Depart Melbourne: 8:05am; 0km
Morning Tea: Beaufort at 9:59am; 170.5km
A collection of quaint historical buildings, award winning pies and it's location approximately 2hrs form Melbourne make this a pleasant stop. Lamb and Rosemary, Chicken and Plain Beef were all sampled and given the thumbs up. Even The Big Girl, who normally avoids pies due to the preservatives got in on the action.
From here the Western Highway continues though Ararat and past the Grampians,
... a place we must bring the kids back to. Halfway between Stawell and Horsham at Dadswell Bridge is the Giant Koala. I just couldn’t resist stopping and getting a photo with this rather creepy replica of an Aussie icon, with its strangely rendered hairy ears and red eyes.
Rest stops along the highway are listed in advance and I was intrigued by the listing for the Pink Lake. Would it really by a Pink Lake? The answer was yes.
The Wimmera is sheep and wheat country. Fields stretch out for miles and even tiny towns of a few clustered buildings are visible from a distance marked by the ubiquitous wheat silos that dominate the surrounding countryside.
Lunch: Nhill at 1:25pm; 382km.
Nhill is set right in the middle of wheat country. The centre strip of the main street is occupied by the public park with a gazebo, picnic table and public toilets. The toilets had piped Beethoven … but only for the ladies.
The South Australian border is 63km from Nhill but my plan to take a photo with the sign was frustrated as we were passing it before I realised we were there. The quarantine bins are located a couple of kilometres down the round and all fruit and vegetables must be disposed of here.
Afternoon Tea: Keith at 3:30pm; 506.9km
Arrive Murray Bridge: 5pm (5:30pm Melbourne time).
We arrived at Murray Bridge at sunset. Murray Bridge derives it's name from the road and rail bridges that cross the Murray River at this point. After picking up petrol we headed straight down to the river for some sunset photos of the bridge.
Total distance traveled: 662km.
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