A Travellerspoint blog

Tasmania, The Journey Home, Bunjil Lookout to Wirrabara

Saturday 13 April 2024
The journey home begins in earnest. But first a look at some artistic wonders along the way.

Avoca, Victoria
This artwork commenced in March 21. Painted by Jimmi Buscombe. It is the 47th Silo to be painted. It is the only glow in the dark Silo in Australia.The artwork depicts the Barking Owl, a bird native to the local Pyrenees Ranges. And a enterprising house across the road makes and sells metal artwork and fire pits.

St. Arnaud, Victoria
Artist: Kyle Tourney, painted by Ktorney Art and are officially the 38th set of silos to be completed in Australia.
Titled 'Hope', Kyle has told the story of three pioneer residents of St Arnaud, a former gold mining town, situated between Ballarat and Mildura. During the 1800's 'Hope' was about a miner looking for a fleck of gold in his pan, 'Hope' for his wife, will she be able to buy food and clothing for her family and 'Hope' that a young child will prosper. Kyle is a local resident of St Arnaud and is dedicated to the promotion of his town through tourism. He has now painted many murals throughout the town.

Boort, Victoria
We ventured out to the town of Boort with a population of 700, to see the "Spanner Man's Metal Sculptures" made entirely from old spanners. Artist John Piccoli. John contracted polio in 1949, he carried on farming his third generation Central Victorian property from a wheelchair before retiring to embrace life as an accidental artist. Mr Piccoli sourced spanners from far and wide to create his many sculptures, eventually, he was convinced to open his farm to visitors. He was terribly artistic a friend said. He used to lie in the dirt on his back to weld. " He had the incredible ability to achieve perspective." He didn't want to make money out of it, he just wanted to see the pleasure that people got out of his artwork." John died suddenly in April 2021. His Son is now opening up the garden for people to view these spectacular one off artwork sculptures. He used to fund his spanners by running tours of his sculptures around his garden.
He spent 6 months and more on many of these spectacular pieces. They do 2 tours a day, book in if you want to view his one of artworks.
A couple of the animals at the farm
They also have collections of items from the past.

Nullawil, Victoria
and St Joseph's Catholic Church.
The town has free showers for travellers Tonight we chose to stay at a donation camp-site in town, out the back of St Joseph's Catholic Church. The stars are definitely bright in small outback towns.

Sunday 14 April 2024
Sea Lake, Victoria

Woomelang, Victoria
Artists : Seven including Jimmy Dvate, Andrew J Bourke and Kaff-eine to name a few.
I June 2020, the town of Woomelang invited seven artists to transform mini silos into a tourist attraction for the town. Featured on the silos are the likes of spotted tail quolls and other endangered species of the area.Located around the town of Woomelang, Victoria.
They have a small donation caravan park in the centre of town for 2 vans, power and water supplied to each site. Toilets and hot showers next door. A communal fire pit and a painted Silo across the road.

Lascelles, Victoria
Renowned Melbourne Street Artist "Rone" has painted the images of a local couple Geoff & Merrilyn Horman on the silos in the Wimmera-Mallee Victoria. The town has a population of only just 48 people on a good day, but Rone selected the Dorman's above others. They are a humble couple, who are both wise and knowing and who have nurtured the town with their vast farming experience and longstanding connection to the area. Their family has lived in the area for four generations. Geoff and Merrilyn were both born in the district and then married in Lascelles in 1967. Together with their two sons and now their families also, they have continued the family tradition of wheat farming and strong community involvement. In mid 2017 Rone worked for two weeks to transform these two GrainCorp silos which now portray Geoff and Merrilyn looking over their hometown forever. They are the eighth silos to be included in the Australian Silo Art Trail.

Patchewollock, Victoria
GrainCorp Silos at Patchewollock - Victoria
Artist : Fintan Magee
Patchewollock is a very small town in the north-west region of Victoria. And Ian was intrigued about the Mobil sign next to the Bowser with no fuel. They also have sheep races opposite the local pub. The town also marks the beginning of the 'Silo Art Trail's from its northern end.
The GrainCorp Silos at Patchewollock were the forth set of silos to join the Australian Silo Art Trail Collection and the second to be painted in Wimmera-Mallee region in Victoria. It's always been one of my favourite silos as I love the rich colours in this one and the story behind it also. They were painted by Brisbane artist Fintan Magee. For inspiration for his silo mural and to get to know the people in the area, Fintan booked a room at the local pub so he could mix among the local community. It wasn't long before he met the subject for the Patchewollock Silos. A hard working lanky local by the name of Nick "Noodle" Holland who exemplified the no-nonsense, hardworking spirit of the region. These twin silos were built in 1939 and was transformed in late 2016.
Met a few of the locals riding by as we were enjoying our lunch today.
Here's a blast from the past.
These are for the sheep racing.
Ian's found yet another one.
Every town has at least one church.

