Monthly Archives: November 2013

Mildura

3/11 – 6/11/2013

My Mildura
We are now back in the place we called home for nearly 7 years so I am choosing 3 things that are quintessentially Mildura to me.
First of all there is the Murray River which is the reason I even came here in the first place – just married to Shane, the mad fisherman, and this is where his ‘heart’s home’ belongs. The river always has and always will be high on the list of attractions here – the life blood of the community past and present, paddle-steamers, skiing, speed boats, house boats and lots of fishing. Shane first brought me here to go fishing, across the tree-less Hay Plains, through the Mallee Scrub, driving 900kms so when I finally came over that old wooden bridge some 32 years ago it looked like paradise, an oasis of colour and life. The river, the trees, green parks and the palm trees that lined the streets made it something very special that first time and still does.
The Murray River at Mildura

The Murray River at Mildura

Langtree Avenue is next – the foodies centre of Mildura. Fasta Pasta was one of the first places my father-in-law took me too and it was the best Italian food I had ever had – probably the first Italian restaurant I’d dined out in. Although we do love other restaurants like the Rustic Olive, which is in Deakin Avenue, I still crave for Pizza from the Pizza Cafe. I also absolutely loved going down into the cellar at the Grand for an amazing 7 course dinner at Stefano’s – my mouth still waters remembering….mmmmmm.
Langtree Avenue - for lovers of food and wine

Langtree Avenue – for lovers of food and wine

My 3rd pick is the vines that made this place look so green and inviting. At that time there were many small vineyards, orchards and market gardeners around and although now it has changed to much bigger producers taking over the vines are still a big part of the countryside and it just wouldn’t be Mildura without them.
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Port Pirie

1/11 – 2/11/2013

Travelling through familiar territory now as we drive through South Australia, Port Augusta and head down to Port Pirie. We stayed here some years ago after a trip through to Alice Springs and nothing much has changed, which is a good thing. The caravan park is right on the waters edge of the Pirie River and a nice walk into town so we don’t even have to ‘un-hitch the wagon’. The thing we liked the most about this lovely seaside city was the fish shop SD Caputo and Sons, beautiful fresh seafood and the best smoke fish anywhere. It is just how we remembered it – clean, good products and very helpful staff – even cryovaced the smoked fish for us.
To top off our short stay here we are blessed with a spectacular sunset and sit to watch the colours change, reflecting on the water and lighting up the ranges in the distance.

Wudinna

30/10 – 31/10/2013

One last trip into the outback of South Australia. Ironically we began our trip with an off-road 4 wheel drive excursion and it seems we are ending almost the same way. Shane’s mind has not been changed – he does not enjoy 4 wheel driving at all!
First we walk up over and around Polda Rock then have a look at Mount Wundinna both are granite rocks set in the middle of wheat farming land. It’s nice to know I have climbed yet another mountain and the view is fantastic. There are so many of these granite rocks around and they form so many different shapes, sizes – all are unique. Many were used to capture water for early settlers. Around  Pildappa Rock we go and it is quite interesting as it is another wave rock in the making – probably just a million years to go but well worth a look. The colours and patterns of the lichens growing on the shaded rock surface look like intricately laced doilies spreading out over the black background in shades of pink and white.
The Gawler Rangers are next on our hit list, more granite out crops Tcharkulda Rock which also has a old ruin of a settlers cottage, and then it’s four wheel driving out to the Pipe Organ formations. They really are something special to see and as the sun is high, the sky at its bluest, the colours are true to form vivid reds, orange, black and creams against the green and grey shrubs – the brilliance of the Australian bush. We also explore the Yandinga falls but with no rain for some time the causeways are dry – what a sight it would be with water gushing down these rocks but then I doubt if we would have been able to make the road trip.
This area is quite untouched, the roads are rough and only the most inquisitive travellers make it here – I’m sure that will change in the future as more people want to see it. There are some really good campsites at Tcharkulda Rock – just something for future reference.