We were woken at 6.30 this morning by a very loud siren either in or very close to the caravan park. We quickly dressed and rushed outside. There was no hive of activity, in fact no-one else had even bothered to poke their head out of their doors. So we almost felt cheated. A check on the emergency services website did reveal that there was a fire reported on the Western Highway in Nhill.
Now we were up, it was time for showers, breakfast and getting ready to leave. The weather was quite fine, and I actually spent the entire day in tee-shirt and jeans.
Once back on the Western Highway however, the drizzle started and remained with us almost all day. Driving through Nhill before 9.00 am on a Sunday was quite different to the bustling town we had seen yesterday. No shops open and nobody around anywhere.
We actually headed back along the highway to Dimboola, where we turned off on the Borung Highway (C234) towards Warracknabeal. Travelling along C class highways isn’t usually an issue for us but road conditions this morning were pretty terrible and we had to drop our speed accordingly. The constant drizzle didn’t help much either. Driving through Warracknabeal we noted that the town’s claim to fame is being the birthplace of Nick Cave!
Ordinarily we would have had a walk around town but the drizzle and the fact that again nothing much was open meant we stayed on the road and kept driving. From Warracknabeal we changed to the Henty Highway (B200) and immediately felt the improvement in road conditions.
Morning coffee was at the Brim Redda’s Park (V598). We were here in 2011 and noted that local community groups were doing a lot of work here, and it shows. This is a great community space with plenty of room for camping with powered sites available for $10 per night on an honesty system. There is a basic but clean amenities block with showers, play equipment for children, a nice looking beach along the river, plenty of tables and chairs, and lots of room for walking, playing, and so on. We had coffee in Bertha then put on our jackets and went for a walk before continuing on our way North.
Passing through Beulah, Hopetoun and Lascelles we eventually stopped at Turriff on the Sunraysia Highway for lunch. This is a very small spot on the map with highlights being a Pioneers Memorial and a new CFA shed.
After lunch we continued up the Sunraysia Highway until it became the Calder Highway (A79) some 10 kms before Ouyen.
We actually stayed at Ouyen several years ago so we turned off the highway to have a look around town. It was still raining enough to make a walk unpleasant and almost nothing was open so, after cruising around town, we continued back up the Calder to Mildura. We stopped at Irymple just before Mildura for fuel.
Mildura is one of our favourite places and we have been here several times so we headed off to one of our favourite caravan parks just over the river at Buronga where we set up camp for the night. Fortunately the drizzle had stopped so we were able to have a good walk around the park. Every time we come here there are changes and this park just gets better and better. The owners just keep improving the gardens and facilities all the time. It really is a beautiful park with million dollar views across the river.
Overall, despite the wet weather and some bad road conditions, we have travelled further than we had perhaps thought, and hope that we have missed out on most of the storms in the region. Mildura has apparently had good rains of around 20 mm, and no-one is complaining at all. There is apparently more rain on the way so we will have to make a stay or go decision tomorrow morning based on the weather report in the morning.
At this time, the rain has stopped, it is quite warm and we have a great site in the park. Life is good.