NARRANDERA can be a hot place in the summer, but thankfully there is plenty of water for locals to plunge themselves into if they feel the need to cool off. Not only are there billabongs galore, but proper majestic waterways like the Murrumbidge River and the Irrigation Channel. It is thanks to the Irrigation Channel that they can raise dairy cattle and grow cotton and rice up here, that is what we learnt in Geography class at school! They don't call this place Riverina for nothing! Lake Talbot, an artificial waterway near the town centre, is synonymous with summer fun for Narrandera folk. In the old days people would jump from logs or overhanging trees into the muddy brown water; these days there is a modern swimming pool on the bank complete with waterslides, and a big stretch of water reserved for water-skiing. If swimming and splashing is not your thing, you can explore the surrounding bushland, which includes a state forest and a koala sanctuary, courtesy of the Bundidgerry Walking Trail. The trees around here are red river gums, and they have a nasty habit of dropping their limbs, as my aunt K. pointed out. My mother and I walked through the bush in 2007 and spotted two koalas; on our most recent visit (Easter 2011) we couldn't see any. Maybe the Show'N'Shiners scared them away. They were certainly out in force that Easter weekend (the Show'N'Shiners, not the koalas), camped out in the caravan park across the lake.