Points of Interest Category: Community | Public Space, Historical, Park | Garden | Reserve, Site | Commerce, and Site | InfrastructurePoints of Interest Tags: Gippsland, History | Historical - Gippsland, and Parks - Gippsland
A one kilometre detour off the Princes Highway, turning southward at the tiny township of Johnsonville, will lead you to a delightful parkland area, the ‘Harry Clues Memorial Park’ which is situated on the banks of the beautiful Tambo River. It is not until one travels through Gippsland that one is reminded of the large rivers and enormous lake system that grace this stunning region.
Set amongst picturesque park lands overlooking the Tambo River, this peaceful park is equipped with public toilets, sheltered barbecues, picnic tables, seating, fish cleaning, boat ramp, jetties – perfect for a rejuvenating break, a family picnic, to launch the boat, throw a line or wander along the trail that eventually leads to the mouth of the river some 4 km away.
There is ample parking for the car, boat, caravan or motorhome.
Some History . . .
The site of this park and rest area is steeped in history.
The road that leads to the delightful banks of the Tambo River from the Princes Highway is aptly named Punt Road. One would assume that the name is derived from the fact that a punt once traversed the river where the road intersects the river from the year 1877 to some years into the 20th century.
Punt Road continues on the other side of the river, as if the punt was still there and running . . .
.The costs of running the punt threatened its existence from the late 1800’s as demonstrated in the article in the ‘Tambo & Omeo Chronicle’, dated 6th September 1900. However, it was still running some 16 years thereafter . . .
From the late 1850’s it was also the site of a sawmill and ship building yard. McArdell, an early Sale pioneer, is noted as transporting posts, rails, shingles, flooring boards, etc. to Sale aboard his paddle steamer, the PS ‘Enterprise’ from 1858 to 1863 – the year that the ‘Tambo River Sawmills’, complete with huts, blacksmith’s shop, team bullocks, carriages, tram-road, truck and timber chute to loading stage, were sold.
McArdell, together with Raphael, had also begun building the screw steamer SS ‘Lady Darling’ on the banks of the Tambo, in 1861. However, financial constraints saw the hull of the steamer being ‘acquired’ by the ‘Bank of Victoria’ and hence, eventually sold. The new owners converted the ‘Lady Darling’ into a schooner for the coastal trade. She was launched in the April of 1864.
For more information on the steamers that traversed the lakes, refer to: Gippsland’s Steamers
The 1880’s saw traffic along the river increase. By 1886 David Munro & Co. used timber barges to carry milled logs downstream from Upper Tambo to Johnsonville.
At this time the sawmill and ship yard were known as ‘Callinan’s Sawmill’ and ‘Fraser’s Ship Building Yard’, respectively.
The farm was originally owned by Mr George Fraser.
Mr Fraser eventually settled in New Zealand. His farm was purchased by Mr Augustine Clues, whose descendants still own the property to this very day. The ‘Harry Clues Memorial Park’ which is located at Clues Road, in Swan Reach (which runs adjacent to the boat ramp) was named after Mr Harry Clues, a descendant of Mr Augustine Clues, in memory of his enormous contribution to the community . . .
– Located some 850 m south of Johnsonville
– obtain Directions here
– Ample Parking – for Large Rigs too !!
– Nearby Features:
– Facilities available nearby
Note: We have described the Rest Area facilities, presentation, conditions of use, etc. as revealed at the time of our visit. Updates have been included as details been received and verified. Though every effort is made to provide an accurate, up-to-date and unbiased picture of the listing, please refer to the Terms & Conditions of the website.
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- Bathroom Amenities:
- Public Toilets
- Boat Ramp
- Mobile Data 3G - 4G
- Mobile Reception
- Pier or Jetty
- Walking Track
- Waterway Access
Parking & Transfers:
- Drinking Water
- Picnic Tables
- Rubbish Bins
- Off Street Parking
- Big Rig Access
- Sealed Road