4. Country Victoria
This page covers two full days of driving from Albury to Adelaide. It wasn't the most direct route, but instead took in some interesting points of scenery.
I started by following the Murray River. I had been amazed at the appearance of the Hume Weir just to the east of Albury on the way in, which at the time was just a valley of dead trees. Normally the water would cover them, but being time of drought, the water levels were so low that the weir was just a small stream in the valley, and a valley now full of cut off dead tree-trunks.
Heading West from Albury, there was a somewhat similar sight, but not quite as imposing. There in Lake Mulwala, there was again the dead tree trunks, but this time showing up though the water, which was at more normal levels.
It was something of a surreal experience to see what looked like a normal lake, but with the trees rising up through it. It was almost a dead, alien landscape, but yet with people water-skiing among the trees.
Further downstream along the Murray is the ye-olde tourist town of Echuca. Its primary claim to fame is a number of paddle-wheeler boats, but gives a pleasant tourist-town atmosphere.
From Echuca I turned south to Bendigo, a one-time gold mining town. This overall area is all quite flat farming country, and not an area to give much in the way of excitement.
Bendigo itself is quite a thriving rural city with a distinctly historical flavour to it. I couldn't stop for long there though, as I was running behind schedule for the day, as usual.
I stayed the night at Halls Gap, which is a quiet little town on the eastern slopes of the Grampians. From there, there are a range of scenic walks and lookouts.
|MacKenzie Falls, Grampians|
For a natural experience MacKenzie Falls felt a bit over-touristed and not in the league of some other falls I've seen, but is well worth a look, as are the other standard stops in the Grampians.
Continuing on to the west, I filled up with fuel at Horsham, and received some enthusiastic driveway service, complete with a windscreen almost-clean. Well, at least he got the bugs off, or at least most of them.
|Pink Lake, Dimboola|
Then when headed out along the Western Hwy, I was about to pull out to overtake a truck and saw the pink lake coming up on the left. It's quite a sight out in the middle of nowhere. The colour is naturally-occurring from beta carotine that is produced by algae in the lake. Beda Carotine is full of vitamin A, but I didn't try drinking the water to check it out.
The remainder of the trip into Adelaide is fairly monotonous in terms of scenery. Wide open spaces of flat farmland. However, for me, one unexpected redeeming feature of the Western Highway is that it roughly follows the rail line, complete with all the crossings, signal boxes, and periodic silos. It added some points of interest to that leg of the trip.
|Rail line near Nhill, Vic|