We had a very colourful start to our day in Mildura, but no, we didn't get any rain, just more wind.
And so our very brief sojourn to Victoria ended. Once again, no fanfare as you enter New South Wales, as you cross the Murray River from Mildura.
Our morning tea stop was at the town of Balranald, on the Murrumbidgee River.
There seems to be a push to encourage tourism. The suspension bridge in the background is new since we were last through and there are quite a few little quirky frogs around the town. Apparently there are another five to be installed shortly.
It was interesting reading the above sign about the environment and the original peoples. When you read further, they are trying to conserve the area and the endangered Southern Bell Frog, but there is a cost involved, which will affect the wealth of the town, which explains why the push for tourism.
I loved this sculpture.
And this one.
There is a brand new Visitor Centre, where I was able to buy some local organic produce and not worry about quarantine areas. We had some of the pumpkin roasted for dinner last night and it was delicious. Do you like my new friend with his jaunty scarf. The local council run caravan park also has great reviews, so they are doing something right in the town.
Across the road from the Visitor Centre there was a great shop with upcycled furniture. Really lovely stuff. We had a chuckle at their opening hours sign.
Between Balranald and Hay is very flat, but it kind of follows the river. It is a huge irrigation area, but unfortunately, too difficult to photograph. There were several large holding dams. We were intrigued by this crane which was installing a tank. You will notice that there is only the boom showing, which means the crane itself is below ground level. Mick has quite a bit of dealings with cranes and he reckoned that it would have to be at least a 100 tonne, if not 200 tonne crane by the size and length of the boom. That is quite some tank they have just placed. They don't do things by halves out this way. There was lots of cotton waste on the sides of the road, so that must be one of their main crops.
We did come across one mob on cattle on the road.
The Hay Plains just go on for ever.
Then, in the middle of no where there was a cute church.
We weren't sure where we would get to that day, as it is too far to travel home from Mildura in a day. We thought West Wyalong, but, the half way point between Mildura and home is the tiny town of Goolgowi. A quick look at Wikicamps revealed that there is a caravan park with great reviews. We might as well stay there. The reviews were right. It is council owned, and all the amenities and services are very new and well kept.
Once we were set up we went for a little walk and saw this chappy. He is a grey-crowned babbler. We also saw more Mallee Ring Necks. (Thank goodness for our bird book, as we have seen quite a few new varieties.)
There were a few old buildings. The town was founded in 1925, so not all that old. We had tea at the pub, but there is also an RSL Club that does meals from Wednesday to Sunday. When we left the following morning we discovered there are also two motels. All this for an area of only about 200 residents. The highway traffic and distance from other towns (over 100kms each way) probably helps sustain all of these.
We even found a few flowers on the side of the road (no, not from someone's garden) to put in the little orange vase I'd found at an op shop. (We buy strange souvenirs.) They looked cute on the table.
Our last day of travel was over familiar ground. However, we were looking forward to seeing a new feature in the little town of Weethalle. This was only officially opened last month. The artist has done a fabulous job. There are quite a few silos being turned into art installations. Hopefully we will see some more on our travels. When we were at Coonable in June they were just starting to paint theirs. I'm sure we will see it at some stage.
We enjoyed seeing lots of wattle in bloom. We have seen bits and pieces, but this was the first big area in bloom. It really looks a picture in amongst the bush.
There was also some canola in bloom. Way earlier than you see it in our area.
It was also nice to see some healthy looking crops.
And hills and valleys. It is great fun exploring the big sky country of Australia's interior, but I always enjoy returning to our local area and landscape.
At home we were treated to a lovely sunset, with fine weather forecast for the next few days before another cold change.
Joey was pleased to see us. As soon as Mick sat down, he was straight on his lap, purring away. He has been our little (okay, not so little) shadow since our return.
The one thing that was hard to take was yesterday morning seeing the very white frost and this morning the very white frost and fog. Aahh! The joys of a Bathurst winter, but we have had lovely days.
Now we are getting things unpacked and settling back into home life. It seems that our two holidays just weren't meant to be at the moment, but that is okay, there will be another time.