Tocumwal

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Tocumwal for grey nomads
Gliding over the Murray near Tocumwal is a popular pastime. Pic: Destination NSW

The New South Wales town of Tocumwal, sitting on the banks of the magnificent Murray River, is a natural winner with grey nomad visitors.

Boasting a range of high quality caravan parks, excellent budget camping, superb sandy river beaches, stunning natural landmarks, and a fascinating history, it’s also place where travellers inevitably like to linger.

Located about 700 kilometres south-west of Sydney on the Newell Highway, Tocumwal derived its name from the Aboriginal term ‘Tucumiva’, which is said to mean ‘deep hole’.

This is a reference to the famed Blowhole, some 10 kilometres north of town. Situated on a granite outcrop, the Blowhole flows and bubbles when the Murray River is low. The site is sacred to the Ulupna and Bangaragn Aboriginal Tribes and legend has it that a giant Murray cod lived in the waterhole and ate young children who fell in!

It’s this rather gruesome ancient story that was the inspiration behind the giant fibreglass Murray cod that graces the town square.

Big things aside, it is Tocumwal’s proximity to the Mighty Murray and its 23 scenic and sandy beaches that visitors tend to love most about the place. With imperious river red gums adding to the scenic backdrop, these are perfect places for grey nomads to picnic and relax away the rigours of the road.

It’s also a great place to swim, kayak, fish or birdwatch … and river cruises are also available.

The monthly Tocumwal Foreshore Market is one of the oldest markets in Australia and is another activity not to be missed. For golfing grey nomads, the town boasts a 36-hole championship golf course, and most people cannot resist a visit to the Historic Aerodrome Museum where they can learn about Tocumwal’s history as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest RAAF training base during World War II.

After the war, the site became a massive aircraft graveyard and hundreds of planes were chopped up, stripped and melted down. Nowadays, thanks to the clear skies above the area, the airfield is a famed gliding destination. Two aircrafts mounted on poles – a B-24 Liberator and a glider – pay tribute both to Tocumwal’s aeronautical past and its present … and make for tourist attractions in their own right. Chrystie’s Museum is another popular attraction and boasts a collection of classic cars, trucks, caravans and tractors.

The town itself is full of historic character and interesting old buildings and pubs. Among the heritage-listed sites is the old railway station which was front and centre of the battle over track gauge when the New South Wales and Victorian rail systems were connected.

There’s also plenty to enjoy in the surrounding area including some great little wineries, the Tocumwal Regional Park, and the Big Strawberry.

As mentioned earlier, there are a number of excellent caravan parks in and around town and there’s great camping available on the banks of Murray River at Town Beach for $5 per person per night.

With great amenities, a welcoming attitude, and fascinating attractions, Tocumwal is a town that basically ticks all the grey nomad boxes … and then some!

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