Big River Nats 2012
Let’s Go Cruisin hosted the cruise from Melbourne to Berri/Barmera on the Murray in South Australia’s Riverland region. 18 entrants left from the Calder Park BP and cruised into Castlemaine for a lunch stop. After lunch we bypassed Bendigo to pick up the Lodden Highway. A stop at the bakery in Kerang was enjoyed by all and the convoy safely reached Swan Hill for our overnight stopover without any mishaps or anyone getting lost. Enough time to check into our accommodation, take a wander around and then dinner in the Commercial Hotel. Excellent food in the hotel’s Bistro was enjoyed by the 30 cruisers.
Next morning it was onto Mildura for lunch. Setting off after b’fast the convoy crossed into NSW at Robinvale. To this stage the Victorian highways had been mostly below average in surface quality with much time spent cruisin below the posted limits. When we hit the NSW section of the Sturt Highway, we were all bemused by the posted 110 Kph limit for a road that we could only safely do around 80- 90kph on. The road surface was that poor. It started to improve the closer we got to Mildura. Not a lot of scenery in this part of the world either.
Fortunately, Stefano’s café lived up to its reputation with an excellent lunch and the Sturt was soon forgotten. Clearly this cruise was setting new food standards as not one greasy spoon café or dodgy roadhouse yet.
Another two hours cruise after leaving Mildura saw the convoy arrive in the Berri/Barmera area and split up as we headed to the various accommodation locations.
The Big River Nationals started to get into swing the next day and by Saturday over 400 cars had rolled into the Expo Centre.
This cruise again confirmed to all who came along that travelling in convoy with other enthusiasts can make the trip a very enjoyable part of attending events.
Our thanks to all the participants for coming along and making the cruise such a fun part of attending the Big River Nationals.
Photos: Graeme Hutson