Walpeup, Victoria
This Silo is a tribute to Harold Thomas Bell, a local boy from Walpeup, a little town in the north west part of Victoria, who became a trooper of the 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment after using his cousin's last name Wickham, to disguise his true age to enlist and fight in World War 1. This boy was shot in the leg during the Battle of Beersheba on October 31, 1917 and died of his wounds the following day. He was just 16 years old. Located in the town of Walpeup on the Mallee Highway, this piece was painted on the Grain Corp silos and allows viewers to reflect, and to pay respects to the bravery and sacrifices made during the war.
This project took 5 years in the making and the preparation only took a few weeks to paint.
The Artist was Julian Clavijo and Camilo Delgado.
Dryland Memorial Garden
Ian's been a busy boy visiting some of the libraries in this area.
Another town and another Church. Although some towns have 1,2 or 3 churches maytimes they whittle them down to 1 church. This is not that church. This one closed a few years ago. It's still here to visit.

We are staying the night in the Walpeup Wayside Stop. It's a campground in town near the Silo. Ian gave Deborah the option of sites tonight, a $9 unpowered or a $10 powered, water hook up, toilets and hot shower in the ablution block a further $3. Well Deborah chose the $10 powered option as it seemed like a no brainer. It's a very busy park and full tonight with 8 powered sites and lots of unpowered sites. Having a shower in our van, using our gas. Tomorrow we head through the 1st Quarantine drop going north. I have taken the opportunity to cook up our fruit and wash the few potatoes I have left. We also are a piece of Uncle Harry's beautiful salmon for dinner and used up our salad. I also took the opportunity to do some washing as one does when on power and water.

Monday 15 April 2024
Mildura, Victoria
We head to Mildura today and are stayed at the Red Cliffs Golf Club a donation camp site. Passing through Ouyen (owe-yen), we stopped at the Mallee Bakery also Roxy Theatre reopened, after community restoration, in 2007. And a few other items of interest in the town.
From the Lookout over the mighty Murray River.
The Red Cliffs Golf Club camp kitchen, but wait there's also a cool book exchange and a lovely sunset.

Tuesday 16 April 2024
The Traditional owners of the Mildura area are Maraura, Barkinji, Dadi Dadi, Jari Jari Ladji people.
The Jeep (Rocky) was having his 100,000 service today in Mildura. We are out and about in a sporty MG, sorry a Chinese MG3.

We managed to catch the paddle boat as it came into Lock 11 to be lowered down to continue it's journey downstream. The water level in the lock changes roughly 3.5 metres up/down.
The weir and lock, Lock 11, were built between 1923 and 1927. This, and the other 12 weirs, helped fulfill the shared vision of William and George Chaffey, for a permanently accessible source of water for irrigation and water transport along the Murray River. The weird and locks help manage water levels, creating a more reliable level for irrigation. Previously the floodplains and wetlands experienced wet and dry cycles. The weir at Mildura comprises 24 steel and each weighing 11 tonnes. These can be raised during flood events or for maintenance.
If only the 13 Weir's had been installed during the Chaffey Brothers development in the Mildura area was in full swing it's full potential might have been realised earlier than the early 1920's. As it was the Chaffey brothers (Canadians) came over from the US of A to Mildura in 1886, where they sweated blood to help create the first irrigation scheme in Australia. Initially successful, they built Rio Vista the house in 1889. However Williams first wife Hattie died in 1889, and the 6th baby soon after. Not to be downhearted William married Hattie's niece, also called Hattie, and had a further 6 children.
The Mildura irrigation scheme finally faltered when a drought occurred, and the brother's fortunes dwindled.
Eventually the weirs and locks were built in the early 1920's and crops, all along the Murray, began to prosper again. The house, Rio Vista, is an amazing example of late 19 century buildings, and preserved and presented in excellent condition. Loved the led lighting throughout the house.
We had a noisy miner over for lunch.
A bit of a drive around town also meant discovering another one of Ian's libraries.
We came home to a surprise. New neighbours, Sharon & Peter (Korker Adventures), in their Sunland Phoenix. We met them last in Karrinyup Waters Caravan Park, Perth, W.A. We had a good chat, it was great to see them & hear all about there travels. Redcliffs Golf Course had plenty of room for an Army of campers.

