The Big Lap 2015 – Shepparton

Its damn cold at Shepparton(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepparton); there’s a lazy cold breeze chilling the bones as it blows through one’s body as its too lazy to go around. We drove down from Beechworth and at least it wasn’t raining when we left and the sky cleared as we drove along heading down the Hume Highway from the Wangaratta on ramp to the Benalla off ramp. We skirted Benalla via the truck route and arrived in Shepparton about midday.

Old Butter Factory building in Shepparton - now a retail and residential complex

Old Butter Factory building in Shepparton – now a retail and residential complex

Margaret had prepared a meal in the Shuttle Chef so it cooked nicely in the car on the journey so after setting up the van in the Victoria Lake Holiday Park (http://www.viclakeholidaypark.com.au/), we enjoyed a hot meal for lunch. Our site in the park is quite nice being the last one of a number backing on to the Lake where water fowl, ducks and pelicans enjoy life on a well-constructed recirculating wetland on the edge of the lake; the lake, and the extensive pathways around the perimeter, is well used as a recreation facility and would be a real bonus to the residents and visitors alike. One drawback to the caravan park is its location adjacent to a train line and the incidence of trains at odd hours of the night.

Our Site at Shepparton

Our Site at Shepparton

Pelicans on Victoria Lake

Pelicans on Victoria Lake

Ducks on the lake

Ducks on the lake

After lunch we rugged up and took a walk with the chilly wind to the Greater Shepparton Visitor Centre (http://www.discovershepparton.com.au/) to check out what is to be seen in the city. We were welcomed by Robin, a volunteer at the centre, who provided lots of local information and selected a number of useful brochures to guide us during our exploration of the area. Shepparton has developed a pleasant pedestrian mall and we walked through this while in the city.

Cows jump over the moon in Shepparton

Cows jump over the moon in Shepparton

Some of the cows are supercharged

Some of the cows are supercharged

As we were in the centre of Shepparton we explored the CBD of the city and visited a few local stores. One such store was the SPC Ardmona Factory Sales Outlet (http://www.spcardmonafactorysales.com.au/). We were a little disappointed in the outlet as it had lots and lots of imported products and was not a true factory outlet for SPC Ardmona (as the name suggests). We heard anecdotal evidence later that the SPC Ardmona Company did initially operate the facility but later sold the business with the new owner retaining the name. We did buy some of the products on sale for use in our journey.

Corellas in the trees adjoining the Goulborn River at Shepparton

Corellas in the trees adjoining the Goulborn River at Shepparton

Thursday morning found us in the park laundry early catching up on the washing. A minor medical issue had us searching for a medical centre in the city and a trip to the local chemist for appropriate medications was in order. We hadn’t had Pizza Hut pizza for years and we decided to visit the local outlet to test their fare – we’re over it.

That afternoon we invested in some additional supplies at a local supermarket then went in search of the Nut Man (http://www.thenutman.com.au/). This outlet operates from a nondescript shed in an industrial area of Shepparton but behind the galvanised walls of the shed lies a plethora of tasty nuts, dried fruit and many other delicacies; we brought several items.

Behind these walls - yum!

Behind these walls – yum!

Our next stop was to another somewhat nondescript location in a room in a large farm shed where delicacies known as chocolate apples are produced. The Chocolate Apple Factory (http://www.chocolateapplefactory.com.au/) is located at Shepparton East about 10 kilometres from the Shepparton CBD.

Is it a packing shed? No its the Chocolate Apple Factory

Is it a packing shed? No its the Chocolate Apple Factory

We visited and sampled the chocolate apples and their range of fresh bottled apple and pear juices. We ogled their handmade chocolates, and the vast array of chocolate products available for sale. The apples are first coated in caramel then in chocolate with a variety of additional coatings added. We purchased a few things including an apple (which we have now demolished) and returned to town to one of the local shopping centres for coffee and fuel for the vehicle.

Some people collect stamps - some windmills.

Some people collect stamps – some windmills.

Late Friday morning saw us heading down the road to Emerald Bank (http://www.emeraldbank.net.au/) to view the motor museum. There are a number of things to see at Emerald Bank, as well as the motor museum there is an antique/collectables outlet, a chocolate shop/café, a bakery, a nursery, pot shop, Adventure Park and a miniature railway which operates at weekends twice a month.

