Monday, November 4

The Patawalonga

The Patawalonga Lake is a far cry from what it was in its early days - when driving past one had to hold one's nose because of the stink - mostly rotting seaweed from memory.

In Wikipedia it says "The Patawalonga River (sometimes called Patawalonga Creek, and known to local residents as "the Pat") is a short river (roughly 7 km in length) that was, before European settlement, a tidal estuary. The River is serviced by a 210 km2 catchment that exists in metropolitan Adelaide, with its mouth at the suburb of Glenelg."

It was to us just a waterway that one wanted to pass by as quickly as possible!  I find it a little amusing that this horrible stench was so 'famous' that it was written about in Wikipedia.

"The Patawalonga is probably best known for its notorious odour, which has been a problem for the "Pat" ever since European settlement since the mid-19th century. The odour arises from seaweed that grows in the shallow depths of the river estuary and, in more recent times, due to stormwater pollution.
Dredging of the outlet beyond the weir to remove sand and seaweed build-up would at times cause the seaweed to float back to shore and rot on the beach, causing a stench.[6]
Also, if too much fresh water flows into the Patawalonga it can kill off saltwater species of fish that exist in the lake - which, again, can result in an unpleasant odour."

Eventually a lot of work was done on the river and now days it is a fantastic lake, and though there have been recent floods, work has been done to reduce this in future.

Now it is a recreation lake - with people learning to paddle, and a safe place for boats and on a clear day looks wonderful.

It is also the home of the replica of the HMS Buffalo.  Again from Wikipedia - "Perhaps the most iconic aspect of the Patawalonga River is the permanent mooring there of a replica of the HMS Buffalo, which made the six-month voyage carrying the first 400 settlers to South Australia in 1836. The original Buffalo had also carried Captain Hindmarsh, captain of that vessel and, upon his arrival, the first Governor of South Australia. The Buffalo replica serves as a family and a la carte restaurant floating on the Patawalonga." 

My husbands ancestors were on the Buffalo along with some of mine as well.  Were we destined to be together - though these days I am solo.

It was also the spot that I would meet my parents when I visited Adelaide.  Dad did not like driving to the Adelaide Airport to collect me, so would wait near the Buffalo in his car.  I would get a taxi to the Buffalo, and join my parents!









Another icon of the Glenelg area is the tram.  Trams still ply their way from Jetty Road (near the old Town Hall - venue for dances when I was in my teens) right into the city and beyond these days.

Historic old tram near the Buffalo.

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