Monday, March 26, 2012

1440km


When I suggested last year to Mr Geniaus last year that I would like to attend Congress in Adelaide he said that, if I was happy to travel via Broken Hill, he would drive me to Adelaide and home and that we could have a holiday into the bargain.

Detour via Burley Griffin Way
A lot of my overseas readers will be wondering where on earth Adelaide is and how far it is from my home city of Sydney; this post may go some way to enlightening you.

Recognition of Evonne Goolagong in Barellan
We set off yesterday on our 1440 km journey around 8 am. Our first three hours down the highway to Yass was in familiar territory as we traversed the road we often take to visit friends in Canberra and Wagga Wagga. On leaving the Yass Service Centre where we had refuelled we saw a temporary road sign that told us that, due to flooding, the Sturt Highway was closed near  Narrandera

Complacency flew out the window as this meant that I had to plot a new course to Adelaide. My GPS kept insisting we go via Narrandera so I had to resort to a paper map. As Mr Geniaus does not have too much faith in my spatial skills I had to deal with lots of questions as we travelled along our new route.

The good news is that I navigated us successfully to join The Sturt Highway west of  Narrandera where we could once again let the GPS take over. A benefit of this detour was that, from Ardlethan on, we travelled on a road we hadn't used before and got to see some sights and towns that were new to us.

First up was Barellan, hometown of Australian tennis legend Evonne Goolagong. We then drove on through Griffith passing a couple of well-known Australian wineries, McWilliams and De Bortoli (Bilbul). We had a stop and walk around in Griffith; it appears to be a prosperous city (there were no empty shops on the long shopping strip) with some attractive parks and gardens. A drive down to Darlington Point on the Murrumbidgee River put us back onto The Sturt Highway, the road to Adelaide.

Flood water by The Sturt Highway
Water across Road sign
Border Fruit Inspection
As we drove towards Hay we were amazed at the amount of flood water that was still hanging around. Seeing a "Water across road sign" caused us some concern but it was only a trickle. Our overnight stop was in the town of Balranald, another place on the Murrumbidgee. I chose the newest looking motel in this small town; it was well appointed but the bed was so hard.

My backache, sore neck and shoulder woke me before the alarm this morning. We were up and on the road before 8:00 am. Driving through the Riverina district with its many wineries and citrus orchards caused me to develop quite a thirst. Our late breakfast stop was at McDonalds Mildura, a thriving and attractive city in Victoria on the River Murray. We had many glimpses of this river on our trip along the highway and into South Australia; perusing the photos I took today shows me that I have a host of watery images.

As we approached the South Australian border there were signs warning about the fruit  and vegetable inspection point 5km ahead. We quickly found and ate the two apples we had so that we did not have to dispose of them in the quarantine bin. Australia has quite strict strict quarantine laws even across state borders.
Cliffs on the Murray River at Waikerie, South Australia

Ferry across The Murray at Waikerie


Our lunch stop was in South Australia at Waikerie, a small town on the Murray, that has a lovely riverside park that affords views of the nearby cliffs on the River. Our lunch was a sausage roll from the local bakery.

From Waikerie the last couple of hours into Adelaide just seemed to fly as we passed yet more wineries including Wolf Blass and Penfolds.  So anxious was I to get to Adelaide that I declined Mr Geniaus' suggestion of a detour through The Barossa Valley.

Our entry to Adelaide from the North brought us past some pretty rural areas before we hit new housing estates and light industry. Driving through the trendy area of North Adelaide and passing the Historic Children's Hospital building brought to a bridge across the River Torrens and our hotel right by The Convention Centre, venue for Congress.

Rural scene on Adelaide's outskirts

 

Historic Children's Hospital Building

5 comments:

James Tanner said...

Your travels make mine look like a walk in the park. Thanks for posting.

Anne said...

Great description and great photos.

Linda said...

Ummm - what happened to Broken Hill. I saw you at Balranald and thought - not the quickest way to Broken Hill, I blinked and you were in SA. As a Pooncarie descendant, with tongue firmly in cheek, I have to ask if you are going home that way?

Or was it the GPS? When we trialled one, it wanted us to go into a lot of cow paddocks, and I, with my love of maps, won out for paper.

Beware on the way home. :)

Jill Ball said...

Linda -planning a nice slow trip home via Broken Hill and Cobar.

Linda said...

Aaaah, that explains it. If you go Wentworth to Broken Hill, as you go through Pooncarie look left to the cemetery and visualise us erecting a headstone at a family reunion. Lacking a spirit level, we used a full bottle of beer. My Methodist Great-Grandmother, resting below, could be heard turning in her grave!

I am about to head for the lovely Victorian city of Ballarat where, inspired by you, I will be blogging from the Victorian conference of Museums Australia (Victoria).
Pity they are on at the same time.
And I am not sure what I will do if anyone there finds I am blogging - official I am not!

Just see what you have started!

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