Mildura Weekender (Mar 2007)

Posted Posted in Trips

This long weekend (10 March – 12 March, 2007) we will again be going to Mildura. We will be staying at the River Road Caravan Park.

We will be visiting Wentworth and hope to visit most of the following attractions.

Historic Buildings

St John’s Church of England was erected in 1871 of stone and mud mortar with bricks around the edges. Owing to the fact that it was the first church to be built on the Darling, it has been classified by the National Trust. Next door to the Anglican Church is Wentworth State School, some of its buildings dating back to 1860. Also of historical interest in Darling St are the post office, the 1885 water tower (prefabricated in Scotland), the old customs officer’s house and Wentworth Courthouse (1879), a brick building with timber verandahs.

The old courthouse building, a slab cottage, is also extant. It is located in Fotherby Park, just over the Darling River Bridge. Also in the park is the dry-docked paddlesteamer Ruby, near the junction of the Darling River and Tuckers Creek. One of the last steamboats engaged in the passenger and cargo trade, it is currently being restored and will be moved to a position alongside the new wharf.

The statue in the park is a monument to a local legend. The inscription reads: ‘David James Jones 1901-1982. A will o’ the wisp nomadic recluse who lived for 54 years in the bushland downstream of Wentworth’. Jones was known as ‘The Possum’ because he often slept in trees. Nearby are the remnants of the old Wentworth Bridge and bits and pieces of old agricultural equipment. Also in the park is a bunya pine, the seeds of which were much sought after by the Australian Aborigines.

Aboriginal Canoe

If you cross the bridge to the southern side of Tuckers Creek and take the road to the hospital on your immediate right you can park your car and walk across to the northern bank of the Murray where there is a canoe tree – one in which a section of bark has been removed for the construction of an Aboriginal canoe. If you walk westwards along the narrow stretch of land between the two rivers towards the river junction there is a walking path through a wildlife reserve.

Wentworth Gaol

The old Wentworth Gaol is considered the best example of a small Victorian gaol in NSW. It was built from 1879-1891 of a million locally-made bricks with bluestone trim from Victoria and slate brought from Wales as ship’s ballast. It was a small but notoriously harsh prison for more serious offenders with 10 male and 2 female cells, massive 45-cm thick walls, lookout towers, a stretching rack, a whipping stool, stocks, and shackles set into a boulder in the unshaded centre of the courtyard. The gaol closed down in 1929. Today it houses the Morrison collection of antique bottles, gemstones, minerals and Australiana and a statue of Harry Nanya, his partner and their child. Harry Nanya, who died around 1880, was one of the last full-blooded, free-roaming Aborigines of the local tribe. The prison is open every day from 10-5 in Beverley St, near the intersection with Francis St, tel: (03) 5027 3337.

Wentworth Museum

On the other side of Beverley St is the Museum. Open from 10.00am – 5.00pm daily it has 3000 items including fossil remnants found at Perry Sandhills of extinct Australian megafauna, including the diprotodon (a sort of giant wombat) and a giant kangaroo. There are also replicas of some of these animals situated in a diorama. The museum also has an unusual redgum tree trunk. When it was cut down in 1971 it was found that the tree had grown around and entirely engulfed another tree stump which had been felled with an axe. The inner tree has been dated at 200 years. There is also an enormous mural, several pieces of locally-found space junk from satellites dating back to the 1960s and some interesting and antiquated machinery, including an example of the world’s first outboard motor.

Monument to a Tractor

There is a monument to the Ferguson tractor at the corner of Adelaide and Adams Sts. This is probably the only monument to a tractor in Australia. It commemorates the saving of the town in 1956. During that year the floods rose to a point where the entire town was threatened. The locals, with the help of about 35 Ferguson tractors, worked day and night for months to build levee banks. It is widely accepted that these levee banks saved the town.

War Memorial

The town hall wall in Adelaide St has an unusual war memorial – a wooden roll of honour made by a German internee during World War II. It is fashioned into a book with leaves that turn and a wooden bookmark.

St Ignatius High School

St Ignatius High School, restored by the National Trust, is situated on the northern bank of the Murray at the corner of Short and Cadell Sts. Opened in 1911 it was run by the Sisters of Mercy until it became a kindergarten in 1925. Further west along Cadell St is a nunnery built by Wentworth’s first mayor, William Gunn, in 1892.

William Gunn also built what is the oldest-surviving private residence in the district, Rendelsham House, which dates back to 1868. Located on the corner of the Silver City Highway and Adams St it is now privately owned and, so, can only be viewed from outside.

Junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers

Those wishing to have a good look at the river junction can access a viewing tower at Junction Park. Turn left off Cadell St as you head west and turn into Alice St, following it to the riverbank. It was here that former prime minister Bob Hawke launched his Environmental Statement Policy by planting ten red gums as part of his billion-tree program – a major replanting effort intended to replace the millions that had been cut down since European arrival.

