Following the powerful Murray River through to the Coorong is a a favourite drive that I am compelled to repeat every few years. It never ceases to bring me calmness and happiness. The towns and roadside stops vary from cute, to beautiful to downright shabby but they all have character. We drove from Melbourne to Mildura in one day as our time was again limited and I wanted to spend as much time as possible following the river.
We arrived tired but keen to check out Mildura, staying at Kar-Rama Motor Inn. Heheh. It looks pretty flash eh? Don’t be fooled. It was functional but rather lacked luxury or ambiance. The pool and poolside looked good but no one was utilising the space even though it was hot and the pool water was warm. The plus side – the rooms did have a toaster, microwave and kettle, so I can’t complain too much.
The river was well up and moving fast. Fascinating and frightening. The power of such a mammoth body of water is awesome. Houseboats are abundant along the banks and provide quite a community spirit, if not a wee bit too much noise. I felt the urge to jump aboard and chug along. Maybe another trip!
From Mildura we made our way to Waikeri via Berri. The Big Orange forced me to pull over. Yay! Another iconic ‘Big Aussie Thing.’ Pity it was closed.
The rubbish bins are super cute
It was dreadfully hot. The old Pajero was performing well until we stopped for lunch at Berri. After a nice break sitting on a grassy slope overlooking the river we jumped back in the old girl and ‘bang’ the air conditioner was no longer. It was HOT. We melted. Windows down, sun roof open, we hoped we could find a friendly South Australian version of the RACV to help us. It was a long drive home and the weather was not going to get any cooler. With help from the lovely receptionist at the Waikerie Hotel Motel a young man was summoned to our assistance, however, to no avail. We remained airconless. Arrggh
We tried to keep a sense of humour and enjoy the beautiful drive as we headed to our next stop Meningie. Make sure you stop at Nildottie and the Len Kroehn look out. It’s a beautiful town on a beautiful part of the Murray – although where isn’t it beautiful along the Murray??
Meningie Waterfront Motel sure was waterfront. The view through the window was from the bed…the room didn’t fit anything much more than the bed, take only small suitcases or leave them in the car, but the view certainly made up for the lack of space. The hotel is in desperate need of a face lift, and the restaurant ran out of food, but the Meningie pub offered a reasonable feed.
Meningie is an interesting place with beautiful scenery. A place that tourism has managed to avoid. It really was quite beautiful. Just minimal in comfort, food options and accomodation.
Meningie waterfront was quite breathtaking.
Especially at sunset.
The Coorong has always been a place i feel drawn to. For many years it was dry everytime I passed. This time we were amazed at the amount of water. And wild life.
We had to get a snap of the giant lobster at Kingston to satisfy my on going love of BIG Aussie things. He was under repair but looking very fierce. Kingston also has a very cool pier. I love piers.
The rest of the trip took us inland to our last stop before the long drive home to Melbourne. We passed row upon row of lush green vines on our way to Coonawarra where we spent a comfortable and cool night. The lack of air conditioning and heat finally got the better of us and I have to admit, we had a quick dinner in the motel restaurant and retired early to a clean bed and cool room. This is a great route to follow and I will do it again. It was a short trip. The area deserves more time. Cheers!