We’re not allowed to take fruit across the border into Victoria (and other states) – it’s a way to stop the spread of fruit flies. There are roadside signs to prompt you to stop and dispose of your fruit. Thankfully I only had two apples to bin.
I also had to stop at a rest area in the middle of nowhere and had my first pit-toilet experience of the trip. No plumbing here, just a bio-toilet and a water tank to wash your hands. It was remarkably clean – much different from what they were like when I was a child.
The first stop in Mildura was a cafe where I met Bridget – a follower of this blog. We had a lovely lunch and I enjoyed my first Victorian coffee. This page also contains the only sketch done in Balranald itself – just before I left.
After lunch we went to sketch the fanciest historic house in town – Rio Vista – where WB Chaffey lived. He was a Canadian Engineer and irrigation planner who was invited to come to Australia and set up an irrigation system to pump water up from the Murray and in turn develop the town of Mildura. So once again irrigation became a theme of my sketches.
Here is the full spread with another unfinished map!
Then I checked in to my lovely AirBnB which was on a vineyard in Buronga – the NSW side of the Murray.
The next morning (Saturday) I met Bridget and her mother-in-law at the farmers markets by the river on a beautiful morning!
We then went to a very eccentric gem store and cafe (called Woodsies) for an early morning tea and we shared the largest scones I have ever seen. The Lamy Joy is included in this photo for context.
Next up was one of the Chaffey’s pumping stations – pumping water from Kings Billabong.
We then had to go and sketch Big Lizzie in the nearby town of Red Cliffs. At the time she was the largest tractor in the world and was used in the area to clear mallee trees. Find out more about her here.
A lovely place to take an afternoon walk.
Grapes from my lovely hosts…