The windmill at Emerald Bank

The windmill at Emerald Bank

Chocolate Shop and Cafe at Emerald Bank

Chocolate Shop and Cafe at Emerald Bank

We checked out the very interesting antique shop (http://www.emeraldbank.net.au/index.php/our-shops/barclay-s-antique-collectables) and decided to go straight home and empty the cupboards as it would seem we are in possession of some very saleable items. I didn’t realise that the Coca Cola Yo-Yos that I have in a tin in the cupboard are worth $75.00 each – I nearly gave them away recently.

Fancy a Rickshaw?

Fancy a Rickshaw?

Or a Gumboot Tree?

Or a Gumboot Tree?

Hey ladies - if you need one of these its available at Barclay's Antiques

Hey ladies – if you need one of these its available at Barclay’s Antiques

Hey Bevan did hey have these at Hobart's?

Hey Bevan did hey have these at Hobart’s?

Where are my Coca Cola Yo-Yos?

Where are my Coca Cola Yo-Yos?

Next stop the motor museum (http://www.sheppartonmotormuseum.com.au/) where a display of American cars was on display. A number of other vehicles were also on the floor and we spent an hour or so drooling over the gleaming machinery on display. A short visit to the chocolate shop followed the museum then a visit to the large nursery on site followed by the pot shop. Couldn’t buy any plants while we are traveling from state to state and the pots and statues and pots are too heavy to cart around.

Motor Museum and Furphy Museum at Emerald Bank

Motor Museum and Furphy Museum at Emerald Bank

Fancy a Mustang?

Fancy a Mustang?

Exhibit at the Motor Museum

Exhibit at the Motor Museum

You can buy this one at the Motor Museum

You can buy this one at the Motor Museum

Beaut Harley at the Motor Museum

Beaut Harley at the Motor Museum

Yank Tank at the Motor Museum

Yank Tank at the Motor Museum

Lovely vehicle at the Motor Museum

Lovely vehicle at the Motor Museum

Furphy tanks were made in Shepparton

Furphy tanks were made in Shepparton

Old snow chains at the Motor Museum

Old snow chains at the Motor Museum

Old Ferguson Tractor at the Motor Museum

Old Ferguson Tractor at the Motor Museum

After a delicious lunch we took a drive out to Dookie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dookie,_Victoria), about twenty five kilometres from Shepparton, as suggested by the staff at the visitor centre in town. We stopped outside an engineering works – Dow Engineering (http://www.dowengineering.com.au/) where some interesting figures were located on the footpath demonstrating skills in precision cutting and specialist welding. There is not a lot to see but the main street is quite interesting with the Dookie Emporium being full of surprises that can be purchased. There is a lot of military paraphernalia available plus many, many, collectible items and knic knacks.

Dow Engineering at Dookie

Dow Engineering at Dookie

Dragon at Dows at Dookie

Dragon at Dow Engineering at Dookie

Laser Cut Horse Plaque at Dow Engineering Dookie

Laser Cut Horse Plaque at Dow Engineering Dookie

Inside the Dookie Emporium

Inside the Dookie Emporium

The Gladstone Hotel (http://www.dookiepub.com.au/) is located across the street from the Emporium, and the exterior of the pub looked great and well preserved (or refurbished) (https://open.abc.net.au/explore/20329) but unfortunately it only opened later in the day so we could not have a look inside.

Gladstone Hotel at Dookie

Gladstone Hotel at Dookie

There is a good little park across the road initially started by the CWA and more latterly adopted by the local Dookie Lions Club.

CWA Park at Dookie

CWA Park at Dookie

Mooving Art Cow at Dookie

Mooving Art Cow at Dookie

Leaving Dookie we encountered some interesting light cloud formations on a hill to the west of the town obviously influenced by wind in the area.

Hill overlooking Dookie

Hill overlooking Dookie

Unusual cloud formation at Dookie

Unusual cloud formation at Dookie

Different clouds at Dookie

Different clouds at Dookie

We drove back toward Shepparton and turned off to Lemnos where the Campbell’s Soup factory (http://www.campbellsoup.com.au/about-campbells/corporate-profile.aspx) is located. There is a factory outlet at the factory but it is currently closed.

Sign above Campbell's Soup Factory at Lemnos

Sign above Campbell’s Soup Factory at Lemnos

On Saturday morning dawn brought a beautiful winter day in Shepparton, very crisp first thing in the morning but very warm as the day progressed. We took a leisurely drive in the Victorian countryside around Shepparton to celebrate the glorious day.

