I think it’s only fair that I tell the tale of the other city in my life. I have blogged about Bendigo here so now I will give a virtual tour of Mildura.
Mildura is situated on the banks of the Murray river and is primarily a produce growing area exporting grapes and citrus which are grown with the use of irrigation. However due to the ongoing drought here in Australia it is becoming increasingly difficult and a lot of growers are letting their vines and trees die or selling off their farms, what we call ‘blocks’.
I know the grapes look pretty and a lot of tourists come here thinking ‘how wonderful to work in a vineyard’ but believe me there is nothing romantic about picking grapes! It’s dirty, backbreaking, exhaustingly hot work, DONT DO IT, RUN I SAY RUN!!!!!
We also rely a lot on tourism which focuses on the river. House boating is popular as well as skiing and camping.
All along the river are wonderful River Red Gum trees. However with the drought they too are struggling. It was always impressed upon me growing up not to camp, sit or park your car under these giants as they had an unfortunate habit of dropping branches for no apparently good reason. Not very friendly!
The Chaffey family moved from California USA in 1886 and settled this area using irrigation to create the oasis in the desert that is Mildura. All around Mildura for hundreds of miles is very arid ‘mallee scrub’ or dry land farming like wheat which is very harsh. Unfortunately the use of unsustainable farming practices over the years has caused the problems we have now.
We are situated a loooong way from everywhere in the top corner of Victoria, bordering New South Whales (NSW) and an hour and a half from the South Australian (SA) boarder. We have seen rapid development in the past 10 years and have become a hub for transport all over Australia.
Over the bridge into NSW are the towns of Buronga and Wentworth. Wentworth is famous for being the gateway to the Sunset Country and the Perry Sand Hills.
Many a night has been spent running up and down these sand hills playing spotlight tiggy or sitting around campfires, much fun!
Mungo National Park is 110 kilometres from Mildura and is a World Heritage Area.
I have a great love for Mildura and it’s laid back lifestyle, it is very family friendly and it’s isolation has blessed us with the ability to ‘make our own fun’. While the isolation can be inconvenient at times, and the weather is extremely hot in summer and frosty cold in winter I am always filled with a sense of nostalgia for the town I grew up in, many memories and friendships have been made here, it’s the place I call home!