After reluctantly leaving Renmark, it was time to make our way to Mildura. The road to the border is long and straight and the countryside is mainly covered in Mallee scrub.
Of course, once we reached the border we had to stop for a ‘Border Sign’ photo.
Heading into Victoria we came across signs to Lake Culleraine and decided to stop for morning tea. The lake is a natural depression but would only fill when the Murray River was in full flood. These days it is kept full by a pipeline and pumps. It is a popular spot for boating and fishing and also home to lots of water birds.
Arriving in Mildura, we were hit with 47 degree heat – that’s hot! We headed straight to the All Seasons Holiday Park and checked in. We were given an awesome site with a lovely shady tree and our own ensuite. The rest of the afternoon we spent alternating between the pool and the fully air conditioned camp kitchen! Absolute bliss!
The next day we made the short drive over the border into New South Wales and headed to the small town of Wentworth so we could explore the Old Wentworth Gaol. Wentworth Gaol was built between 1879 and 1881 and was the first of the Australian designed gaols. It closed as a gaol in 1927 with an escape-free record.
It was then used until the late 60’s as extra rooms for the local school. Due to its historical significance, it became a major tourist attraction. It is in remarkable condition and was a very interesting place to visit. One can only wonder what the conditions were like when it was operational.
Wentworth is also the place where two of Australia’s mighty rivers meet – the Murray and the Darling. There is a lovely park right on the edge of the river and a viewing tower so you can get up high and see the junction for yourself.
Mildura itself is quite a large town and there are lots of orchards and vineyards growing very close to town. To learn a bit about the history of the town, I recommend you take a wonder around the buildings at Old Mildura Homestead, which was the site of the first European settlement in Mildura. The homestead building is a faithful replica of the original homestead, which was demolished in 1923 after falling into a bad state of repair.
Another must visit spot in Mildura is Woodsie’s Gem Shop – an amazing collection of gems, crystals and fossils. Very interesting and educational as well.
Many years ago we stopped briefly in Mildura whilst on a houseboat holiday. The riverfront wharf area has certainly undergone a lot of changes in that time! There is a water play area for the kids, lots of green grass and shady trees, and a great coffee van which was extremely busy. Always a sign of good coffee! There are also plenty of walking and riding tracks that run along the edge of the river. It was a great spot to relax and enjoy a coffee.
Mel and Brenden – All Around Oz