other people between Nhill Station and Kow Plains dingoes following the rabbit invasionwill willingly join me, no matter how Station. A series of wells and bores northward. The only detail all recordsridiculous the scheme sounds.were sunk in the early 1900s making agree on is that the Netting Fence wasWould you like to come for a 100 kilo- the movement of stock easier, erected in 1885 and ran from Swan Hillalthough it was still difficult to walk to the South Australian border in anmetre walk, during winter, camping stock through the dense low scrub- effort to control rabbits and dingoes. when it will be freezing overnight and land that makes up the Big Desert. The Little Desert and Big Desert arethe days unpredictable? does not Many of the original names of the often taken for granted by locals, andsound like a great idea, however we bores; Cactus bore, Big Billy, Little more appreciated by those who leavestarted with three walkers and a small Billy and Sim Perrys Hand Pump the city for a break. Whatever it is yousupport crew.remain in use.want to do outsidelook for birds,My support team are my parents, Bev The Netting Fence marks the southern animals, flowers, remnants of history orand John Deckert. John is often boundary of the Big Desert and start- just get in a 4WD and test yourself in theknown as the map-man as Westprint sandthere are plenty of opportunitieswas his idea and he has far more ing point for this adventure. While I in the sand country of the Wimmera.knowledge of the bush than we willever have. I could have asked myhusband Graemebut someone hasto keep the map business going.Support Crew is the professional-sounding term for making lunch,getting the campfire going, movingcamp and listening to us, (usuallyme), complain about how everythinghurts, the road is hard, it is too far etc.The Murrayville Track, or theMurrayville - Nhill Road as it is nowofficially known, is the main thorough-fare through the Big Desert in north-west Victoria. Currently its main use is Walking the Murrayville Trackas a starting point for 4WDTRACKWATCH SEPTEMBER 2020 21'