Wednesday 22 October 2014

Do It In Deni! My day out with Probus to Deniliquin.

I don't usually post articles about travel on here (as that was a previous life when I still had my health & was able to live life), but late last week my elderly parents invited me to join their Probus group on a day trip to Deniliquin.  The deal - if I would be their photographer, I could have a day out of the house including lunch.  Yes, I am so desperately broke I will work for food!
Where is Deniliquin?  Deniliquin, known locally as "Deni",  is a town in the Riverina region of New South Wales close to the border with Victoria (Australia). Deniliquin is located at the intersection of the Riverina and Cobb Highway approximately 725 kilometres south west of the state capital, Sydney and 285 kilometres north of Melbourne, and is 171 kilometres NE of Bendigo (see map - Bendigo is the blue dot).

Deniliquin has much to offer, whether you are into utes (for which they are famous for), history, sport, bushwalking, camping, fishing, bird watching or learning about life in rural Australia.  Deniliquin enjoys a warm climate with more sunshine hours each year than the Gold Coast.  Summer temperatures average 31.8C, spring & autumn average 23.7C and winter is a mild 15.4C

We left very early in the morning and had a brief toilet stop at Echuca on the way north.  We arrived at Deniliquin late morning.

Our first stop was at the Visitor Centre & Peppin Heritage Centre.  Originally the Deniliquin Public School, it was renamed the Peppin Heritage Centre in honour of the Peppin family and the influence they had on the founding of the Australian Merino industry.  The centre's museum includes a history of the Peppin Merino, an original ram shed, the Wanganella Gaol, the Struggle for Water exhibition and the latest permanent exhibition titled "Squatters, Surveyors and Selectors - Settlement along the Edward", which covers the history of stations along the Edward River.

"TransmUTE" - this FB Holden Ute was transformed into a work of art by the local community and was unveiled in 2008.  It celebrates Deniliquin's famous Ute Muster.  The mosaic sculpture design depicts the local landscape, agriculture, river, sunset, sky and much more.


The "SHOD" - this giant half of a bullock shoe was erected in 2009 as a tribute to the pioneer bullockies. 

Me in camouflage with a local art exhibition inside the Visitor Centre. 
I chose the right skirt to wear that day! LOL

A Peppin Merino Ram - he looks a bit stuffed to me!

Peppin Heritage Centre

Peppin Heritage Centre

Following our visit we were taken on a leisurely coach tour around the township with a couple of local guides. 
View of the Edward River
View of the Edward River
The "Ute on the Pole" - in 1999, Deniliquin held the inaugural "Play on the Plains" Festival and a part of the festival was to attract as many utes as possible.  A Guinness World Record was set with 2839 utes turning up!  In 2010, 10152 utes were counted! The iconic WB Holden Ute complete with engine, bulbar, stickers and aerials was erected in 2000 and confirms that Deniliquin is the Ute Capital of the World.  It is situated in Charlotte Street, on the edge of the Edward River and beside the National Bridge.
A close up of the "Ute on a Pole"

Here's me showing off my fantastic parking skills!

The Deniliquin Ute Muster Site is approximately 2kms from town on the Conargo Road.  The gates are a must see!  The festival has been held on this site since 2002 and as the event has grown so has the infrastructure which can be seen.   The Festival also features the Guinness Book of Records Blue Singlet Count, which now stands at 3500, and the Australian National Circle Work Championships.  The event features two days jam packed with entertainment - live music concerts, trade sites, sports driving area, bull rides, bogan spotting, and a host of other entertainment for the whole family on the NSW Labour Day Weekend in October.  For further information visit:
  Lunch was at the Globe Hotel (grilled fish and salad for me).
Our lunch venue - The Globe Hotel
Grilled Barramundi and salad for me.
Our group spread over 4 or 5 tables.

Following lunch was an afternoon visit to the local Historical Society Museum including  hosted afternoon tea.  Located at the end of Macauley Street, the former Police Inspector's Residence has been fully restored and has a fantastic display of life in Deniliquin, from the early days to the present, as well as extensive historical records.  The highlight for me was the small collection of antique irons and sewing machines and the beautiful rose garden.

Deniliquin Historical Society

Vintage EMU Sewing machine & table
Vintage SINGER Sewing machine & table
Hand powered SINGER Sewing Machine
Heritage Society's Rose Garden
Heritage Society's Rose Garden
Heritage Society's Rose Garden
Afternoon tea at the Heritage Society
An Iced Vovo biscuit!  I haven't seen one of those for years.  Shame it wasn't gluten-free!
I *HAD* to include this photo.  These are my parents - fondly referred to as Dad and Mum.  In typical fashion Dad is reaching for more cake whilst Mum looks on with a look of disdain on her face. Bwahahahahahaha
"Disdain" - the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one's consideration or respect.
I was going to make a joke about "Probus members all being retired dentists so that I can't show you their faces"; but I know a lot of people outside of Australia would not have seen that TV ad and would not "get" the joke.  Anyway, here's a group shot during the end of day speeches. I was meandering around the museum whilst they were eating cake hence I was caught off guard and at the back of the room.

On the drive back to Bendigo, my mother entertained us by reading "Sam The Lamb" - a cute kiddies colouring-in book about the Australian Wool Industry.  You can download your own copy of this cute little book via the SAM THE LAMB website. 
Barbara reads "Sam the Lamb"
Wool may be used to knit and crochet!
Traffic jam!
Cows on the loose
Welcome back to Victoria!  We crossed the state border from Moama to Echuca.
Turn right to Bendigo...
After Dad insisted on showing our coach driver a "short cut" back to Bendigo, we eventually arrived back into town early evening.  A very exhausting day for me but I was so grateful to escape the confines of my house & of Bendigo, even if only for a day.
Many thanks to the Strathdale Probus Group and Deniliquin Tourism.  Information sourced from Deniliquin Tourism & Deniliquin Visitor Information Centre.
"Do it in Deni" on the Edward River.

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