Travelling Australia - Journal 2015c

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27 June 2015
Waikerie to Mildura
217 Kilometres
   

 

Leaving Waikerie we were soon on the Sturt Highway heading east towards Victoria. Weather was reasonable and traffic surprisingly light. This was the reverse trip to that a few days ago when we travelled from Mildura to Waikerie, now we were returning to Mildura.

From Waikerie the Sturt Highway went east across mainly cropland to the Riverland orchard and vineyard centres around Berri and Renmark then continued towards the South Australia/Victoria border. Before reaching the border the orchards and vineyards were replaced by extensive cropping paddocks. We passed through the fruit-fly quarantine station just before the border without stopping since we were leaving South Australia and of no interest to South Australian fruit fly inspectors. Victoria has established fruit fly quarantine areas, and makes quite a lot of noise about the current risk to the orchard industry posed by the Queensland fruit fly, but doesn't bother to implement traveller checks to reduce the risk of fruit fly entering the area. Roadside signs warn of the possible fines if travellers are caught carrying prohibited fruit or vegetable at random checks in Victoria but our experience is that random checks are all talk. We have never seen any or heard of anybody who has encountered one.

Crossing into Victoria we saw, once again, the sudden shift from crop land in South Australia covered in bright green sprouting crop to mallee scrub across the border in Victoria. The boundary between these activities is a very sharp line along the border.

At the Victorian border we saw, once again, the sharp division between the bright green of the South Australian cropland and the mallee scrub of the Victorian national park across the border. We stopped for lunch at a rest area in South Australia.

cropland

Cropland in South Australia; the isolated gum trees in the paddock are trees spared when the original mallee was cleared. Road verge vegetation is in the foreground.

Approaching Mildura grain paddocks were replaced by grape vines visible from the road. We checked in to our selected caravan park and set up for a lengthy stay (expected to be more than a week).

In Victoria the Sturt Highway follows a nearly straight route, except for a slight deviation through Lake Culluleraine, to the edge of Mildura. Elevation varies between 30 and 70 metres in gentle rises and descents. The road surface was good. Although there was hardly any wind we recorded very good fuel consumption normally associated with a tail wind; presumably the flat, straight road with a good surface and no need to adjust our speed to suit slower vehicles (because we were the slowest vehicle on the road) contributed to the good fuel figure.

27 June 2015 - Waikerie to Mildura, page 2


mallee

Mallee scrub in a rest area beside the Sturt Highway in South Australia. This is the natural vegetation cleared for farming here.

 

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