THURSDAY MAY 28 GRIFFITH TO SHEPPARTON 295kms
When I got up in the morning, there were leaves all over Bus and car. Annoying. It took me quite a while to pick them out of the grille sections at the front of Terios.
Left Griffith at 10am on a day that was cool, but with blue sky and sunshine.
Not far out of town, we passed what appeared to be a very sizeable but apparently unused poultry farm. We wondered why it was this way and whether it was a casualty of the move to free range eggs? This area is a major one for egg and poultry production.
Just a bit south of Hanwood there was a large and fairly ornate new building. There were no signs to show what it was. The two sets of large gateposts were closed. Big house? Defunct winery?
We passed a truck waiting to turn onto the road with a load of round, yellow shrink-wrapped somethings… We were discussing what these might have been when a clue appeared in the form of white blobs beside the road. Cotton! I hadn’t realized that this had become a cotton growing area. We soon started to see lots of the round, wrapped, bales of cotton stored in the paddocks, in long rows.
Roadside cotton blobs
There were more trucks transporting bales. They seemed to be converging on the Darlington Point township. (Later research revealed there was a cotton processing gin there).
Shrink wrapped cotton bales
We even saw some cotton plants growing, still with white blobs on the plants – maybe ready for harvesting? It hadn’t occurred to me before that there was much I didn’t know about this product and processes. Is there one harvest season for cotton, like for wheat? Or do the plants produce all year round?
We crossed the Murrumbidgee River at Darlington Point. Noted that there was quite a good looking caravan park on the banks of the river there. That could be a good place to relax for a few days, sometime.
Coleambally village had an old irrigation channel digger on display – large beastie.
Then we were back on the Newell again, after our friend visiting detour of yesterday.
We stopped at Jerilderie for a break, by a very attractive area of park land by a lake. Part of it was a War Memorial and contained military memorabilia, like a tank.
Military memorabilia at Jerilderie
There was a stylized windmill sort of structure in the distance. From the number of caravans moving in and out and pulled up there, it was obviously a well-known rest area.
Lake and rest area
This was a very handy area for a walk, toilet stop and dog ball throw – which we did on a grassed area over the road from the parklands.
I would really prefer just to lie here and look at it…
Not a great success – there were burrs or prickles in the grass, judging by a high-stepping dog. Really, all she wanted to do was head for, and probably get into, the lake. No way….
That’s as wet as dog is going to get…
Jerilderie appeared a very pleasant town. Next time we were on the Newell we should consider staying a night or two here.
Continued on, with occasional clouds starting to appear in the sky ahead.
Do we need to be concerned?
In our travels on the Newell, over the past few days, had noticed a surprising number of trucks carrying new caravans northwards.
Drove through Finley without stopping, but noted there was a caravan park, by a lake, that could also be good for a stay.
South of Finley there was an ominous build up of dark cloud ahead. Guess we were heading for Victoria!
Victoria up ahead!
At 1pm, crossed back into our home State, at Tocumwal. As soon as we were across the Murray River, it started to rain – heavily.
As we approached Numurkah, the GPS directed us to turn right. That put us on to the road to Nathalia. Initially we thought this might be some sort of bypass route around Shepparton, but no, the lady definitely wanted us to go to Nathalia. We didn’t. Eventually were able to turn around and go back to the highway. The reason for that directing remains a mystery. We are not giving up on paper maps any time soon.
Drove through central Shepparton – there was no alternative – to the Lake Victoria Caravan Park. The way into this caravan park is not all that easy to find, tucked in as it is by a servo.
This area had obviously recently had some heavy rain – much heavier than we’d driven through – as there was water lying about everywhere.
Our en-suite site cost $37.80, after discount. After booking in at the office, I walked to the site, with John trundling Bus along behind me and the dog barking her head off in there, because I wasn’t inside. I had to dodge great pools of water. We would have to keep a tight lead on Couey if we didn’t want a wet dog to worry about.
We had to unhitch the car before backing into place.
There was a very attractive outlook over a large grassed area, towards the lake/river.
Back in 2001 we’d stayed a few days at this park, when we came up from Melbourne for a family wedding. I remembered the lake as being a fair-sized, open body of water, and was surprised to now find it more a series of ponds with large areas of reed banks. Wasn’t sure if my memory was faulty or if it really had changed that much.
It was fairly chilly and damp, but I managed to take Couey for a couple of walks around the park and along a good path by the lake. Of course, she spent a lot of time straining at the lead in an attempt to go get her feet – and more – wet.
It was a cold night. Yes – we were definitely back in Victoria.