A Masterpiece on the Murray

It’s not always easy to capture the beauty of nature with a paintbrush or a camera but it doesn’t stop us from trying. At every camp spot there’s a new landscape and a different perspective. Here, deep within the river gum forest of the Murray River Reserve last month, the river was at our doorstep, birdlife was prolific and nature reigned supreme. It was perfect. Well, almost.

The serenity was punctuated by this cheeky kookaburra, who swooped down to steal a breakfast snag from our barbeque. He was never too far away and kept us on our toes when we were cooking. Away from the barbeque the sunsets took my breath away and nature did her usual wondrous thing.

Our secluded campsite at Christie’s Beach provided the backdrop to these recent adventures but there was much more to this weekend. Not far away, 26kms from Echuca, we discovered the cutest little town.


Tongala is a short detour off the Murray Valley Highway. It was once a predominant dairy community but today the town is filled with colour. There’s murals everywhere, more than 60 of them, painted by local artists that live in this warm and welcoming community.

Our first stop is the Post Office where I’n captivated by the sight of a couple of hay bales outside. It’s open so I venture inside and meet the owner Tyler Stagg.

When I ask him about the hay bales he tells me that they were the first Christmas themed hay bales installed in the town. Bluey and Bingo were painted by a local farming family in June 2020, inspired by the hit children’s tv series Bluey and were so popular they were moved for public viewing outside the post office. More hay bales started to appear and so apparently did the visitors to town.

The hay bales are a seasonal thing as the paint will fade in time. But new themed ones will emerge he tells me. Much like the community veggie and herb garden next door to the post office. I’m in awe at all the tomato and giant basil plants and even the huge bedraggled sunflowers.


Tyler tells me there’s a guy named Murray who often hangs around the main street on weekends and he describes him to me. Apparently, Murray loves taking visitors through town to show off the murals and explain their history.

We leave the post office and keep walking and while the other half is at Mitre 10 buying bits and pieces I wander nearby to take more photos. Across from the hardware store is The Wash Room, the cutest laundromat I’ve ever seen. While I’m snapping away, I notice a man fitting Murray’s description.

Excuse me” I say, “Are you Murray?” He looks a bit perplexed. “You fit his description … I was told there’s a Murray in town with a beard and wearing glasses.” He laughs, we joke and banter for a few minutes. Clearly he’s not the Murray. I feel like a bit of a goof but hey, that’s never stopped me!

Hubby and I continue our walk and along the way I see SO many people fitting Murray’s description that I laugh and give up. The town’s so small we don’t really need our own guide anyway.

We drop in at the MB Bakery for coffee and some delicious pastries. There’s a pub further down and everywhere we turn, there’s colour. There are paintings that take you back to the time of the F.J Holden and fishing on the Murray River, memories of the war years, paintings with real local people in them, as well as whacky and whimsical ones.

One of my favourites would have to be of the emu peeking over the fence! Oh, and I updated my Angel wings!

Tonny, as the locals like to call it, is a fantastic short detour off the Murray Valley Highway and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

After our morning of art and exploration it was back to the serenity of the river, back to our own backdrop on the Murray, exploring more unexpected surprises along the way.

Life is a masterpiece. And we all have the ability to create our own magnificent mural. Look around. There’s colour and wonder everywhere and there’s no better canvas than our ever evolving world.

Truly the time we’re living in today is one of discernment and opportunity, you only need to step out of the framework and think critically to realise it. Despite the exterior world telling us one thing, you really are the master of your own creation.

Like any artist learning along the way, you’ll paint over mistakes, start over whenever you want, but you can also make your life as bold and bright as you like. The power is ours. It’s always been ours, we’ve just forgotten.

“What you can perceive in your mind you can create in your life. “

We’re all evolving, like any true masterpiece, every day and in every way. It’s these subtle changes that make us who we are. We’re all evolving into a higher state of consciousness.

So don’t forget that YOU are the master of our own artwork and the creator of your reality.

Keep shining, wherever you are. Life truly is a miracle.

In love and light.

Make every day your masterpiece

65 thoughts on “A Masterpiece on the Murray

  1. I always enjoy your blog posts, Miriam, which allow me to become a little bit acquainted with places I will likely never visit. I love all of that town’s murals! And I did not know that kookaburras can be so pesky… I am also grateful to be reminded that “YOU are the master of our own artwork and the creator of your reality.” I wish I could create a reality that includes less species extinction and climate change. Sometimes (I’m thinking of you, Oprah WInfrey, with all of your fabulous homes and lots of air travel from one to another) I wonder if we might need to add a caveat along the lines of the Wiccan “An’ it harm none, do what ye will” to all of our exhortations to create our own realities. Because I am not a fan of someone creating a reality which includes consuming vast amounts of natural resources, or polluting/destroying the environment, or otherwise endangering the miraculous balance/web of life here on planet earth…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amen Will. Thanks for your appreciation and thoughtful words. I do agree with you about celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and the impact of riches and lavish consumer lifestyles on our planet. I’m a big believer in sustainable living, hence why I love camping so much because it’s all about minimal living, harmonising with nature and looking after our environment. Maybe the first step to protecting it and the precious balance of life on earth is awareness. We can only change something when we acknowledge it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for the little tour, Miriam 🙂 It is always such a pleasure to follow you around… It is a shame you didn’t get to meet the Murray, but I am sure that not finding him didn’t make your walk around the little town any less interesting. Glad to see that you two are enjoying life to the fullest, as always. I miss you, and send big hugs from the other end of the planet 😉 xxx (P.S. That kookaburra is the cutest!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, my lovely friend, it’s so great to see you here. Yes, we had a wonderful time, as we always do, and as you’ve had a taste of too. Would love to do it again with you one day, kookaburras, magpies, cockies and all, 😀who knows hey! Sending big warm hugs your way. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t know kookaburras are sneaky snitches. Thanks for the walk. I had to laugh with your “Are you Murray?” enounters. 🙂 In the end, a wonderful moral to the story ….. Truly the time we’re living in today is one of discernment and opportunity, you only need to step out of the framework and think critically to realise it. Despite the exterior world telling us one thing, you really are the master of your own creation. …. Beautifully stated and thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Frank, thanks for coming along with me on my walk. Yes, kookaburras can be quite sneaky when there’s meat around. And as for my ‘Murray moments’, they were rather funny, though hubby thought I was a bit mad, lol. Have a great week ahead. 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for the inspiring post and reminders Miriam. I love murals, the town you visited, and the analogy to how we can live as masters of our own creations (to a degree). I don’t believe we control everything, we can only steer and influence with our energy and choices. Lovely photos too. 🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brad and yes, well said and true. We certainly can’t control everything but we can certainly control our reactions to what life throws us and, as you said, influence with our choices. Have a great week. xx

