RED DESERT, DUNES, RIVERS AND LAKES
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
BURANGO RIVERSIDE CP $20
WEATHER: Overcast, cool, frequent showers
JOURNEY: Nyah, Robinvale, Mildura- 200kms
After deciding we would be better tackling a city rather than a national park in this weather, we passed through Robinvale, a strangely multicultural town, a centre of vegetable, olives, citrus and grape growing- almonds too we guessed as they were about to celebrate an almond blossom festival. The town was set up as a soldier resettlement village after WW2.
We had a quick look around and headed into Mildura, where after investigating free camping sites and some caravan parks, we booked ourselves into the Buronga Riverside CP, just out of Mildura for $20pn; it was one of the best caravan parks we have come across and the managers were extremely helpful and the park was very well maintained.
It was late afternoon, we were tired so we found ourselves a grassy patch by the river and put our feet up. We made use of the camp kitchen and enjoyed a good meal and snuggled up for a very cold night.
Mildura has a population of 30,000 people and a reputation for fresh produce and excellent citrus fruit and vineyards. From our brochure we learn that 95% of dried vine fruit, 75% of table grapes, 65% of almonds, 41% of pistachios and 33% of olives in Australia come from this area, along with good amounts of asparagus and carrots.
We spent a day exploring the town, especially to check out the very famous Stephano's restaurant and Bakery. We booked and cancelled the $110 degustation menu at the restaurant because you are not given any idea of the menu until you are seated. We decided to enjoy breakfast and take aways from the bakery instead -delicious!!!
MUNGO NATIONAL PARK
Kath booked herself a tour with Murraytrek tours to Mungo National park, long on her list of places to visit, especially because of the unearthing of Mungo womans bones, and records of human occupation going back 40,000 years.
Weather-wind and rain has revealed ancient fireplaces, burial places and tools and scientists fro all over the world come to marvel at the ancient history.
The Walls of China- 30kms of orange and white earth surrounded by sand dunes, where erosian has scultured the sand and clay into dramatic formations. the dried up Willandra Lakes are dotted with salt bush and heath. Remnants of the earlier sheep station remain and the old shearers shed is pretty impressive.
The tour drove 110kms out of Mildura along a very wide gravel road that was in prety good condition and we noticed regular cars making the trip in; coming back we encountered 2 Americans who skid off the road and bogged in the mud on the side. Trevor our guide stopped to pull them out; they were from California and very embarrassed. Our group advised them to give the car a good clean before returning it to the rental company.
It was a good tour but if you really wanted an aboriginal or true insight into the history of Mungo, I noticed that Harry Nanya tour guide was an aboriginal and he was really giving a lot of interesting information about his heritage and relating stories of the place.
The cloudy sky had been an intersting back drop for the photos but apparently sunset is the best time for photography- next time.
RED CLIFFS AND HATTA-KULKYNE NP
We went to inspect the campground at Hatta-Kulkyne National Park half an hours drive south of Mildura but there had been flooding in the fresh water lakes there and the road into the camping area was boggy but we had a look around watched the birdlife and admired the flooded red gums.
Red Cliffs was a small town just out of Mildura and we followed the scenic drive to Redgum Gully Boardwalk where we walked to the red cliffs on the River Murray.
We had a good day exploring the area and then went back to Mildura.