Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Monday 19th April 2004 to Wednesday 21th April 2004

Monday 19th April 2004

Monday 19th April 2004, a day to remember! 'One of us' has had a dream for so long about traveling on the Murray River on an old steam driven paddle steamer - today that dream came true! and there was no disappointment with the experience.

First we drove down into the town to have a look at the shops and see what facilities were available in Echuca. After a short drive and a brief walk in one of the streets, there was no doubt that anything one could want was available in Echuca. We then drove over the bridge into New South Wales and Moama before returning to the Caravan Park and lodging the Patrol for the rest of the day.

We then walked down to the Port where we boarded the Paddle Steamer Canberra for a journey down the mighty Murray River. The Canberra was not alone on the river and the vision of all the other paddle steamers plying the river made a spectacular sight. One that we took many photographs of over the course of the time we had on the river. This trip included a commentary on the numerous other paddle steamers on the river, including the PS Pevensey which was the steamer 'Philadelphia' in the television series 'All The Rivers Run'.

We enjoyed the journey down the river for about half an hour or so before being delivered to the landing of the 'Morrisons Winery and Restaurant' which was on the New South Wales side of the river. We strolled up to the restaurant where we were provided with samples of their range of both white and red wines before being seated at a table overlooking the river and large river gum trees. After a difficult time choosing our meal from the menu, we each enjoyed a sumptuous meal that was as good as we have had in any restaurant since we left WA in December. This meal was assisted by a good quality wine and rather tasty sweets for 'one of us' (the other one enjoyed cheese and crackers).

While at the restaurant we watched one of the staff feed some kookaburras that flew in and landed on his arm before being given a healthy chunk of good steak to devour. At the end of two hours of utter gluttony, we walked back to the river and were picked up by the PS Canberra again at 2:30pm for the half hour journey back to Echuca Port and the short walk to the caravan.

'One of us' says this is a day she had dreamed of for so long and it was even better than she had expected. The 'other one' just says it was a great day and well worth the $34 paddle streamer trip and $84 lunch that included a bottle of red and a glass of white (one of us did consume some of the red, the other one finished it off.). We did buy some bottle of wine to bring back to Western Australia for gifts (if they last that long!)


Paddle Steamer Canberra

Paddle Steamer Pevensey

Tuesday 20th April 2004

Today was a quieter day after our over indulgence in food and wine yesterday at the winery and the high 'one of us' was on due to the long awaited paddle steamer trip. Although up at a reasonable hour (for us anyway) we didn't hurry and finally drove into Echuca, then re-visited Moama for a better look around before retuning to Coles Liquorland in Echuca to prepare for the forthcoming visit of Travis and Lana.

We then returned to the caravan park with a very fresh crusty loaf of bread and a couple of cream donuts for lunch, which 'one of us' could not resist. After lunch we decided we should fill the Patrol up with fuel so out we went again and found the Shell Service Station that gave 4 cents per litre off any fuel purchased if you have a Coles docket worth thirty dollars or more. The normal retail price showing was 98.9 cpl and with our purchase of 50 litres of fuel we saved a whole two dollars. (wouldn't want to drive very far to make that saving).

On the way back to the caravan park we stopped at the National Holden Museum as we figured that Son-in-Law Lee would not forgive us if we didn't get a few photographs of some of the Holdens stored in there. The museum was well worth the six dollar entry fee, particularly if you have any affinity with the Holden motor car, however when you look at some of these old cars and realise that at one stage in your life they were the new standard in motoring, it tends to make us feel as though we are getting old. Particularly when the memories of some of the things we got up to in these vehicles start flooding back.

After the Holden museum we wandered into a gift shop and had a bit more of a look around the town before returning to the caravan park for the night. Tomorrow should see us traveling east and possibly making an overnight stop in the vicinity Albury.

Holden FX - First model produced

1,000,000 Holden produced in 1962 (EJ)

Wednesday 21st April 2004

After a walk along the river last night to say farewell to the steam driven paddle boats and the Murray River, we settled for our last night in Victoria.

This morning we packed up and set off on our way by about 9:30am but delayed our departure from Echuca by taking the wrong turn. However that was soon remedied and we found ourselves on the 'Murray Valley Highway', traveling along very flat roads that consisted of many long straight stretches. This took us through Wyuna, Nathalia, Strathmerton, Yarrawanga, Bundalong and Rutherglen before turning off the highway into Woodonga where we had a drive around the town before crossing the Murray River into New South Wales.

Once we had crossed the Murray River we were in Albury, which was where we had aimed at being tonight, however as it was only just after midday, we decided to continue driving for a while. We drove through the outskirts of Albury then picked up some fuel from a very large Shell Trucking Service Centre that boasted at least twenty four fuel bowsers.

After fueling up we set off again and only traveled a short distance before 'one of us' noticed a sign showing the way to the Ettamogah Pub, so we followed the signs and were very impressed with what we found. After taking the necessary photographs and visiting the souvenir shop (and spending some money) we had our lunch then set off down the Hume Highway again.

We then traveled through Bowna, Woomar, Gama, Holbrook and Tarcutta before pulling in to Gundagai for the night. We have not disconnected the Patrol from the caravan so we have not yet had a drive around the town, but tomorrow will see a look at the town before calling in on the dog sitting on the tucker box on our way out. Tomorrow night will see us in Sutton, only about ten kilometres out of Canberra where we intend to spend the next week.

Ettamogah Pub

Gundagai South bridge