Off to Renmark

We are now off to Renmark up the Sturt Highway 138 km, the River in not in sight on this stretch, and across the border in South Australia. We pick up half an hour too! The road is a contrast, long stretches of fallow lands being prepared for the winter grain crops. Just goes on forever. The ploughed paddocks are a deep orange colour, some turning green with what we are not sure. We are staying in the Riverbend Campground which is just over the Paringa Bridge, the only remaining bridge in Australia with an operating central lift of the roadway to let boats through. This happens daily at 9.30am and 2.30 pm, if there are any boats waiting. In the two days we were there it didn’t lift, maybe on the return trip east it will happen!

Paringa Bridge, Paringa is a small village on the other side of the River from Renmark.
Sun up through a misty morning on the River

Renmark is close to Berri and Loxton and we went off on a day trip on this triangular route, along the way we stopped into the Riverland Wine Centre. This establishment is a front for a number of small Riverland Vineyards, although the ‘Centre’ seems to be operated by a private mob who buy the wines in and then flog them off to visitors. Allthego cottoned onto to this because they charged for a tasting paddle but didn’t give a credit if you bought something, the normal practice at cellar doors. An interesting place though that has a pizza oven for tasters to linger longer over. Which we didn’t but maybe will when we return along this way!

The ‘Heaven’ cliff face at Loxton

Earier we called into Lock 5 at Paringa. The locks are all looking the same but the nearby Black Stump didn’t. Apparantly, our biggest of eleven black stumps around the country. It was big. In front of a house that had some metal cut out Murray Cod replicas for sale. Allthego couldn’t resist one of these craftwork icons and picked a good one up for a bargain price. The marble eye is a bit wobbly but can be fixed later. Will look good down by the pool at Bedwell Place.

The Black Stump
Murray Cod cutouts, bargain at $10.

Near the Black Stump is the Silo Artwork on the town’s disused grain silo complex. Looks tremendous, particularly the Murray Cod. These Murray Cod are just getting to Allthego and Homealone. Cod everywhere and big Cod too! An example of old infrastructure providing a town with marketing opportunities.

Silo art at Paringa

Further out of town the Headcliffs Cliff lookout provides some spectacular views of the Murray as it cuts into its limestone cliff faces.

The Murray at the Headings Cliff Lookout.
Looking the other way at Headings Cliff Lookout

All the river towns have had their restored paddle steamers, albeit paddle vessels. Renmark is no different, it actually has a restored working paddle steamer, a PS! The PS Industry commissioned in 1911. It goes out for a run every couple of weeks or or so and we have missed it on this trip. Maybe next time on our way back east!

PS Industry at the dock

Renmark is also a ‘Greek’ town, Mildura was the ‘Italian town’. Or so it seems, there are some Greek places here and not as many pizza joints. We had lunch out at Mallee Estates Vineyard, where Eleni’s cafe provides some Greek fare to tempt the tastebuds. Elini is the matriach of this Greek family that has been here since the end of WW11, she came to Australia as a young teenager. Brought the family recipes with her. It is a tasty lunch washed down with some Mallee Estates Tempranillo. Goes with the food. We take some back for the van’s cellar.

A duo here…… calamari with an aioli sauce and smoked pork sausage spiced with orange and fennel. All rather good.

Back at the van though it is hard to go past a lamb roast cooked in the Webber with some roast vegetables on a chilly evening. Can’t beat home cooking on the road!

Roast Lamb dinner back in the van, done on the Webber.
Renmark Custard tart
A Mildura custard tart.

There has also been another episode back at the van in the great custard tart taste off. We brought up from Mildura a tart to check off against a Renmark tart. These tarts are tending to look the same from place to place but some are tasting a bit different, the Renmark tart here is a winner, fullsome, nice rich custard and a crunchy base.

Our next destination along the Murray is planned to be Waikerie.

About allthegobro

I am a retired accountant who does a bit of consulting work from time to time. Leanne and I enjoy travelling around seeing the world and we are now going to have some fun recording our experiences in this blog

Posted on June 2, 2022, in Murray River times 2022. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Jessie, Dianne and I are sitting in the sun enjoying your pics! Looks like a wonderful trip. Sending our love to you and Leanne xxx

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