I spent a couple of days swagging in the Overland Corner Reserve during my repeat Mallee Routes photo trip to Copeville and Galga. I stayed there after the Copeville and Lake Bonney (Nookamka Lake) photo sessions to try and track the Overland Stock Route (from New South Wales) after it left the township of Barmera and made its way around the northern part of Lake Bonney to Morgan.
The picture below was made for the absent history section of the forthcoming Mallee Routes exhibition at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery. Its location is near the Overland cemetery on the hill that overlooks the floodplain of the Overland Corner Reserve. This floodplain would have formed part of the Overland Stock Route in the 1840s, prior to it going around the Nor-West Bend of the River Murray at Morgan, then down to Adelaide.
The floodplain of the Overland Corner Reserve is in poor ecological health ---it is even in a worse condition than the Loch Luna Game Reserve, which lies between Lake Bonney and the Overland Corner Reserve. I presume that this region in the 19th century was ephemeral --wet and dry depending on the River Murray flooding. With the construction of the Weir and Lock 3 in the mid 1920s, to create storage for irrigated agriculture, Lake Bonney became permanently inundated. That meant both the Game Reserve and Overland Corner floodplain received very little, if any flood water.
This region of the Riverland ---Lake Bonney, Loch Luna Game Reserve, the floodplain of the Overland Corner Reserve--- is a desolate, degraded landscape that has resulted from the environmentally, destructive water management practices of the Murray-Darling Basin's mode of governance. Those historical practices have resulted in the salinisation of Lake Bonney shoreline, and floodplain salinisation. There is little fringing vegetation along the shoreline of Lake Bonney, limited aquatic vegetation, and a steady accumulation of salt in the lake.
I found the floodplain of the Overland Reserve to be a depressing area to walk around and to be in: