Outback Trip- Melbourne to Wentworth

It started with high stress. The fridge in our new van wasn’t cooling, at all, which didn’t bode well for a journey into outback territory.  The day before had been a scorching 42C with searing wind and bushfires flaring across much of NSW and QLD. So, we decided to take precautions, an additional portable fridge, on the chance our van fridge wouldn’t come good.

Still, anticipation was high and we were all excited as we left home. It was to be the longest day on the road, travelling roughly 600kms. With three grown people in the back seat hubby and I were ever conscious to keep our passengers comfortable. After all, a good tour operator knows that some things are essential when on the road, good healthy snacks, lots of water for hydration and plenty of rest and pit stops. Oh, and not forgetting some memorable moments along the way!

Fortunately, less than half way there, our fridge kicked into action, hooray, and we were able to restock it with our supplies. Woo-hoo, I knew it would be okay.

Memorable Stops

Silo art is becoming more and more prominent in Australian country towns and this one was no exception. Located in Nullawil on the Calder Highway north-east of Birchip, it’s the first in the Bulcke Shire to join the Silo Trail, Australia’s largest outdoor gallery. This silo is painted by artist Sam Bates and depicts a Kelpie dog and a farmer.

About 50kms later we came across one of the newest ones in the Mallee, located in Sea Lake. Painted by Brisbane based artists Drapl and the Zookeeper, the silo depicts a beautiful landscape of a young girl swinging from a Mallee Eucalyptus tree gazing out over Lake Tyrrell and a big open sky which gradually fades from dusk to night. A Wedge Tail Eagle soars above the girl and emus run off into the night.

The colours were so vibrant and to me it epitomised the peace and vast outback we were heading into.

Travel is the healthiest addiction”

About an hour from Sea Lake we discovered, in casual conversation, that our son had forgotten his pillow, a towel and his sleeping bag! Aagh! Not having a sleeping bag could prove to be pretty chilly out there in the potential cold nights of the desert. Short of letting him freeze, we agreed a trip into Target Mildura would be a good idea.

Like any normal road trip, things happen and stuff is forgotten however I guess that’s life! Dealing with moments and minor things that we can sort out. Short of these tiny mishaps, and initally wanting to throttle him when I found out, it was a fabulous first day on the road.

“Adventure is allowing the unexpected to happen to you.”  Richard Aldington

From Mildura it was about thirty minutes to Wentworth across the NSW border, passing some action along the way in the form of gigantic harvesting equipment in action.

Our home for the first night was Willow Glen Caravan park, located on the junction of the Darling and Murray Rivers.

An oasis at Wentworth

We were welcomed warmly by the owner Tony and escorted to a site by the river. It was a balmy night and after setting up, the boys were invited to make use of the canoes at the park for a kayak up the river.

It was the perfect way to end the day. Happy teenagers, a content sister excited to sleep in a swag for the first time, wine for us riverside and a delicious dinner under a golden sunset. Oh, and lots of ducks for company.

Had it been Tuesday instead of Friday, Tony would have serenaded us in the camp kitchen, as he does every Tuesday night. And if I’d bought my guitar I could have joined him.

“Sunset is the opening music of the night.”

We slept soundly that night and the following morning we enjoyed a peaceful walk to the junction of the two rivers. There, surrounded by the sounds of kookaburras above us, we climbed to the top of the viewing tower to marvel at the vista of Australia’s mightiest rivers meeting.

Nearby, within the park, was the most creative sculptured garden I’ve ever seen. Look closely at the photo below and you’ll see how the manicured gardens are an extension of the actual streetscape behind it.

From Wentworth we set off for Mungo and that’s when the adventure, and the magic, really began.

Stay with me as I take you deep into the heart of ancient and awe inspiring Mungo National Park in my next post.

Wherever you are, keep enjoying the journey.

In light and love.


Seek adventures that open your mind


50 thoughts on “Outback Trip- Melbourne to Wentworth

    1. Haha, so our kids are alike! 😊 As for silo art, I think it really is proving to be quite a boost to these farming economies, drawing people into these country towns. It’s a win win for all.

