|Travelling Australia - Journal 2010|
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|16 March 2010 - nr Rutherglen to Deniliquin|
We left the camping area at the Police Paddocks in a convoy of three vehicles bound for a caravan club gathering in Deniliquin. Crossing the Murray River into New South Wales we joined the Riverina Highway north of Corowa. Traffic was very light, weather good for travelling and the road surface fairly good.
The road runs across flat, open land devoted to cropping and grazing. We passed cattle and sheep grazing as well as many round bales of hay wrapped in plastic sheeting lying in paddocks. Many properties had installed elevated grain storage bins since changes in grain marketing in Australia gave growers an incentive to store grain on their property and sell at a time of their choosing. Collections of storage bins around farmhouses and sheds have become common. After the recent rains the dams visible from the road were all full to overflowing and the roadside drains were also full to overflowing and showing no signs of drying although it now a week since the rain.
Eucalyptus trees were widespread along the roadside, along paddock boundaries and sometimes on paddocks. As we made our way westward eucalyptus were joined by stands of cypress; this tree is very common along the western slopes of the Great Divide in New South Wales.
The Riverina Highway passed through the township of Berrigan then Finley on the Newell Highway. The terrain was flatter around these two towns; many paddocks have been prepared for irrigation but lack of water for several years means few irrigated crops have been grown. By the time we reached Finley we were in a traditional rice-growing area but lack of water has severely curtailed that crop; we did pass one rice crop but that was unusual. The rice store at Blighty, 37 kilometres east of Deniliquin, is no longer operating; a rice store is a distinctive building identifiable by the atmospheric control fan units on the ground along the outer wall.
At the Deniliquin caravan park where the caravan club gathering was to be held we checked in and had our names ticked off then set up on a large, flat, well-grassed site on the river side of the flood levee. In the evening we had a presentation from the Information Centre detailed the attractions of Deniliquin.