On the Murray

Trip Start May 10, 2009
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
Rivergardens Tourist Park

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We had no plans on going to any other state besides South Australia on this trip, but Jean and Geoff convinced us it wouldn't make sense to be so close to Mildura and not visit.  We ate all our South Aussie fruit and veggies and left Berri on the Friday and within forty minutes, even with a stop at the Almond Hut, we were in Victoria and by midday we had driven through Mildura, over the Murray River Bridge and entered New South Wales. Five minutes later we unhitched the caravan at the caravan park at Gol Gol right on the banks of the Murray River. After an old man stopped and sold us some of his organic veggies we enjoyed a cup of tea in the sunshine by the river.  The next day we drove back into Mildura to walk around the town but it was incredibly cold even though there was no wind.  We could see why the shops were big so that the public could go in to get out of the cold!  The Visitor’s centre was also very large and impressive with horse and carriages and all sorts of other things to advertise the various museums etc.  There we picked up a pamphlet on the local Deutschfest so as it was midday we decided to go there and have a German sausage.  The address was the Lutheran School and the cars stretched up and down all the streets so we found a parking spot down one of the side streets and we were surprised at the number of people at what was basically their annual school fete.  The sausage with sauerkraut and mustard in the roll was delicious, the students artwork was good and the huge seedless grapes we bought there were very fleshy and good to eat.  We went back to the caravan park early in the afternoon and when the sun came out we took the chairs, books and fishing gear down and enjoyed a peaceful few hours on the river bank. As the sun went down  the air turned cold again and we returned to the warmth of our caravan .  Thankfully, next morning we woke to a brilliant blue sky, just perfect weather for the couple of hour boat trip we had planned on the "Melbourne" steam paddle boat.  After seeing the mechanics of the paddle steamer and getting through Lock 10, we sat back and enjoyed the leisurely ride in the warm sunshine.  We were back again by the riverside near our caravan by early afternoon when Mike took his fishing gear down again with the chairs and I brought the picnic lunch down a few minutes later.  It was so peaceful to just sit and read so just as well we again weren’t disturbed by any fish going near Mike’s rod! There were a lot of young families at the park and as we were barbecuing our dinner in the evening the one couple were telling us they were going the next day on a house boat they were hiring for four days.  On our last day in NSW we were pleased it was again warm and sunny so we drove to Wentworth about an hour away to see the junction of the mighty Murray and Darling Rivers where they both had plenty of water.  We climbed the tower to get a good view and walked through the Garden of Tribute to the small Massie Ferguson tractors used to build the levees during the 1956 floods. Wentworth itself seemed to be a sleepy little town so we were surprised to find this upmarket spacious Services Club with its restaurant overlooking the Darling River where we had a very good and reasonably priced lunch.  On the way back to Gol Gol we turned down a dirt track to the Sand Hills and were surprised to see these high dunes in the middle of the flat shrubby landscape.  The climb up to see what was on the other side sure got our heart rate up….it was very steep and we of course, had to go up the next and next also.  After all the exercise it was time to go back to the caravan and prepare for our move the next day back to South Australia.
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