We have spent the last 2 weeks slowly making our way towards Melbourne along the Murray river. In one day we visited three states, from Remark in South Australia we drove to Mildura in Victoria and then we stayed across the river at Buronga caravan park in New South Wales. We parked up here for a couple of days which had great facilities such as, tennis courts, BMX tracks, farm animals and a car and boat wash. It was only a 10 minute walk across the bridge to Mildura, a country town with plenty to offer. With major stores, we could stock up and have a look around, it also had heaps of cafes, bars and restaurants. We went out to the Mildura Brewery to celebrate being together for 3 years where we enjoyed the locally brewed beer and cider along with massive beef and chicken burgers with chips for $12.50.
A beautiful sunny day we spent cruising down the Murray river on the 107 year old paddle steamer, P.S Melbourne. We could watch the engine, fuelled by a wood fire to make the paddles go around. We also experienced our first time going through a lock, which is an area in the river you are then raised up to the higher or lower level by the lock bridge filling up or removing water.
We left Mildura late Saturday morning after making the most of the car/ van wash facilities and we headed off to a small farming town called Nyah. We found on Wiki Camps they had a football oval that was free to camp with toilets and water but no power. Being a Saturday the footy oval had the local league team playing so we parked up and sat around the boundary to watch the game.
Sunday morning, we left there for Echuca. We checked in at the Merrool caravan park on the other side of the river in NSW which we found on Wiki camps and booked in for the week. It was the cheapest accommodation we have had working out to be $14.30 a night for power, water, kitchen facilities and free Wi-Fi! We also found on wiki that there was a pick your own strawberry farm that was only open on weekends, so that Sunday afternoon we spent eating and picking our own strawberries. It was a bonus they were having buy one get one free! So, we bought a 1k bucket and got another 1k bucket for free. The man that owned and operated the PYO strawberry farm was lovely and we had a good yarn to him while we were there. It was a great way to be welcomed into Echuca by the friendly local.
We spent a lot of the week exploring the area by bike. Echuca had a lot of walking and bike trails. Our favourite was a mountain bike track in Moama, a 7km ride from our caravan park once getting to the track it was a 5 km loop filled with jumps, wall rides and a skills section with logs and manmade north shore sections.
We only dined out once in Echuca at the Shamrock hotel that had 101 varieties of a chicken parmigiana. We went on the Parma and pot for $15 night staying on the safe side we both just got a traditional Parma.
On another day, we visited nearby town Rochester which you may have heard recently on the news about the Murray Goulburn diary factory shutting after many years of operation. The recent news is a shame, being a beautiful small town filled with cottage houses it will be sad to see the result of the factory shutting down with many locals left without work.
We were told by a local to visit the Murray river on the NSW side known as the “Narrows” as we were on our way we came across a public Forrest to collect free fire wood, we stocked up on fire wood and spent the rest of the day having lunch and fishing along the Murray.
Our last day In Echuca we went to see the biggest beer can collection in Australia with over 18,000 beer cans from all over the world there was plenty to see here, he had been collecting beer/soft drink cans for 41 years since he was 18, also in the collection was beer merch like hats, key rings, bottle openers, stickers and clothing he had everything.
The week soon flew by and our 7 nights was up, it was time to move towards Melbourne. Something else very exciting/ emotional/crazy/ happened this week but…. that news will be in one of my future blog. Thanks for reading 🙂