Things to do in Tooleybuc
Whilst Tooleybuc is a popular spot for weary travellers to stop and stretch, those who stay a while have plenty of options... especially if you enjoy the outdoors. The sporting club has a tennis court, mini-golf and an 18-hole golf course, with buggies and clubs for hire. The path between the bridge and the sporting club is a popular walk and is just perfect for a short evening stroll. The sun sets over the opposite side of the river, which on certain evenings creates a scene for some spectacular photos (although the view from the balcony of our front rooms on those evenings is equally spectacular!).
Fishing is a very popular activity in Tooleybuc and there is an excellent boat ramp in town. Not that you need a boat... there are many great spots along the river where anglers can try their luck. The most common species of fish encountered around Tooleybuc are the "Murray Cod" and the "Golden Perch/Yellowbelly/Callop" (they are known by different names depending on where you're from). Both are natives, excellent eating and readily take baits and lures. The Murray Cod grows to an enormous size, and is well known for being the largest freshwater fish in Australia. In this area, Cod up to 1 metre in length are encountered frequently, so be prepared... that little forked stick in the bank isn't likely to stop one of these! Carp (introduced, pest species) are present, but fortunately not encountered as often as they once were. Your hosts, Dave and Bree are both keen anglers and are happy to help you with advice on the best fishing spots, baits etc. We also breed our own bait (worms and bardi grubs),which we sell at reception. Rods, tackle and shrimp nets can also be hired.
Bird watching - If fishing's not your thing but you love a challenge and getting outdoors, why not try bird watching? It's a great way to explore new places and often requires all the stealth and skills of an experienced hunter (except if you shoot your target, it's with a camera). We've started putting together a list of all the bird species we've found here, but we need your help! There are thought to be over 300 species of birds in the area, but we need photographs to confirm identifications... and getting a decent photo of a tiny bird that is constantly moving can be incredibly difficult! Without a photo clearly showing identifying features, we can't really add it to the list with any confidence. So if you would like to help,the best advice we can give is "if you can't take good shots, take lots". Meaning, if you take ten photos of one fast-moving bird, there's a better chance of getting a decent photo than if you only took one. If we can confirm the ID of a new species, we'll add it to the list. If you're happy to give us a copy of the photo, we'll add that too (and give you credit for the photo, of course!). We have copies of the current checklist available in reception, including photographs of all the different species we've found so far. We do have binoculars and field guides for hire at reception, but even if you've already got your own, please feel free to come and chat. Your host, Dave is an ex-ecologist and always keen to talk about the local wildlife... he may even have some hot tips on where to find the birds you're looking for!
Kayaking/boating - Want to get out and explore the river from a different point of view? We will soon have kayaks available for hire! We need to know how much interest there would be before we "launch",so if you're interested please enquire at reception. There will be a range of options tailored to suit various levels of fitness/experience.
If you already have your own kayak but need someone to drop you off or pick you up, we can do that too! Please let us know well in advance if you will require this service.
Would you love to get out on the river, but not keen on a kayak? A range of boat tours are also planned. Again, if this is something you would like to do,please let us know – there are many substantial hurdles (legal ones) to jump to provide these activities, so we will only proceed if there is some interest.
If you have your own boat, there are many launching ramps in the area – for the latest advice on where is best to launch, please ask at reception.
Local Forests, Parks and Reserves - Although much of the area has been cleared for farming, there are still many remnant forests left to explore. Our favourite Victorian forests are at Kenley (15 minutes North), Wood Wood (10 minutes South) and Heywood Lake (30 minutes North). On the NSW side of the river, there are also excellent forests around Kyalite(15 minutes Northeast) and Balranald (40 minutes Northeast). If you're willing to travel a little further, a day-trip to the Hattah-Kulkyne, Murray-Sunset or Mungo National Parks is well worth considering. Please be aware that many of these places do not have sealed roads and can be in poor condition, particularly after any rain. In dry conditions 4WD vehicles are generally not necessary, but please use your common sense... we have even rescued 4WD vehicles in these parks - bogged in mud many weeks after any rain.
Safety- No matter what you're doing or where you're going, please remember to be safe out there... take plenty of food and water, hats, sunscreen etc. It can be incredibly easy to get disoriented and lost in the Mallee, so if you're going for a decent walk, always ensure you know how to get back to your car. Most phones have GPS, so make sure you know how to use it and that it's fully charged and working before you leave. If possible, always mark the position of your car - if you don't know how, ask Dave and he will help you. It's also a good idea to let us know where you're going and what time you'll be back (but if you do, please remember to tell us when you return).
Snakes – In the bush you should ALWAYS watch where you're walking, even after dark. There are plenty of snakes in the area and most will remain unseen. Although they'll always prefer to avoid you, they may defend themselves if stepped upon or cornered. This is not only during the warmer months... we have encountered large Eastern Brown Snakes in the middle of winter! If you do come across one, stay calm, avoid sudden movements and just enjoy the moment... remember, they're peaceful animals and you're certainly not on the menu!