Only customers that day
On top of the old slag heap above the town of Broken Hill is the Miners Memorial, a tribute to the more than 700 miners that have died since the zinc-lead-silver deposit was discovered in 1883. The Broken Hill itself has almost entirely disappeared and been replaced by a large slag heap. BHP Billiton started here, but worked out its claim by 1939. The ore body is approximately shaped like a large boomerang on edge and BHP had the middle on/near the surface. The two ends are still being mined, but the miners are now Chinese and Japanese firms, and the mining is underground.
The town has lots of old buildings, but nothing as spectacular as Kalgoorlie.
On the 26th
we came south to Mildura on the Murray River, and into Victoria for the first time. Mildura is about 400km from the mouth of the Murray by road, but 880km by river. Mildura also is only 60m above sea level, so the river doesn’t run fast. There are several locks on the river to help keep it navigable. Most of the boats are either old fashioned paddle wheelers or houseboats. We haven’t seen anything fast yet. We went on
At Silverton - free car too
a paddle wheel tour at Mildura, it was the worst commentary we’ve had to date. Hopeless.
Its also the end of the outback. We still see lots of saltbush paddocks, but there are now large areas of cultivated paddocks, growing cereal crops. Mildura is also a major grower of raisins and sultanas, and probably some wine, too. As we traveled to Echuca we have come across some dairy herds, the first we have seen since Harvey in Western Australia, about 11,000km ago.
We stopped in Swan Hill to play the first of the “famous” Murray golf courses – Murray Downs. They have had trouble with their greens, but otherwise quite a good course. At Echuca we have played Rich River. They have two courses and we played the one redesigned by Peter Thomson. Quite a few similarities to Middlemore! Probably the fastest grass greens we have seen so far. Lots of fairway bunkers.
Echuca is a very nice town with lots of cafes and pubs, BUT it has traffic lights and parking meters.
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30 May 2012
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