Well, after Renmark, we crossed our third state border! We trekked east and down to Werrimull Hotel, to celebrate with a mid-morning beer. Fun Fact: Werrimull is Victoria’s most outback pub. After polishing off our schooner, we continued on to Curlwaa Caravan Park, to set up for 2 nights so we could explore the surrounds. Technically we were actually just inside of NSW but we aren’t classing this as one of our border crossings. Our first stop for the day was out to the Perry Sandhills. It felt like we were back in the Simpson dessert here, all the red sand hills were magnificent. If you ever visit, look for the monster gum tree which has been buried beneath all the sand.
We then trekked back into Wentworth, to get some history lessons. Visiting both the Wentworth Pioneer Museum and the old historic Wentworth Gaol. It only cost us $13 each to visit both and have a good wander around. The gaol was a definite highlight, we’d never seen an old ‘gaol’ & it was still in amazing condition considering its age. We then drove down and had a peak at the junction of the Murray river and the Darling Downs. Before returning to camp, we swung into ‘The Big V Industries Auto Museum’ for a look around. If you have a love for cars, then it is definitely worth the $5 entry to see some absolute classics. A relatively new museum, the owner said he is always trying to improve his displays and add vehicles to the collection, where he can.
Temperatures during the day were still pretty hot and with an approaching heatwave coming (40’+ days), we made tracks to Mildura. We opted to stay at the Buronga-Riverside Caravan Park, which turned out be a great choice. It was the most dog friendly van park we had stayed at - all trip! They had a free dog bath onsite as well as a FREE dedicated washing machine to wash any pet blankets/beds etc. It was a great park with plenty on offer. Two different swimming pools, a few farm animals, it backed right onto the Murray river and was a well laid out park. There were numerous ducks and geese wandering the grounds, some would even talk back to us. After a blissful 5 night stay, we continued on our journey. We tracked south and eventually made it to Patchewollock – and saw our first silo painting! 🎨Just down the road, we found a great free camp at Lake Lascelles. A great spot for an overnight spot. The next day, we continued the drive south and checked out all the other Silo paintings on the trail.
We visited 5/6 silo’s, on the Silo Art Trail. Patchewollock, Rosebery, Brim, Sheep Hills & Rupanyup. We missed Lascelle’s on this trip. We were surprised on how relatively close they were to each other, we saw 4 of them in one day and we believe you could easily see all of them in one big day trip. So after seeing the Silo Art Trail, we cut straight east to Kooyoora State Park. We camped at the Melville Caves designated camp site for 2 nights. This was a free camp - winning. Surprisingly dogs were welcome in the state park and allowed at the campsite (on leash, of course). We trekked up to the Melville Caves at sunset, which was only a short walk from camp. Can we say, we love daylight savings! Being able to hike at 8pm after dinner and still having plenty of light was unreal. The next day we did the 6km nature walk, had some great lookouts and definitely got the heart rate up. It took us close to 3 hours, including the half an hour we spent lost and off track. Whoops.
Then following day we hitched up and headed into Bendigo. We had some brekky and general look around the town. We found some free hot showers, thanks to wikicamps! You know you lead a simple life when you get excited at free hot showers. 30km south we headed to Alexander Koala Park to camp. What a gem of a spot this was. So nice and peaceful, a free camp, plenty of shade, dogs allowed, flushing toilets and fire pits around the grounds. It was the Australia day 🇺weekend, so we just bunkered down here for a few nights, as we knew everywhere would be busy. We did venture down the road to a local swimming hole for a dip & fish. Kurt caught a few red-fin fish while we splashed about with some beers in hands. A nice chilled arvo.
After the mad rush of the long weekend was over, we headed into Maldon for 2 nights. We stayed at the Maldon Caravan Park and used this as a base while we explored the surrounds. We checked out Maldon’s old British ruins, the Mt Tarrengower lookout, the old dredge and walked along the old streets. It definitely feels like a step back in time in this place. Everyone was so helpful and inviting which made our time here more enjoyable.
Around lunch time we tracked to Castlemaine, for a squiz. We headed straight to ‘The Mill’ for lunch. The food was delicious and the customer service was exceptional. Later that afternoon we drove out to the Garfield mine to see the old Garfield Water Wheel before heading back to camp. We were edging so close to Melbourne, being only 75 minutes north. We had made plans for the coming week with I (Amz) booked to go home for the weekend to see family & friends, while Kurt agreed to baby sit Rusty and have some ‘Kurt time’ (fishing & gaming galore).
Before tracking into Melbourne to set up, we did visit ‘The Cascades’ at Coliban River and visited Turpins Falls on the journey down. We set up at the Werribee South Caravan Park for a total of 9 days. A day before Amz's flew home, we went and sat in on channel 10’s ‘The Project’ audience. Did you know, it's the only news program in the world that has a live audience. It was a great experience, plus tickets were free. I flew back to Brisbane for 4 days, Kurt tried to fish and was convinced there were no fish in the ocean. Rusty relaxed and caught up on some sleep (mind you, she’s always sleeping). When I returned we had 3 days to get ourselves ready for our next leg.... our Tassie Trip!
We did spend one full day venturing into Melbourne for a look at some of the sights. Found a few good spots, caught a tram and found a quirky bar, which we enjoyed. It was then full steam into some car maintenance and prep for our upcoming trip to Tassie. We spent an entire day cleaning the car & caravan inside and out, and oh boy did it need it. It felt so good to have everything clean and sparkly and already for our next leg to Tassie.