Thursday, 1 December 2016

Rutherglen and Riverina

I decided that we needed some essential supplies from Rutherglen (and Frances was running low on supplies from Yarrawonga).  This is not an area to visit in Summer so we fired up the camper and headed off on 29 November.

The countryside was pretty dry looking as we headed down the Hume Highway towards Gundagai.
 Getting very close to the border we noticed that someone had built a large wall.  I suspect this is not to keep out undocumented migrants from Victoria but to block noise.
 We decided that the best tactic was to go to Yarrawonga first to get the olive oil and then head back.  There was quite a bit of water standing beside the road but nothing approaching a flood.  Haymaking was going on everywhere.  Some people were making rectngular bales and stacking the high, giving a stele effect to their paddocks ....
 .. while others stayed with the (now) traditional round roll model.
 To illustrate the amount of water I offer this shot - taken by Frances - of the amount of water in the Ovens River.
 When we finally got to Rich Glen Olives the cafe was doing a lot of business.
 The website is very brief about the history of the place.  There is a sign explaining the development for a few olive trees to a processing plant with sales out of their house to opening a 'proper store and cafe', and much of what we have seen there is only a few years old.  They make good product and have a very attractive setting including this sculpture.
 The small dog was very popular with these two small people.
 When I commented to their parents that I hoped this wouldn't lead to demands for their own puppy they replied that they were dairy farmers so the kids had plenty of other animlas!

As we headed back towards Rutherglen we questioned whether this depiction of historic activities in Lake Mulawa wasn't steroetyping.
 The Lake has plenty of water in it.
When we got to Warrabilla the poster boy for Wine Dogs of Australia (Mr Bear) was lurking under a desk polishing off a bone.  At one point he noticed Tammy and came boiling over to have a conversation - in the past they have been BFFs, but bones were not evident then - but was banished back to his bed.

 After a supplementary visit to Chambers Rosewood, where Tammy had a more restrained visit with a couple of  Kelpies,  They were accompanied by owner Bill, one of the legends of Australian wine.

We moved round to the caravan park and set up on the grass.  There seemed to be quite a bit of birdlife around including this Laughing Kookaburra ...
 .. baby Pacific Black Ducks ...
 ... and Eurasian Coots.
 There was also at least one brood of Dusky Moorhens.

We circled Lake King the next morning and then checked out the nearby War Memorial.
I was quite surprised that we hadn't noticed the Leopard Tank on previous visit!  There are a good range of other memorials, including a very new black granite item inaugrated by a neighbour from Carwoola who is a retired Admiral.

We then headed headed for home, crossing the Murray at Howlong and going to hunt War Memorials in the Riverina.  The first was at Brockleby.
 This aircraft motor was nearby and commemorates an event in 1940 when two planes crashed in mid air, but the pilot managed to land them locked together.  The full story is here.
 We then carried on North to Walbundrie where the Memorial Hall also has a Roll of Honour.   Walbundrie looks to be doing it a bit tougher than the towns on the River: presumably they don't have tourism as an economic buffer.
Our final Memorial Hunt was in Rand.  The first Memorial we found was not for a War, but for a now abandoned butchers shop.  This was the block from the shop which was so big the shop was built around it!
 Here is the actuall War Memorial.
 The tree of the trip was Grevillea robusta, the Silky Oak.  Every town has these growing in parks and gardens ...
 .. and with blossom like this one would have to say "why not"?
 After a zip along a very good dirt road we got to Urana where I thought we could check out the similarly named Lake, if we could work out how to get in there.  On enquiring at the caravan park the very helpful owner explained that it was a bit tricky to get in to, but why not visit the lake in the town?  Why not indeed: right next door.

The Lake - formed by a dam on Urangeline Creek - wasn't full of waterbirds (but was full of water).  The White Ibis were very evident and apparently breeding.

 as were Pacific Black Ducks.
 Some very attractive Eucalypt blossom was evident ...
 .. and possibly explained the good number of drier country Honeyeaters seen.  A nice place and worthy of more exploration.

We then headed for home, stopping in Lockhart for a pie.  It emerged that the diesel pump in Rutherglen had shut off a bit early so the emergency supply on the camper was used to get us happily into Queanbeyan.

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