Wednesday 17 April 2024
A day for checking out a bit more of Mildura, in particular some op shops and sports shops. Nothing much to report, although there are quite a number of opportunity shops in town. No great purchases were made. We also checked into see Woodside Gems, which was a lot larger than we had anticipated, an Aladdin's cave if gemstones and jewellery. Again, no purchases happened.
Afternoon saw us visiting Cappa Stone Wines and Dynasty of Tea. A family owned business making wine and blending their own tea styles. A bit of tasting, presented by Kade one of the wine makers, had us taking home a few bottles of vino, and an album. Yes, another purchase of a vinyl record by Ian, who got into deep discussions with the winery owner, Kade's father Dale, about record players, amplifiers and other 2 channel music equipment. Seems he used to repair record players in a previous life. Ian finished the evening cooking the salmon dish outside the caravan. Once again, thankyou to Uncle Harry the fisherman in the family.

Thursday 18 April
Off to our next night time destination, Waikerie in South Australia. Yep, we're crossing the border. But along the way we have some Silo art and a Quarantine border crossing to negotiate.

Werrimul, Victoria
Is a small town, with a shop post office and a pub. It's also got camping across from the pub which has a combo toilet/shower for free. Nice Silo artwork as well, done by Jimmy Dvate and Justin Fennel seed.

Paringa, South Australia
Our next artwork, and lunch stop at the bakery. This silo art is done by Jack Fran using exterior acrylic enamel paint, applied with brushes, rollers and airless spray gun. Paringa is near Renmark and was also the base for the Chaffey brothers of Mildura fame, to setup their younger brother Charles Frances. To oversee the irrigation and agricultural development for the Renmark region. He is depicted on the silo artwork along with Sister Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy 1912-1942, a nurse from Paringa who, along with other nurses and civilians were deliberately gunned down by the Japanese in 1942, after the fall of Singapore. The incident became known as the Bangka Straits Massacre. Also depicted is a paddle steamer with Captain Pearl Wallace and finally a silhouette representative of First Community Inhabitants.
A bit of confusion as we had checked online what we were allowed to bring through quarantine into SA. The information led us to believe we needed to eat the fruit & veg of which we had 1 banana and 1 apple. That was easy to eat. A few cherry tomatoes, so we snacked on them. But the other information led us to believe we could take in washed potatoes, or cooked potatoes, raw silver eat and raw green stir fry vegetables. But as we passed the turnoff to bin, we noticed another sign, " No fruit and vegetables allowed. We quickly halted and made a U-turn to the bins and decided it wasn't worth the risk, although we were confused we felt it was best to bin any vegetables we had before driving to the quarantine check point. We stopped as directed and an officer checked the car and van including the fridge and pantry. The officer said, "no fruit or veggies are allowed". We had a discussion about the signage and discrepancies. For a brief moment as the officer asked Deborah to open the pantry, he said, do you have any honey? Deborah had an anxious moment as she had previously thought we needed to eat that before crossing the boarder, but forgot about it. Deborah said yes, here it is, we bought it in Tasmania. Fortunately there is no Varroa mite in Tasmania he said, you can bring that in. He checked the bottle was tightly closed. He also said if I purchased it in NSW he would have taken it away and fined us. With a sigh, we locked up the van and Deborah told Ian to , "Start the car" and off we drove. Meanwhile, due to our lengthy inspection and one lane only for caravans, we had now backed up the caravan row of others waiting to come through this inspection point.
After leaving we start to head through Renmark town itself. A quick visit to 23rd Street Distillery is in order. A tasting flight of gin and whisky before resuming our drive.

Waikerie, South Australia
Finally at Waikerie, named after the indigenous word for the local rain moth 'wei kari'. We take a few shots of the Silo art and along the Cliff Top Walk. This also gave us views across the Murray River and the local ferry, which is the only way to cross the river in the town.

