Mildura: Surprisingly More than Just Orange Juice!
Okay, I know that it sounds so ignorant but prior to flying out to Mildura for business, Mildura to me was unknown. In my mind, all I had was country, orange dirt and large plains of land. In my mind, Mildura was similar to Dunkeld but much hotter and maybe more orchards.
I had told my friend that I was going to Mildura and tried to convince her into coming with me. In her mind, Mildura was just orange juice. LOL. She expected to see maybe a large sign for orange juice? I dunno.. it sounds ridiculous, I know.
So anyway, I had no expectations but just good feelings and excitements for going away to a place I would never even think to go.
The outcome: a very interesting and beautiful place.
When I first landed at the airport – flew with Virgin my favourite – my first though was, “Ok.. this reminds me of Newcastle… so it’s not too bad”. I got my car pretty easily, a sexy black Nissan Pulsar. My Google Maps worked fine and off I went into the town centre. I ended up somewhere – driving round and round and thinking.. ah shit… But this is expected coming from me. Though, the weather was great so I didn’t mind. The scenery had a Mediterranean feel about it – the lush greens, the white houses on small hills. I saw this beautiful house on top of a hill and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a photo of it cos it was so beautiful.
Anyway, I finally found the main road and saw a sign that really amused me.
I don’t think I remember when was the last time I saw a sign that said 1030 kilometres to Sydney – I think from Melbourne it’s only 700 – 800 kilometres or maybe less?? Far out, imagine driving from Sydney from Mildura! Dayamm..
Anyway, I kept driving to look for my hotel and maybe I drove into the wrong one along the way – but hey.. it’s expected coming from me again.
So after a little bit of a rest and freshen up, I went into the city centre to grab some food. I had wanted to go to this one pub that I read from somewhere but I couldn’t find it and I was losing time, so opted to just hang out at a cafe on the corner of this roundabout section. Later when speaking to the boss of the business centre, she said that this district was the food district of the town.
One turkey and avocado foccacia later, I set off to find this business centre – as expected, I once again drove in the wrong direction and when I finally headed in the right direction, I still couldn’t find the venue.
When I finally found it, I went in and did my thang. It was great meeting the locals and talking about their businesses. I had one person from Tourism Mildura so it was great to hear about what attractions Mildura had and places that I could/should visit. It was nice. I even got a bag of pink salt from the boss! I still haven’t opened it yet as I’m still saving it for a special occasion. Apparently this salt is so good that it makes you not want to eat “normal salt” any more.. so I’m holding out for a little while before I unleash this awesomeness.
After the session, I set out to see the Murray River. I got a bit of a history session during my strategy session and learnt that the water of the Murray River belonged to NSW!?! Did you know that? I didn’t (later that night I actually googled mapped Mildura and traced the whole Murray river to look at the border.. OMG.. I did not know that the Murray River divided us Victorians from NSW.. Mind blown).
I was seriously contemplating whether to go to the NSW side but I didn’t want to take my chances just in case I ran into something I didn’t want to see. Though, while sitting on the Victorian side looking at the NSW side, I noticed the holiday houses on the NSW side and on our side, we had a park, a yacht club (kind of like the one in Essendon) and then docks for tour boats. I wondered which side was more commercially minded.
Ok, so now that I finished walking around, I wanted to get back into my car so that I could drive around and find this one spot on the Victorian side that turned into the NSW side. I like stupid shit like that – don’t judge me! 😀
One thing I really enjoyed about Mildura are the streets – do they not remind you of California? The palm trees – I mean, I haven’t been to LA, but I’m sure if you have been, this would remind you of it. So American, even the street names are Californian like San Mateo, first street, eight avenue etc. I suddenly feel like I was on a holiday somewhere different yet still reminded me of being around the Maribyrnong river near Highpoint. lol
By now, I was feeling really tired from the plane ride (or is “flight” a much more sophisticated way of saying it… maybe the correct way) and I was feeling anti-social so decided to go back to my hotel and just have a quite dinner there. I got a eye fillet with veggies on the side and it came with chips and salad so it was a freaking buffet! I didn’t drink because I was feeling a little run down and didn’t want to make things worse that and I still wanted to do a little bit of exploration the next morning.
The food at this place was not Royal Mail Hotel quality. It was ok, but just didn’t taste all that great. The Chef even came to ask me if my meal was ok.. I was being dishonest and just told him it was good. Though, in reality, I expected more from Mildura. No photos of dinner. It wasn’t IG worthy unfortunately.
The rest of the night I have no freaking idea why I started to freak out about ghosts so sleeping… I didn’t do much.
So after a normal breakfast of toast and fruit, I drove around Mildura to see what I could find. I wanted to see orange trees. I didn’t see any. I saw lots of grapes and maybe apples..?
I then stumbled into this vineyard/winery. Kinna looked like some murder homicide movie set. I was a little scared, so didn’t stay long. Just in case.
I then drove around and just took random pictures of peoples farms on the side of the road like a true blue tourist. I’m not sure whether the locals knew I was a tourist or thought I was an inspector taking photos of farms just to make sure everything was ok.
I then filled up my tank as you would when you hire a car – an expensive $5.00 from all the driving in Mildura (I hope you’ve noticed the sarcasm throughout) and then headed off to the airport en route home. I did contemplate taking another flight and just going somewhere for another night before returning home for me birthday, but then thought that resting and studying might be a good idea considering I had an exam coming soon.
All in all, I had a great time in Mildura and I really wished I knew about the Pink Lakes earlier, as if I had, I would’ve either booked a later flight or stayed one more night so I could’ve driven further. Next time! I will definitely come back and visit you again Mildura – so beautiful and foreign looking even though it’s just in our backyard.
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