Much of the same long straight road to start, we stopped for Ali to take some photos before continuing on to Wentworth. On the way to Wentworth we drove into a town called Mildura, we decided our trip was a bit tight to stop and look around this time through.
After pitching our tent we went to the information centre to see what we could do with our afternoon. We left with our arms laidened with pamphlets crossing the road to a pub opposite. We decided we would sit down and have a cold beer while going through all this stuff we’d picked up.
Post beer we drove around to the lock in time to see three aluminium dinghies going in to it on their way down stream. The lock keeper later explained these guys camped three kilometres down stream and came up for a counter lunch, they had being doing this for a number of years.
The lock opens on the ½ hour one way and on the hour the other way. It only opens if there is traffic. Now a days there is not much traffic, and it becomes the busiest when the town has river boat shows.
The lock keeper also talked about the houseboat trade dying around this area. He thought they were far too expensive now at $2000 a week to hirer.
I quizzed him about the navigation and depth of the river. He said you could probably go East on the Murray to Lake Mulwala. He said to the east you could camp anywhere on the River bank to Renmark as most of it was through National Park. He said that in South Australia a lot of land owners have posted notices declaring their property as “Private” and that annoyed him.
He had travelled from Wentworth to Renmark in a steam boat and it took about 4 days. They travelled from first thing in the morning until about 10pm at night. He thought they were probably making about 8 knots.
He said that navigation up the Darling was only good for about 40 kilometres North of Wentworth.
After our discussion with the Lock Keeper we went to the old “Wentworth Goal” and the Museum across the road, both were interesting with the Museum having a huge collection of Riverboat photographs. We returned to the camp site to find two tents pitched hard up against ours. I constructed a tarpaulin wall between us and we settled down for a drink and dinner. I am afraid I am not tolerant of people who have to camp on your door step especially when you are in a large grounds with plenty of room.
That night while were sitting outside our tent there was a lot of activity from possums in a tree next to us. We sat and watched as a number came down to look around the camping ground. Ali got some very good shots of these little guys going about the evening business.