2019 - 6 Days: Mildura and Broken Hill
The Mildura Region is renowned for its big skies, rich earth and welcoming locals. Australia’s two greatest rivers, the Murray and the Darling meet at nearby Wentworth supporting local flora and fauna. This is where most of Australia's dried fruit, grapes, citrus, almonds, pistachios, olives, carrots, and asparagus are grown. Wine too is in abundance. The Mildura area produces most of Australia's Chardonnay, in addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and several other varieties. The river is the heart and soul of Mildura. During our stay we will see it, hear it and cruise on it. To the north of Mildura is Broken Hill. Its a fascinating outback town - an artificial oasis in the vast arid lands of far western NSW. “Beyond the Darling River, on the edge of the sundown” is where they used to say you would find Broken Hill! Dominating the town is the “Line of Lode” – the seven kilometre strip of what was the biggest deposit of silver, lead and zinc in the world. Art and the Outback must work well together. This is where Pro Hart and Jack Absolom did a lot of their best work!
Day 1 (D): Melbourne to Mildura (Sunday)
After we have loaded the coach and collected our fellow travellers we are ready to head off on our 6 day tour to Mildura & Broken Hill. Sit back and enjoy the view and the company as we make our way out of Melbourne and onto the Western Highway. Our lunch stop today is at Donald. There is an interesting stop here on the edge of the town. Located in the old Abattoir Buildings is a thriving business called Kooka’s Country Cookies. Don’t be deceived by the dilapidated surroundings!! This is an enterprise that generates more than $10 million is sales each year and distributes homemade style cookies to most of the major supermarket chains in Australia. We take a look and enjoy a sample before a lunch stop in the main street. From here we continue into the Mallee and onto Mildura – our base for the next two nights. Check in, unpack and relax before our welcome dinner in the hotel (Lunch own arrangements & cost/welcome dinner in the hotel).
Quality Hotel Mildura Grand Cnr 7th& Deakin Avenue Mildura 03 50230511 (2 nights)
Day 2 (BLD): Exploring Mildura (Monday)
The provincial city of Mildura is an oasis in the North West corner of Victoria, in an area commonly known as the Sunraysia District. As most locals can tell you this name is appropriate, as Mildura and the surrounding countryside enjoy a dry, clear climate with clear blue skies and 400 more hours of sunshine each year than the Gold Coast!
Let’s hope the sun shines during our visit! After a hearty breakfast we begin our day’s touring with some local information – a guide will join our coach to give us a good insight into Mildura. Saying farewell to our guide, we make our way to the Mildura Wharf where we board the Paddle Vessel Rothbury. We will have a relaxing cruise with a carvery lunch on board. Back on dry land, we head to theVarapodio Olive Oil Farm. We’ll be met by the owners who will give us a talk on their farm as well as tastings of their award winning oils. We’ll also see their range of salad dressings, olive oil mayonnaise and olive oil cosmetics and soaps! After a fascinating day we return to our motel for dinner. (Breakfast & dinner in the motel, lunch cruise)
Day 3 (BLD): Wentworth/Broken Hill (Tuesday)
We make our way to nearby Wentworth this morning and stop at the lovely parkland area at the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers for a “birds eye” view of the waterway. Lock 10 here was constructed between 1925 and 1929 and, like all locks, it helps maintain constant river heights all year round. We also visit the Old Wentworth Gaol. Make sure to bring the camera as there are some fun photo opportunities – behind real prison bars or perhaps in the stock! A visit to the gaol shows the hard lives and extreme conditions prisoners endured amongst the beauty of the old pepper trees dating back to establishment of the gaol in 1879. Our lunch today is at the Crown Hotel in Wentworth our three hour drive north to Broken Hill – our base for the next 2 nights. Before checking into our hotel we have arranged a tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Base at Broken Hill Airport. (Breakfast & dinner included/Pub lunch)
Desert Sands Motor Inn 357 Cobalt St Broken Hill 08 80884122 (2 nights)
Day 4 (BLD): Broken Hill & Silverton (Wednesday)
This morning after breakfast we have an 8.00am appointment The School of the Air - an unique service provided for the geographically isolated primary school aged children, by satellite radio. During today’s “Broken Hill Experience” (with the help of a locally based guide) we will hear about the history of Broken Hill and see some of the historic buildings – the Broken Hill Court House built in 1889 and the Broken Hill Trades Hall. Its facade was retained in 1974 after the main halls and offices were demolished. One of the best views of the town is from the top of the Line of Lode at the Miners Memorial (listing the names of more than 800 people who have died working at the mine). Unlike modern mining towns, where the accommodation is built well away from the mine, Broken Hill’s population, in the pick and shovel days, built their houses as close as they could to their work.
