Easter Trip 2019 (Part One)


Well-Known Member
Hi everyone,

Welcome to the first report from an eleven day trip in our new second hand caravan. We were heading for the north west of Victoria and then over the border into South Australia. It was mid April just before Easter 2019.

I hooked up the night before, (ready for an early departure) our old van seemed to say hey!! what about me guys!!

Our first camp would be on the banks of the mighty Murray River in the Murray Kulkyne Regional Park. Of course our route there was going to be a rather convoluted one as I wanted to show Jen and our daughter Kristie a few things along the way.

We approached Murtoa in the states west, the girls had no idea why we were going there, all I would say was this was going to be special. The only clue I gave them as we entered town was this was the biggest of it’s kind in the world.

The Murtoa Stick Shed was built in less than 4 months at the end of 1941 to be used as an emergency grain storage facility during WW2, it is the largest rustically-built structure in the world.

Outside you see this fairly big shed not appearing to be anything special.

Once inside the sheer enormity of it is truly astounding. It was constructed using over 560 natural mountain ash poles, it’s 270m long, over 19m in height and 60m wide, there are 56 bays in total. Wheat was poured into it by the way of an elevator and central conveyor belt that was located at the highest point of the structure running the full length of the building.

To help you get a feel for the size of this place, there are three people standing in the distance near the far end of the building in this next pic!!

Built with the most basic of machinery and with very few men available, its bush-style construction was unique at the time and even more so today.

Here are a few pics I downloaded from the net to show you how it was built.

Starting to take shape.

The Shed is heritage listed in Victoria and was the 101st listing on Australia’s National Heritage List.

It was so impressive, both girls gave me a tick for showing it to them.

Before we left Murtoa we paid a visit to another couple of significant buildings in town!!

Within the circular walls of the the towns historic railways water tower (built in 1886) there were three floors of local historic items and artefacts, including a collection of over 500 birds and other fauna, (stuffed, although not ruined if you know what I mean Ha!).

That as well as everything else on display, was so good and worthy of far more visitors than those who would see them there in Murtoa.

A pic of the bottom of the water tank that was placed right at the top of the building, and then the pulley system that was used to raise goods within the structure.

Our next stop was Rupanyup, Kristie had not seen any of the painted silos that the region has become famous for so we planned to do the trail as we headed north towards the Murray.

Rupanyup, then Sheep Hills and then our lunch spot beside the Yarriambiack Creek at Warracknabeal.

We continued on after lunch, the silos at Brim and then Roseberry.

Kristie had never heard of a Malleefowl (native Australian Bird) I explained their uniqueness and that they were huge. She didn’t quite believe me when I said this was a near life size replica of one!!

That was only a few hundred metres from the real reason we had gone to Patchewollock.

The sheer size of those silos is hard to appreciate from photos, but you can see doors at the bottom of most which helps show you just how big they are.

We had seen a fair bit already that day and were still some distance from our intended camp on the Murray. It was now time to test one of the alterations we had made to our van after purchasing it. We had replaced the suspension with one that would be sympathetic to where we do a lot of towing, that is on roads and tracks which are often corrugated with pot holes and sometimes worse.

The route I now choose had most of that and more as I took every back road I could cutting across to Hattah and then on towards the Murray The van exceeded all expectations as was the girls reaction when we eventually pulled up at what was to be our camp for the next few days on this sandy beach.

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
We positioned the van and then broke out the happy hour nibbles and drinks, what a day. We had seen a lot and also travelled just under 700ks.

Lovely reflections on the river that evening, then settling into what I love most about camping, sitting around an open fire out in the great outdoors miles from anyone or anywhere under a starry night sky.

Next morning there were again reflections on the river.

With the fire lit the girls got right into the swing of things.

We went for a walk upstream, about 2 ks from our camp we came across something I had never seen in all my travels up and down the full length of the river (well over 2,500 ks in length). There jutting out more than half way across the rivers width was a rock bar, it continued onto the other bank but at some time in the past it had obvious it had a large section removed to enable paddle steamers and the like to make their way up and down the river in days gone by.

A pic taken from out at the end of the rock bar looking back downstream.

On the way back to camp, then a couple of pics taken along the river in front of our van.

Another perfectly still morning.

After breakfast I took a paddle over to those cliffs.

Under every over hanging section Fairy Martins had built their bottle shaped mud nests.

They breed during late spring and summer laying between 4 and 5 eggs deep in the chamber. Both parents incubate and then raise the chicks. From the time of laying it takes about 15 days before the young hatches.

That evening a thin band of cloud slowly moved in giving me hope for a nice sunset, and boy it didn’t disappoint.



Well-Known Member

It was time to move onto our next destination, Lake Bonney just north of Barmera in South Australia. We had spent 4 nights camped on the Murray, and even though we were well into Autumn every day was in the high 20s, we had such a relaxing time as the lead up to this trip had been very hectic for all of us.

Our first stop after leaving the river was at the Millewa Pioneer Park at Meringur, about 90ks west of Midura. There are a number of buildings, machinery and other artefacts from the regions past.

This old cottage is thought to date from the late 1850s, it had been restored and relocated to here in the 1980s

Inside was pretty basic and when the wind blew there wouldn’t have been a lot of protection.

Not sure much of it would have been original, I guess it’s like someones grandfathers old axe. The handle had only been replaced three or four times as had the head but it was still claimed to be his original axe.

This old wheelbarrow would have been a back breaker!!

We restocked with fruit and veggies at Renmark, as we were now in the restricted fruit fly zone, we then arrived at Lake Bonney finding a lovely spot to spend the next three days and nights.

We just chilled that afternoon, it gave me a chance to do some bird photography as conditions were perfect and a couple of the locals obliged with their presence.

Right next to the van was a lovely old tree that will feature in a number of pics taken during our stay. A couple of Galahs seemed to be checking out possible nesting spots but I would have thought the season was a bit late for that!!

That tree was so old, it’s base was huge and had so much character.

This report has come to a end, there is no better way to finish it than featuring that tree again as day turned into night.

Col and Jen.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Great shots. The van looks brilliant.

I recognised your Murray campsite (near Hattah-Kulkyne)... taken at the edge of the small "inlet" just in front of your van.



Well-Known Member
Thanks guy's,

The previous time I was at that campsite the water level was far higher, still plenty of sand and great swimming. Yes I'm a keen photographer, it doesn't take much effort to try and make a shot more viewable/enjoyable. The magnificent scenes around Oz give you plenty to point the camera at, so hard to stuff up, although some still do Ha!!

Cheers, Col.


4x4 Earth Contributer
Nice one Col. The Missus and I just got back last Friday from the Silo Trail. We visited eleven Silo Sites. I will post pics on a new thread so as not to detract from your wonderful adventure.
Great pics, stories and can't wait for more. Nice to see you again.:)


Well-Known Member
Thanks all,

Yes Rick, I had wanted to visit it for some time but was never there when it was open. When I saw your pics I thought I have to make the effort.
As it is open a lot more now it makes it easier to see but your post made me finally say, we goota get there..

Regards to you both,



Well-Known Member
Thanks all,

Yes Rick, I had wanted to visit it for some time but was never there when it was open. When I saw your pics I thought I have to make the effort.
As it is open a lot more now it makes it easier to see but your post made me finally say, we goota get there..

Regards to you both,

Well you both need to get yourselves up here for a weekend or longer .
I can point you on the hidden history trail through the bush that hardly anyone goes too.
Will blow your hair back , unless your like me :)
Cheers Rick