2011 Christmas Vacation – Day 11

After 1,700 km’s of heading south, today we turn east and leave South Australia behind us.  But not before the GPS leads us through a nice drive of the secondary highways, cutting through rolling hills and small farming hamlets.

The scenery changes from open scrub to fields of golden wheat, irrigated by a giant pipeline pumping precious water from the Murray River some distance away.  Gradually, wheat fields give way to hillsides planted with grape vines as we pass vineyards and wineries proudly marked with names familiar from labels on bottles past consumed.

Our travel takes us through a town called Morgan, where we decide to stop for lunch, and we drive off the highway to the Lions Park as indicated by a roadside sign.  The park is set elevated along the Murray River and the town itself is split in two by the great waterway.  Oddly, no bridge joins the two halves, but rather a ferry plies it’s trade 24/7 carrying cars and trucks across the river.

The town is beautiful, and would make a great holiday destination for a nice break from the stresses of City life.  A Caravan Park lies along the river, but House Boats seems to be the preferred vacation accommodation, with hundreds parked up along the shoreline.  We enjoy a nice picnic lunch in the park, while the boys expend some pent up energy goofing around in the playground area, and kicking the soccer ball around.  I decide to hit the local cafe for a couple of coffees, and we pull out glad to have found another quaint little town along the way.

Back on the Sturt Highway and we don’t travel very far at all when the GPS strangely tells us to exit ahead.  We decide to heed the advice, perhaps there’s a short cut we didn’t see on the map.  The road winds around some farms and into another small town called Cadell.  All of a sudden the road comes to an end at the river, and across the water we see a ferry slowly moving toward us.  An unexpected detour, and we get to add a ferry ride to our list of things done on this trip.  The short journey adds a bit of fun to the drive, and we pull off on the south side of the Murray river.

As we get closer to the Sunrasia region of the Murray River, open fields give way to orchards of citrus, with grape vines still dominating the hill sides where the local varietals thrive.

Eventually we cross into Victorian territory, and finally pull into Mildura with a 30 minute tine change from South Australia.  We all settle into the motel for the evening before Jeri and I head off to pick up some supplies and a little dinner for us all.  Tomorrow marks our drive into Melbourne.

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