Next stop is the Silver City Mint and Art Centre. Known as one of the best galleries in town, the centre houses jewellery made from local silver, a mineral display and an extensive range of original paintings by well-known artists. However it is the dramatic “Big Picture” painted by Peter Anderson that will be one of the highlights of our tour to Broken Hill. It’s the world’s largest acrylic painting on canvas that totally immerses visitors into the local landscape.
Also on our program is Pro Hart’s Gallery and the tiny settlement of Silverton. It preceded Broken Hill and was, for a time, the largest town in the Barrier Ranges. Today it is a virtual ghost town but a number of the historic buildings remain. More recently Silverton has hosted film crews who have produced many well known movies such as Mad Max 2 and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. We have lunch at the Silverton Pub before the drive back to Broken Hill. We take the opportunity to drop by Mario’s Palace to see the interior of the hotel that was used for bar scenes in the movie ‘Priscilla - Queen of the Desert’. Finally, just on sunset we transfer to the outskirts of town to see a fascinating attraction.
The Living Desert and Sculpture Symposium was created from large pieces of Wilcannia Sandstone by twelve of the world’s finest sculptors. The arrangements of the stones is double colonnade which defines a special flow from the Pinnacles Hills to Fred Hollow’s resting place in Bourke and provides one of the most spectacular views in the area. It will be a delightful way to complete our day’s touring! (Breakfast & dinner included/Pub lunch at Silverton)
Day 5 (BLD): Mungo National Park (Thursday)
We return to Mildura this morning where we meet our locally based guide for our visit to the World Heritage listed Mungo National Park.The Willandra Lakes preserve the longest continuous record of aboriginal life in Australia from 40,000 years ago to the present. Our tour across the lake floor to the "Walls of China” provides an opportunity, via the layers of the sand dunes, to experience the history of this pre historic period.
The tour slowly and gently weaves through unique geological formations of rare beauty passing by the ancient evidence of the people that once walked this land. Lunch at the Mungo Lodge Restaurant is included. After a great day we return to Mildura. (Breakfast & dinner in the hotel, lunch on tour in the Mungo National Park)
Quality Hotel Mildura Grand Cnr 7th & Deakin Avenue Mildura 03 50230511
Day 6 (BL): Heading Home (Friday)
We are on our way home this morning.After breakfast we complete our check out formalities and farewell our hosts. Heading south through the Mallee District we make a brief stop at Lake Tyrell 7kms north of Sea Lake – its Victoria’s largest salt lake.
We continue through Sea Lake and onto Wedderburn for a pub lunch, before heading back to Melbourne arriving late afternoon to complete a sensational 6 day tour. (Breakfast in the motel/Pub lunch)
From $1330 per person twin/double share
(Add $290 for guaranteed single room)
Tour Price includes accommodation as per the itinerary, meals as indicated (B= Cooked breakfast, L= Light or packed lunch, D = Buffet or limited choice dinner), deluxe touring coach with seatbelts, attractions/entries as noted. The tour price (from $1330 per person sharing a twin/double room) is dependent on a minimum of 30 paying customers (Departure dates subject to availability). Should the number of bookings not reach the minimum of 30 the following rates apply –
Minimum 25 people - from $1405 per person
Minimum 20 people - from $1510 per person
Personal Travel Insurance is strongly recommended.
Terms and Conditions
To arrange a tour for your club simply call Cesare Cataldo at Australian Road Journeys on 0477 640 527 with your preferred date of travel – he will do the rest! When everything is confirmed he will provide 50 colour “flyers” for distribution to interested club members. Simply collect a $100.00 fully refundable deposit from each person who wishes to travel. The final balance is due six weeks before departure. No cancellation fees apply prior to the final payment date. A cancellation fee of $200.00 per person applies if cancelled after final payment has been made – no refund if cancelled within 7 days.