THURSDAY JULY 16 CHARLTON TO MILDURA 315kms
We slept late – till 9am! It was so quiet.
Last night had not been as cold as I’d feared. A slight breeze got up and prevented ice from forming on the vehicles. But it was still bloody cold…
Before we left, I thanked Phil and praised the town’s work.
Fuelled at the local Caltex servo – $1.389cpl – then left town, heading for Mildura.
Around midday, we stopped at Lake Tyrrell Lookout, a bit north of Sea Lake. This was accessed down a short side road from the highway, and there was adequate room to turn the rig at the road’s end. There was a picnic area near the end of the road, but no facilities.
Plenty of turning room
The lake is Victoria’s largest salt lake, most often dry. Salt is harvested here. The lake looked as though there may have been some shallow water on the surface, but as is often the case with salt lakes, it was hard to tell from the distance.
Couey had fun running up and down the wooden ramps to the lookout platform, and around the base of the structure – doggy maze.
On the way again, we were passing through the wheat growing Mallee country of NW Victoria. There were vast paddocks and wheat at various stages of growth, from just a green tinge, to maybe a foot high.
The ubiquitous silos that mark small towns in our rural areas, or even just denote railway sidings, were so typical of the region. Because of the flatness of the area, they can be seen from far away, and mark the next point of possible interest along the flat, straight roads.
Grain silos in the distance
On some roadside areas there were stands of mallee gums, decked out in creamy flowers.
We passed a surprising number of vans and rigs heading south on the Calder. At this time of year, I’d have thought the preferred destinations were north. Late returnees from school holidays?
Stopped at the rest area at Ouyen to eat the sandwiches I’d made this morning.
There seemed to now be some campground type power posts there – maybe it is now a free or cheap camp area? More and more little towns are recognizing the value of attracting travellers – even on an overnight stay, money is spent in the town. A vanner pulled in after us and asked if it was a free camp area – we didn’t know. I did notice a motorhome parked across the other side of the adjacent oval though. There was a small caravan park next door to the rest area, so maybe it is not very politic to have a free camp area next door?
After Ouyen, travelled through some of the Hattah Kulkyne National Park – mallee scrub country. Some years ago, when staying at Mildura, we would drive down into this park on day trips. One memorable picnic lunch was by a small, drying lake ringed with dead fish, where we had to battle with white winged choughs for our sandwiches.
Fuelled up at the Uniting servo on the approach to Mildura – good access here for our rig. $1.347cpl.
I had pre-booked us into an en-suite site at the Golden River Caravan Park. Was almost 3pm when we arrived. The wonderful, helpful man who checked us in said that we could angle the rig across two en-suite sites so we could stay hitched up – and he wouldn’t book out the second site. Cost us $36 after discount. The bathroom was clean and quite adequate.
Did a minimal set up, then took Couey for a walk. One reason for choosing this park was its location right beside the Murray River. The river levee was at the rear of the park, so there was only a short track from the park edge to the riverside walking track.
Dog could free range as we walked along the track. It was obvious that, as usual, what she really wanted was to try getting into the river, but we managed to keep calling her back.
Riverside walking path
The walk was really pleasant. We did not go too far, then retraced our steps.
Late afternoon by the Murray
The river seemed to be at a fairly high level. Of course, in this irrigation area, levels are artificially maintained by weirs.
After all that exercise, sat out in the sun and had a beer. Sun! Any warmth from it was more illusion than reality, but it felt good. Palm trees growing around the pool area helped the warmth impression along.
Golden River park
We would definitely return to this park. Loved that it was by the river and away from the traffic noise of the parks in the town.
For tea, John had a chicken maryland and some coleslaw – all left over from last night. I had a cup of soup from a packet, and a salad.
Watched Master Chef on TV. I had been finding the current series of interest again, after “going off” the program for a while.
It was another cold night, but at least we’d had a fine day.