Lock Number 10 and Weir

To see Lock Number 10 and Weir (built in 1929) go all the way to the end of Cadell St where there is also a boat ramp. Opposite is the cemetery. The river system is ideal for power boating, fishing, rowing, waterskiing and houseboats (available for hire locally ).

You can take a first-hand look at the features of the river system by taking a two-hour cruise on the MV Loyalty, built at Goolwa in 1914. It is the oldest propellor-driven riverboat operating in Australia today, The Loyalty was used as a milk boat until it became a passenger vehicle in the 1950s, tel: (03) 5027 3330 or 019-331192. It departs at 1.45 every day bar Saturday from the rear of the Wentworth Services Club car park off Darling St.

Dareton

If you cross the bridge over Tuckers Creek and follow the Silver City Highway east for 12 km you will come to the small township of Dareton. It is well worth stopping to have a look at Tulklana Kumbi Aboriginal Galleries at 33 Neilpo St, where there is a guided tour of the premises, tel: (03) 5027 4691.

About 6 km east of Dareton along the Silver City Highway, to your left, is the Stanley Wine Company, open for inspections and wine tastings every day until 4 pm, tel: (03) 5023 4341.

Orange World and Australian Inland Botanical Gardens

Almost directly opposite is Orange World where you can take a tractor train tour through their orange, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and avocado orchards. It then returns to their packing centre and nursery where there is an informative talk about how to grow citrus at home, how to test fruit in the shops and a look at their own processing procedures. The tour takes about an hour and operates twice daily every day but Saturday. For further information phone (03) 5023 5197.

Orange World is situated on the corner of the highway and River Rd. Turn into the latter and it will lead you to the Australian Inland Botanical Gardens (well signposted), open from 10-4 every day except Saturday. Return to the highway and follow it to the small township of Buronga. From here head east along the Sturt Highway.

Gol Gol

A few kilometres will bring you to Gol Gol. There is a walking track on the right that follows the river to Drings Hill where there is an ancient Aboriginal midden. You can also take a tour of the yabbie farm at Gol Gol Fisheries (Carramar Drive, tel: 03-5024 8613). There is a hatchery, yabbie fishing in season, yabbie races, cooked yabbies, free train rides, refreshments and barbeque facilities. Another 6 km along the highway (towards Euston and Robinvale) is Trentham Estate Winery and Restaurant at Trentham Cliffs, tel: (03) 5024 8888

Photo Album

Mildura Weekender (Sep 2006)

Posted Posted in Trips

This weekend (16 & 17 September, 2006) we went for a quick trip over to Mildura. We stayed at the Calder Caravan Park. On Saturday afternoon we took the 70 kilometre 4WD self-drive tour around the Mungo National Park. The Mungo NP is approximately 110 kilometres from Mildura.

Day 1: 16 Sep 2006

We were up and prepared by 8.00am. Our friends, Jim & Raelene came with us on this trip. The weather was absolutely perfect. We fuelled up at Renmark and drove on to Mildura arriving around 11.00am. We settled into the Calder Caravan Park and had some lunch. Around 12.30pm we left Mildura for the drive to Mungo National Park.

The first 20 kilometres was on bitumen road, the remainder was unsealed and varied from very good condition to poor condition. We negotiated the unsealed road at around 80 km/hr and arrived at the Mungo NP Visitor Centre around 2.00pm. We paid our entry fee and then undertook the 70 kilometres self drive tour of the park. By the time we had completed the tour it was about 4.45pm and by the time we returned to Mildura it was approximately 6.30pm.

We had a quick change and then went out for dinner at the Mildura Gateway Tavern which was just down the road from the Calder Caravan Park where we were staying.

Day 2: 17 Sep 2006

After an exhausting day yesterday, we were up and ready to go by 8.30am having had showers and breakfast. We left our rig on the side of the road and went with our friends, Jim & Raelene to Woodsies Gem Shop were the girls did a lot of window shopping.

We then drove a little further on to Red Cliffs and had a look at “Tin Lizzie”.

We returned to the main shopping centre at 10.30am where the girls went off for some further retail therapy while Jim and I bought a Sunday paper to read. At 12.00pm we went to the Mildura Gateway Tavern for their $10 Carvery for lunch. Having finished lunch we left for home at 1.30pm, arriving home at 3.30pm.

Accommodation

We stayed at the Calder Caravan Park. The park was quite small in comparison to other nearby parks. It was however very well maintained. Our overnight site fee for a powered site was $28.50. We would recommend this park to others.

Fuel Consumption

The total distance travelled was 594 kilometres and we consumed 99.9 litres on unleaded petrol. On Saturday our fuel consumption was 14.87 litres/100kms. This included a significant number of kilometres not towing and driving to and from Mungo NP (approx 270kms). On Sunday returning home (into a headwind) our fuel consumption was 21.67 litres/100kms. Our average speed whilst towing was 80-85 km/hr.

Photo Album – Mungo National Park

Below are photos of our visit to the Mungo National Park.

 

Photo Album – Calder Caravan Park

Below are photos of Calder Caravan Park (where we stayed).

 

Photo Album – Tin Lizzie

Below are photos of Tin Lizzie.