Back on the Mainland – Part 4

16th March, 2018.

With our fridge now fixed, we had no plan for our couple of days in Mildura so we decided to drive to Wentworth as we had not been there before. Along the way, we drove in to the camping areas at Merbein Common thinking it may be a good place to camp sometime but there really was not a lot of room and the tracks were badly rutted in places. Not somewhere to inspire us. We continued on and spent some time looking around Wentworth.

The town’s main claim to fame is that it is situated at the confluence of the Darling and the Murray Rivers, important river systems in this country. There is a lovely park overlooking the spot where the rivers merge. The Darling on the left and the Murray on the right.

We decided to make the return trip into a loop along a road we haven’t travelled before and found ourselves back in Mildura at lunchtime. The last time we were in Mildura, almost 6 years ago, we had a wonderful dinner at Stefano’s Restaurant and had thought we would go there again. Stefano De Pieri, is an Italian born chef who migrated to Australia in 1974 and later moved to the Mildura area. Some years ago he had a cooking program on the ABC and Erich was quite impressed by him. He certainly has gone from strength to strength in the last 6 years and now has 4 different eateries in the city. At lunch time, our only choice was his cafe and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Next time we return to Mildura we will make sure our timing is right to try out both his Bistro and Spanish Grill.

17th March, 2018.

A beautiful morning at the Winery but it was time for us to move on.

We found a good spot at Lake Benanee just off the Sturt Highway. Unfortuntely, the weather deteriorated and the wind picked up considerably sending clouds of sand through everything, but it did make for some interesting photos.

A White-breasted Woodswallow with lunch.

Striking feather patterns on this Common Starling.

A stunning evening sky.

A White-plumed Honeyeater.

A House Sparrow.

A Yellow Rosella.

A magical sky.

18th March, 2018.

Next day, the weather hadn’t improved and the wind was whipping up dust storms all around us so we set off for out next destination intending to stop somewhere if the wind became too bad. As it happened, the wind was not too bad and we made it to the camp site in Hay but it was really not very pleasant with more dust storms swirling through the camping area.

The evening sky did provide some interest though.

19th March, 2018.

We were heading in the general direction of Wagga Wagga where we will attend the Stone the Crows Festival over Easter but we had plenty of time and decided to make a detour north to check out another Art Silo in Weethalle. Unfortunately, our timing was not so good and the light made it difficult to capture all the detail in the paintings.

An appealing name for a cafe? The food was simple but quite good.

We continued east to West Wyalong and then headed south-east to Temora where we had camped a few years ago at the Showgrounds. I had read much about the new campground provided right in town adjacent to the historic railway station so we decided to head there for the night. It certainly was not what I was expecting – basically a car park but it would do for a night.

More silos begging to be painted.

20th March, 2018.

Our Art Silo trek finished for the time being, we headed further south-east over winding country roads to Jugiong, located just off the Hume Highway. But first there was time for a couple of photos of the railway station in the early morning light.

The camping area at Jugiong is huge and we were able to find a spot along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River well away from other campers. There were hundreds of very noisy Little Corellas in the trees lining the riverbank.

21st March, 2018.

Jugiong is a very small village with just a few businesses which are walking distance from the camping ground. This Catholic Church stands in a commanding position overlooking the area.

There were a few old buildings dating from early days.

The beautifully restored Sir George Hotel, dating from 1845, looked the perfect spot for lunch.

We shared the Ploughmans Lunch with a couple of beers.

The rest of the day was spent quietly around camp.

22nd March, 2018.

Another glorious day. We just love this countryside with its rolling hills and lovely trees. Even though it is so very dry, it is still stunning country. There was a signpost to a lookout leading out from Jugiong so Erich decided to drive up for a look. The following photos were taken from various vantage points along the way right to the end of the road.

Another church in Jugiong.

23rd March, 2018.

Another quiet day in Jugiong, our last here, with just a few photos from close to our campsite.

Bridge across the Murrumbidgee.

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