Walkerie Cliff Top Walk
A bit of street art in town
Waikerie is known for its iconic citrus industry, so we had to look into one of the factory outlets, Nippys.
Tonight our camp is at Waikerie, by the silo art, free camping. We had another 3 caravans in the carpark as our neighbours. The area next to the Silos has been designated by the local council as free RV camping. The silos are also flood lit at night.

Friday 19 April 2024
Across the Mighty Murray.
Heading off from Waikerie we decided to take a slightly different route, so we could make use of the 'free' ferry across the Murray. No bridge, so this is how the towns people get over the other side. Easy and quick.

Eudunda, South Australia
Silo Art - The Storytime Silos.
Artist : Sam Brooks
Sam was commissioned to creat an "identity' for Eudunda and to inspire, challenge and stimulate local tourism, as well as to develop a Public Art Project that is Creative, Artistic and Innovative. This massive 30m tall, six silo project.
The Silo tells a story about two children, sharing stories about their past and their culture and connections to the area. Famous local author, Colin Thiele, wrote Sun on the Stubble as he reflected about this area. The book tells about the hardships, farming community and day to day experiences of rural life in Eudunda. The young girl in the painting carefully steps through her magical book, experiencing cattle, sheepdogs and horseback riders as they travel through a golden dust storm.
Driving through the country we found this fixer upper.

Farrell Flat, South Australia
Artists :Jarrod Soden and Matthew Knights.
Completed November 2020.
150 Litres of paint used.
30m tall Silo.
Art piece total size : 900 square metres.
It depicts the last passenger train to pass through this historic township in the late 1900s. We also noticed that the newer silo next to the painted ones were getting a lick if paint around their tops. And, even though it might be a one horse town, it still has a functioning hotel open 7 days a week. The train station is now a private residence in the throes of being renovated.
Population : 300.
Check out one of the two guys on the top of the white silo.
A short drive along we chanced upon the small town of Yacka, and an amazing find for Ian. The Mobile Library was in town.

Laura, South Australia
Check out this Yakka mural.
Inside the North Paddock antiques and gift shop you will find not only a coffee shop but these beauties.

Wirrabara, South Australia
Wirrabara is a town located in the Southern Flinders Ranges in the mid north of South Australia. The Horrocks Highway passes through town and it sits along the Rocky River. In April 2018
Wirrabara Silos
Artist : Sam Bates, 'Smug'
The local community did not want a local resident painted on their silos, so Smug chose Dion Lebrun to be the inspiration for the Wirrabara Silo Art.
The artwork also depicts the rich history of the area which has strong ties to the forestry industry as well as referencing the beautiful local flora and fauna for which the area is well known for. The Viterra Silos took Smug three weeks to complete in 2018.
The site includes generous parking spaces in the designated car park for several buses, caravans and cars.

Tonight's camp is at Wirrabra Community Caravan Park. Our choice was $20 unpowered or $25 powered and water with access to an ensuite style toilet/shower. We chose powered. The sites all have there own firepit should you choose to use it. Initially we decided to stay one night.
Ian's cooking tonight, well he chose to take Deborah out to the local pub and it just so happens to have a happy hour from 5-7pm, with a raffle drawn about 7pm if you choose to buy a ticket or 3. A walk through the arboretum to the pub revealed some local metal artworks.
And finally during dinner...Woo Hoo, we won a $30 voucher for dinner/lunch at the pub.

Saturday 20 April 2024
We have extended our stay to two nights to utilise our $30 dinner voucher we won.
We took the opportunity to take a walk around the town today. We checked out the local we) stock & reasonably priced corner store with some artwork outside it including a Bubble O' Bill. Also a craft shop/information Bureau. Lovely cute small home found in the streets, Deborahs step size 14 x 10. We stopped and peered through the window of a wood craft store and The Book Brothel. Later to find out, the owner passed away in March, so they won't be opening again. The Book Brothel used to be open 24/7 on an honesty base. Further on our walk we walked along the back streets and passed the local police station that doesn't look like it's open much. We saw very few people wandering around town, although we are told there are approx 300 people in the district. The playground area was well utilised today. Some painted and tiled murals were found around town. Tonight we take walk through town to the pub for dinner.

Posted by iandeborah 08:04

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.