Mildura - Part 2July 6, 2016 in Australia
Day 3 - Exploring Mildura
I'd pencilled in today as being the day to head out to Mungo National Park, but the park was closed due to rain so I needed to fill it with other adventures.
Started off with brekky at Zambelli's Kitchen in the Langtree mall. Yummy food and the coffee was spot on.
Then I headed down to embark on the obligatory Murray River paddlesteamer cruise on the PS Melbourne. It's $30, and you do a two hour tour down the Murray, through Lock 11 (which is a locked chamber that drops the boat 3m from the canal into the river - really nifty mechanism to watch/learn about). It's a nice way to spend a couple of hours and learn about the history and some geographical info about the river. I realised that I need to do some serious reading on the Murray-Darling river system, as I don't know as much as I should about it, and how we're treating (or mistreating) it.
After that, I headed out to Orange World, which is a short trip out of town along the Silver City highway. I'm a big fan of farmgate-type stuff, and this place had a tour on a little tractor-train, so I was sold! The property owner, Mario, filled the hour-long trip with interesting info, anecdotes and dad jokes, and we got to see a range of citrus plants and avos at various stages of production. At $12.50, it's a cheap way to get a bit of knowledge about the stuff the region is famous for. Also tried my first tangelo here (sad, but true) and it was delicious! The shop is small, but I still recommend a visit to this place.
After that, I headed out to Woodsie's Gem Shop, across the other side of town. I was a bit dubious about what it would be like, but walked away in awe. This family started out with gems and rocks as a hobby, and over the years have built an amazing venue that includes "Aladdin's Cave" (which houses their personal collections of gems, rocks, stones and fossils from around the world), a cafe and a shop. There's also a maze which has good reviews online, but I didn't get to explore that.
The thing I love most about this place is how they've turned a passion into a living. The staff were absolutely lovely, and you could tell they love what they do for a living. I was inspired!
Finally, I grabbed dinner at Thai-riffic, which I expected to be standard Thai fare, but it was delicious! No wonder they've got the #1 spot on Trip Advisor for restaurants in Mildura.
I head off to Broken Hill via Wentworth tomorrow, but I've really loved Mildura. I could easily spend a longer stretch of time here - in fact, I think I'd be quite happy to live here!Read more