|Travelling Australia - Journal 2014
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4 March 2014
Echuca to Wangaratta
Leaving the caravan park we drove through the port precinct, nearly empty at this early hour, and through Echuca to the Murray Valley Highway. Weather was good for travelling with some high cloud, plenty of sunshine and no wind.
Traffic on the Murray Valley Highway east of Echuca was remarkably light; a few sedans and heavy transports going the other way. The road was two lanes of bitumen of variable quality, sometimes very pleasant to drive on, sometimes a bit rough.
Leaving Echuca we were driving through irrigated paddocks; these were not the orchards and vineyards common around Swan Hill but irrigated pasture. Paddocks with irrigation supply to one side had been carefully levelled for flood irrigation. Sometimes sheep or cattle were grazing on the green grass, in other paddocks the grass was harvested.
Well after the irrigated pasture, and past Nathalia, the road passes through stone-fruit orchards. The Murray Valley Highway briefly joins the Newell Highway and the Goulburn Valley Highway and the traffic level increased a little.
We turned off the Murray Valley Highway to detour to the Big Strawberry at Koonoomoo where we had morning coffee before continuing on to rejoin the Murray Valley Highway at Cobram. The whole Cobram area, extending to East Cobram, is heavily devoted to fruit orchards, with one or two vineyards looking a little out of place. There were also olive oil plantations along the road.
Continuing on through Yarrawonga we turned off the Murray Valley Highway to go directly to Wangaratta, our destination for the day. This road was moderately good, straight but never completely flat, passing through open and lightly timbered grazing/cropping country.
Wangaratta is a large and busy rural centre and the GPS was invaluable in making our way through the shopping centre to the selected caravan park.