The 2006-07 fires wiped out 1 million hectares over 69 days. Seven years later the white remains of trees continue to add an eerie atmosphere.
Bright in the Autumn is so beautiful. There is also a wonderful rail trail for bikes, but as I injured my foot with the levelling bar while unhitching the van, we were limited to sight seeing by car. Old tobacco kilns scattered through the landscape tell of its past history as a major tobacco growing area. Now its known for its abundant orchards and nut farms.
Easter in Bendigo is a must. Carnivals, Chinese dragons, Scottish bagpipe band, kilts and all…. yes there is a story to that, which you will need to visit the Chinese museum to read about. Then there is the art gallery and don’t forget to visit the book store ‘Book This’ my most favourite place of all. The caravan parks were booked out but we managed to get a spot with power and water at the Bendgo Show grounds. The down side was that they had just had a gymkhana of some kind. The horses had all gone but their memories remained in one very BIG pile right next to the camp area. The flies were plentiful. However, on a positive note, we were able to walk over to the Sunday market held in the showgrounds..
Such a wonderful place. The lake looks quite eerie with all the dead trees. There are about 20 other campers, some are here for a few weeks, some come every year and catch up with family and friends. Lots have little fishing boats mored on the bank of the lake. It has been raining for a few days so the ground is wet but every one has a camp fire which makes the evenings just wonderful. The glow of camp fires in the evenings and distant chatter of people is very relaxing and I wish we could stay for longer.
We came to Echuca to escape the rain, didn’t want to get bogged in Yanga National Park as the road out was a dirt track and the locals warned us about other caravans getting caught for several days until the track dried out. So we headed to the Holden Museum, and did all the usual touristy things in Echuca. The caravan park was very crowded and noisy which made us miss the bush camping
The Mamanga Camp site is on the Murrumbidgee river. The carp are plentiful and we caught three which was fun as they are good fighters.
The river bank was very steep and we tied a rope to the caravan down to the river bank as a way to pull ourselves up after the many times our fishing lines got caught on the bank. It was a peaceful spot, quite a few other campers around but lots of space between us. On the other side of the river bend was a designated camping site for tents. Could easily have got our van into some of the spots but not quite as spacious.
Mungo National Park is a two and a half hour drive from Mildura. The roads in are dirt and closed in the wet season. We were glad to have left the van at Buronga/Mildura as even though it was dry, the roads were not suitable for our large on road van, perhaps a smaller off road van would have done it.
This is an amazing place, if you have never been, go visit. We are grateful to our friend Dennis for telling us about it.