Rutherglen here we come…


By Katrina Griffiths

I can’t help but be amazed at how cold it is only 5 hours out of Sydney. It feels like winter is well and truly upon us complete with rain, drizzle and fog. Its only April and I’m sitting in the front seat with the heater on and my toes freezing off. The girls are playing nicely in the back seats, our baby is sleeping, and we are making good time. This is very nice indeed. Except for the freezing cold toes.

We decided to stop for lunch in a country town called Holbrook. The interesting thing about Holbrook is that there is a fantastic submarine museum to visit, which is great for children and adults too. They have a real submarine to climb on, a working periscope, a holographic history lesson explaining the connection between Holbrook and submarines, and a great cafe serving fabulous food and coffee. It is very interesting, and good value at only $10 for a family.

Rutherglen is a region that is well known for producing some very fine wines, especially Shiraz, and since we were going to be staying there, the plan was to drink some. As we pulled into the town centre, I couldn’t help but notice that the place looked completely deserted. I had the feeling that this might not be a good sign. Unfortunately for us, we had arrived on a Monday and as the lady in the bakery said matter-of-factly before she shut for the day at 2:30, “Of course everything is shut. Its Monday.” Now I thought that Monday was the day that everything opened, but not here in Rutherglen. That meant that the wineries were shut – bummer!

Even though I was disappointed, I cheered up immediately when we arrived at the lovely Rutherglen Caravan Park. What a beautiful spot! The site is beside a big lake complete with gorgeous ducks that waddle around the place being adorable. I’m sure that the owners put them there on purpose and then trained them to be charming just to complete the picture. There is a fantastic playground next door, and since the drizzle had subsided, the kids burnt off some energy playing while we got set up.

This time, everything was working perfectly and we spent the night toasty warm with the heater on, and woke up fresh, happy and relaxed despite the arctic conditions outside. I whipped up a delicious Julia Childs style omelette for breakfast in my fabulous campervan kitchen, and even though one of my daughters declared it “DISGUSTING!” and refused to eat it, I don’t care. I am quite used to my cooking being insulted so I ate it myself, she went hungry, and we took off on our way to Castlemaine.