Travelling Australia - Journal 2015b
|15 April 2015
Narrandera to Port Melbourne
We left Narrandera on the Newell Highway on a clear morning bound for Port Melbourne to board the Spirit of Tasmania. Traffic on the road was remarkably light; on many occasion we could not see an empty road for several kilometres in both directions.
Paddocks south of Narrandera are dominated by wheat to the horizon. Beside the road is a belt of trees with some eucalyptus dominated by cypress. Part way from Narrandera to Jerilderie the road verge trees fade away and the road runs through open paddocks. Across the open paddocks we could see very large thunderclouds (with lightning) crossing the road far ahead of us but we were not in rain. Once we reached the place where the thunderstorm had been the road was very wet. This was an isolated rain incident and the weather was generally good today although we encountered several patches of strong and gusty wind.
Between Jerilderie and Tocumwal we were in the Riverina irrigation area where brim-full irrigation supply channels could be seen passing under the road. Apart from these channels we saw very little evidence of irrigated activity. Just past Tocumwal we crossed the Murray River into Victoria and shortly afterwards stopped at the Big Strawberry at Koonoonoo where we stop for lunch when possible. We had an early lunch of strawberry pancake works.
From the Big Strawberry we continued on the Newell Highway into Victoria passing through Shepparton onto the Goulburn Valley Way which became a full freeway south of Shepparton. Near Seymour we joined the Hume Freeway for the final leg to Melbourne.
Approaching Melbourne we joined the Ring Road to take us to the West Gate Bridge. Traffic was quite light considering the number of lanes and moving freely. Reference to the conventional GPS cross-checked with a satellite driven moving map and comparing both with road signs took us around the Ring Road onto the Freeway and West Gate Bridge.
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Once across the Bridge we turned off to the left, passing back under the West Gate Bridge and into the suburb of Port Melbourne and Station Pier with the Spirit of Tasmania alongside. We were a few hours early to join the ship.
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