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  1. Looks like you had another great adventure Miriam. Your son sounds like my daughter! As mentioned on Instagram, I love the silo art and your photos are beautiful as always. Looking forward to reading your post about Mungo National Park.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, so our kids are alike Dominique, that made me smile. 😀
      As I’m sure you’ve seen by my many photos on Insta we had an amazing time and I’m looking forward to sharing more here too in time. Thank you and big hugs my friend xx

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  2. What a great start to your adventure, especially once the fridge got itself sorted. Painted silos are so amazing and these ones you found are gorgeous. Once we went away in the van to a town with just one small general store. I’d said to Mr ET before we left, “the towels are in, aren’t they” and he assured me they were. Of course, they weren’t and lucky for us the store had two towels. 🙂 They are our caravan towels now and stay in there all the time.

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    1. Oh, I love that Carol, how lucky you were! Yep, I think I’ll be doing that in future too with a few other spare things as well. Live and learn hey! And I agree about those silos, they’re pretty amazing. 😊

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  3. A fine start, with adventures and misadventures, as expected on a road trip. Interesting silo art – whenever I’m out with Scout and we meet an Australian, they’ll ask if she’s part Kelpie? Maybe!
    Looking forward to the next post and continuing adventure. Thanks, Miriam!

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    1. Thanks PC, give Scout a big pat for me. Kelpie or not she’s a real cutie. And yes, look forward to sharing more when I get a chance. Hope life’s treating you well. 😊

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  4. I LOVE that Silo Art. We have many silos around here. I hope that becomes something done to them. I’ve seen some of Sam Bates work before. In fact, he painted some of my favorite murals in Glasgow. And that one of the girl on the swing is just fabulous as well. I love the colors. The scenery along that river is just gorgeous. I can’t wait to read about the rest of the journey, Miriam!! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy, it was a wonderful first day of the trip and those silos were definitely a big highlight. How cool that you’re familiar with Sam Bates art. Yes, more posts to come, when I get a chance. Happy December to you. xx

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  5. My friend, oh I have loved every minute of reading your gorgeous post and taking in those fabulous pictures! Oh my you have got me so nostalgic, I am feeling such a pull back to Australia right now!! Where is the next plane? Love this so much – the Silo art you showcased is marvelous! Also, funny thing- I actually have heard of Sam Bates/ mentioned him on a post I did on Street Art in Fremantle a while ago – there are some murals he created in my beloved Freo that are very interesting. So cool to see more of his art here! And how amazing is that Silo-art-piece with the girl on the swing? Also, you sound like the best tour operator ever. Your family is so lucky! And that campsite by the riverside…sigh…thanks my gorgeous friend, your beautiful writing, quotes and pictures enriched my evening and brought me back to your wonderful country that I love so dearly. Much love and hugs to you amiga xxx 💕😊

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    1. Hi Maria. Yes, that silo art is very impressive. We have a whole silo art trail that traverses the mallee towns in Victoria. So many talented artists like Sam Bates using their skills to add colour and bring tourists into these often struggling farming communities. I love it! How cool that you already know of his fabulous art. Thanks for your wonderful comment my friend, you can come on my tours anytime. In fact I think you’d be fabulous to have along. We could be tour guides together! Wouldn’t that be fun? Hugs and much love to you amiga and I’m super glad I could evoke some happy memories for you. xx 💕

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      1. Miriam, that sounds like a fantastic thing to put on my list of future things to experience in Down Under! Just like you, I love how the artists help those farming communities with their talent! And hell yeah to being tour guides together my friend. How extra-special would that be? Love the idea! Big hugs and looking forward to reading more of your marvelous adventures soon, my dear friend. Thanks again for this inspiring post! Many hugs xoxoxo and a massive smile of gratitude beamed to you across the distance 🙂 xoxoxo

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  6. I had to laugh at your son’s forgetfulness! I once went on a beach vacation without packing a single swimsuit, so I completely understand. But you’re right, these are just minor glitches that are easily resolved, and not worth ruining a trip over. It looks as if your trip got off to a fabulous start otherwise, and I especially liked the silo art. I look forward to reading more in future posts!!

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    1. Yes, I must admit I’m guilty of forgetting many things on my travels too. I think we’ve all been there! It definitely didn’t ruin the trip and now we even have a spare sleeping bag! Hope you’re well Ann.

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