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, from memory. There’s actually heaps of cows in that whole area and closer to Shepparton as part of the more recent outdoor art sculpture trail. Another post perhaps!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Such an amazing post about the Bay Hales and the Murray. Haha! The first encounter and happened to me so many times, calling the wrong Murray…Murray. Love the pictures and together with the writing makes an enthralling experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Miriam, your post has me smiling and I love tagging along on this trip! 😀 The painted haystacks are adorable and I can see this becoming popular and wow, Murray is truly talented and love the pelican and yes, your new angel wings! Haha … I bet your husband was squirming as you were trying to find the artist! Wow! A stunning photo of your greeting the sun, standing on the tree branch. Truly glorious and feel in awe of the wonder of nature – a true blessing and reminder to us all never to forget to stop and absorb the magic of it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true Annika. There’s so much wonder and awe in nature, so much magic, as well as fun and colourful discoveries all around us. I truly loved this little place, it had such happy vibes. Thanks for your lovely comment and I hope you a wonderful Easter week. xx


  7. Simple wonderful! The hay art is so cute! I love to see street art, there are a few here in my city, I should spend some time taking photos of them. Tongala is an inviting town!


  8. What a lovely town you discovered, great inspiration for more of us to pour our love into our surrounding and create an overflow of care and beauty! Love your Ángel wings and heartfelt words including us all on your journey❤️🙏 much love to you Miriam🥰


  9. Hi Miriam, I just arrived home from a day of hiking and you are absolutely right how we try to capture the beauty of nature with our camera although it never seems to do it justice. Your photos give me a glimpse into your world and transport me to another hemisphere. It does not hurt to ask about Murray especially in a small town. The emu peaking over the fence made me smile. 🙂

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, how life is a masterpiece. I will mull on your phrase “…make your life as bold and bright as you like.” My philosophy in life is also “what you can perceive in your mind you can create in your life.” I changed careers in my late 20’s living by this mantra. A wonderful post, as always, Miriam, for all of my senses. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Erica. From everything I’ve seen on your blog and snippets of your life through Insta I can absolutely tell that you live by this mantra. And now, more than ever before, it’s so important to live with positive intention and in gratitude and mindfulness. Your hike sounds wonderful. It’s hot here so no hiking at this end! Have a happy and peaceful Easter weekend. 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I really love this sentence “It’s not always easy to capture the beauty of nature with a paintbrush or a camera but it doesn’t stop us from trying.” as it holds so much imagery and truth. I also think Murray is a bit like finding Waldo…lol

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful Walk-about Miriam… Loved your angel wings too…. so suit you… You had me laughing at the Murray man/men… 🙂
    Indeed Creation is all around us… and we do indeed create with our minds as well as our hands.. Some lovely artwork in those images…
    The scenery of the river just stunning.. What a doorstep to wake up to..
    Wonderful to see you so enjoying your travels Miriam…

    Sending love and well wishes…. You captured magic within each of your pictures Miriam… Perfect job..
    Love Sue ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue, thanks so much for travelling with me virtually and sharing in all the magic I captured. Truly, beauty’s all in the eye of the beholder and there’s lots to be found around us.
      Wishing you and your family a happy and peaceful Easter weekend. Much love to you my friend. xx ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, Miriam! Love the captures…STUNNING! And what a cool town!! I also wonder if Murray is a real person or just a joke the town plays on unsuspecting visitors…”Are you Murray?” haha!
    Couldn’t agree more about painting our own cavass! We are the directors of our lives and we make it what it is. It took me a long time to understand this…but I now know it…and I work on it every day!
    Happy Easter, Miriam. I hope you and your family are well. Have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We truly are the creators of our own lives and I’m realising that more and more too. When we switch off from the system and tune into ourselves that’s when the magic happens. Oh and apparently there really IS a.real Murray in Tongala, who actually painted some of the art, hence the intense interest. Shame we never got to meet him but never mind. Glad you enjoyed my post. Much love sent your way Lorrie. Have a great week yourself. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  13. What a delightful little place. Love the whimsical hay bales and vibrant murals. It takes a lot of work to tune out the noise that keeps us from creating our Heaven. But it’s worth the effort. Hope you’re having a fabulous autumn, Miriam. Sending love from the north.✨💖✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Julie. And you’re right, with all the distractions that are thrown at us it’s easy to forget about what’s truly important. That’s why I’m out in nature every day. It grounds me and keeps me connected to Source. Sounds like you do the same. Much love sent back. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

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