Welcome to Tatura

Welcome to Tatura

Tatura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatura) is a small town about twenty five kilometres out of Shepparton and has a bakery – Tatura Hot Bread (http://www.taturahotbread.com.au/vanillaslice.html) – which boasts award winning vanilla slices. Since we arrived at morning tea time we decided to test the claim and settled in for a cappuccino and vanilla slice morning tea. The vanilla slices lived up to their reputation but the young lady making the coffee needs more practice.

Tatura Hot Bread Shop

Tatura Hot Bread Shop

The town is quite interesting and is also home to a major milk processing plant which boasts of being the largest Australian owned manufacturer of infant formula and cream cheese. Tatura (http://www.tatura.com.au/) is now owned by Bega Cheese Limited but the factory has been in the area for over one hundred years.

Milk processing factory at Tatura

Milk processing factory at Tatura

Tatura (http://www.greatershepparton.com.au/tatura) has a long and interesting history and housed a number of POW camps during the Second World War. We had a good walk through the CBD and took a number of photos.

Clock Tower at Tatura

Clock Tower at Tatura

Statue of Private Robert Mactier - a VC winner from Tatura

Statue of Private Robert Mactier – a VC winner from Tatura

This old Vauxhall was in everyday use at Tatura

This old Vauxhall was in everyday use at Tatura

Old Court House in Tatura

Old Court House in Tatura

Presbyterian Church at Tatura

Presbyterian Church at Tatura

Our next stop was Rushworth so we drove south from Tatura past the Waranga Basin (http://www.g-mwater.com.au/water-resources/storages/warangabasin), a large body of water supplying irrigation to a wide area of the Greater Shepparton area. The Waranga Dam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waranga_Dam) as the water body is also known is also used for recreation purposes and boasts fishing, boating, horse riding and other clubs on and around the district.

Not the Railway Station - the Comfort Station at Rushworth

Not the Railway Station – the Comfort Station at Rushworth

When we reached Rushworth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rushworth,_Victoria) we found a small market was still operating so we took a walk through the stalls to see what was on offer. Rushworth has many historic buildings dating from the mid-1800s and has quite a picturesque main street which we walked through taking many snaps. It must have been the day for award winning foods as we lunched at the local bakery which proclaimed itself to be “award winning”; there was a good trade being done and the food was quite tasty.

The Award Winning Bakery at Rushworth

The Award Winning Bakery at Rushworth

Post Office Rushworth

Post Office Rushworth

Mechanics Institute at Rushworth

Mechanics Institute at Rushworth

Criterion Hotel at Rushworth

Criterion Hotel at Rushworth

Agitator Laundromat at Rushworth

Agitator Laundromat at Rushworth

Shire Hall at Rushworth

Shire Hall at Rushworth

Next we drove along to the small town of Murchison (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murchison,_Victoria) on the banks of the Goulborn River known as the “river bank garden town” (http://www.murchisonvictoria.com.au/). Along one side of the main street the river bank has been developed into an attractive parkland with steps leading down to the river banks at one spot.

Welcome to Murchison

Welcome to Murchison

There is the obligatory hotel – The Caledonian

Caledonian Hotel at Murchison

Caledonian Hotel at Murchison

– and a number of food stores. We dropped into a gemstone and gift store Lindsay’s Jewels and Gifts (http://www.yellowpages.com.au/vic/murchison/lindsays-jewels-and-gifts-15521617-listing.html) to find the owner originally hailed from Queensland.

Uniting Church at Murchison

Uniting Church at Murchison

Bridge over the Goulborn River at Murchison

Bridge over the Goulborn River at Murchison

We'll have to come back in 2026 to see what's in the Time Capsule

We’ll have to come back in 2026 to see what’s in the Time Capsule

Mooving Art (http://www.sheppartonmooovingart.com.au/cms/) is a project of Greater Shepparton Council where the art is displayed on life size models of cows. There were a number of these cows in Murchison as there has been in other locations we have visited.

Shrek cow at Murchison

Shrek cow at Murchison

Mooving Art cows at Murchison

Mooving Art cows at Murchison

Skateboarding cow at the front of the caravan park at Shepparton

Skateboarding cow at the front of the caravan park at Shepparton

Leaving Murchison we travelled to the highway and returned to Shepparton where we walked around Victoria Park Lake prior to preparing for our departure for Ballarat tomorrow.

More later!

 

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