The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Rutherglen – Wine, Cheese and Windy Weather

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After leaving Wagga Wagga we decided to head to the wine region of Rutherglen.

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On the way we stopped in a little town called Brocklesby for lunch in the park and it had an amazing story to tell about an air crash in 1940. I found this info about it on Wikipedia but it is almost the same as the memorial feature in the park. Apparently the Air Force refused to recognise any heroism on the part of the pilot as there was a question about whether the pilots were up to hi-jinks at the time. They are heroes to the town of Brocklesby, though!

On 29 September 1940, a mid-air collision occurred over Brocklesby, New South Wales, Australia. The accident was unusual in that the aircraft involved, two Avro Ansons of No. 2 Service Flying Training School RAAF, remained locked together after colliding, and then managed to land safely. Both navigators and the pilot of the lower Anson bailed out after the aircraft struck. The pilot of the upper Anson, however, found that he was able to control the interlocked aircraft using his ailerons and flaps, coupled with the still-functioning engines on the machine underneath. He then made an emergency landing in a nearby paddock. All four crewmen survived the incident, and the upper Anson was repaired and returned to flight service.

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Brocklesby also has a community run pub, which I thought was interesting. The Shire Council are the licensees and the community run it. There’s not much info about Brocklesby, but what I found is here.

Also on the way to Rutherglen I had to make a detour through Walbundrie as Rosanna, who I had met just out of Boulia and travelled with to Winton, had made mention of it in her blog. I had no idea where it was until I was planning this trip and there it was, right in the area we were headed to. That’s a good enough reason to visit somewhere new!

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Our Camps books had mentioned Police Paddocks on the south side of the Murray as a camping spot so that’s where we headed. It looked so good when we arrived that we decided it would be a couple of days at least before we moved on so I attached the awning and took the opportunity to use my new ground sheet which I had recently bought. I love it!

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Jack loved this camp. Sticks, water – and, as there weren’t many people around, he didn’t have to be on a lead! The bank down to the water was steep but not a long way down and he would throw his sticks in the water, or nudge them over the edge until they dropped in the river, then of course he had to jump in and get them. One very wet dog for most of the time we were there. We were a bit concerned, though, as the river was quite fast flowing but fortunately he stuck to the side and didn’t get caught in the current.

Our next door camp wasn’t quite so lucky! They had a cocker spaniel that took herself for a swim that night, got caught in the middle of the current and washed down the river and on to the other bank quite a way downstream. That was one very distressed family until they were able to find her and it made us a lot more vigilant about Jack’s water escapades.

The next morning Jack burrowed into his goodies bag and found this heavy rubber ball that he absolutely LOVED, dropped it into the river – where it promptly sank to the bottom in the mud –  and that was the end of his favourite toy! It was also the end of his water play! It was a “Not Happy, Jan!” moment all round!

We were off to the wineries, but the wind had blown up quite strong and was whistling down the river so I dropped my awning down while we were away to be on the safe side.

So many Wineries to choose from, but we were on the road to All Saints so that’s where we started.

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What a magnificent setting! The drive way in was awe inspiring, the grounds are just beautiful, there is a cheesery there and a restaurant. Marion was in wine buying mode so added a couple of bottles to her collection to take back to Tassie. Here’s a link to their website. 

After tasting the first few wines I can’t remember the order we went to the others in, but these are some that we visited. This was taken at Campbells where a few years ago I was visiting when they were bottling magnums of 1988 Robbie Burns Shiraz to celebrate the wineries 100th anniversary. At that time they had to hand cork them as they didn’t have a machine to do it.

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Campbells 5Campbells 3

Morris Wines

Morris Wines

Stanton & Killeen 3

Stanton & Killeen

We also visited Gooramadda Olives and bought a huge jar of their giant marinated Kalimata olives to add to the wine tasting day we will have in Tasmania. This olive farm is situated right next to Morris’s Wines.

When we got back to our camp the wind was still whistling through and it wasn’t very pleasant so we decided to pack up the next morning and head a little further south to the Milawa region.

Rutherglen to Milawa

We chose to stay at the Oxley Recreation Reserve which the Camps book said had toilets and showers. Well, the ladies showers were locked, the toilets were ok but needed a good hose out, so the donation box at the entry didn’t get much heavier as we were leaving. Despite all this we stayed 2 nights as it wasn’t crowded and we wanted to visit some of the local attractions like Milawa Cheeses and Milawa Mustards.

On the way we went through Wangaratta and popped into Bunnings to catch up with Karen, who used to live upstairs from me on the Gold Coast. She looks fantastic – happy and healthy – and even though the catch up was brief it was worth while.

It was Melbourne Cup Day while we were at Oxley Rec Reserve so we got together with our neighbours, Diana & Bill, and had our own Melbourne Cup Party, with local bubbly, cheeses, meats and breads.

Cup Day 2013 2This was all made even more special when Bill opened up a little door in the outside of his Winnebago and there was a TV, so we watched the race sipping bubbles and eating beautiful food with new found friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t back a winner so looks like my plans for a Winnebago are on hold yet again!

We’re on the move again! Next stop Alexandra, where our brother and some of his family live. We haven’t caught up for nearly 10 years so I am really looking forward to this visit.

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