Home for the hol­i­days

FOL­LOW THE READER

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Australia - SHANE PHILLIPS

LOX­TON, SA NOT­many peo­ple think of the Vic­to­rian Mallee as a prime tourist des­ti­na­tion, but over re­cent years we have come to trea­sure our fam­ily hol­i­days to the north­west of Vic­to­ria.

The small town of Mur­rayville may not rank with the likes of Venice, Paris, Tokyo or New York, but it’s be­come a must-go for our fam­ily.

Lately we have stayed at the old Mur­rayville Con­sol­i­dated School, which has been turned into a B&B. Nights spent around the open fire chat­ting about noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar are an ideal way to es­cape from our oth­er­wise busy lives.

What to do on hol­i­day with three kids in a small mallee town? A trip to the sand dunes at Wyper­field Na­tional Park for sur­fcum-ski­ing prac­tice en­sures even the most ac­tive of chil­dren are to­tally de-en­er­gised. Wan­der­ing back to Mur­rayville re­quires a stop at the Pink Lakes. The shal­low pool of water over salt crys­tals has the kids en­gaged in fur­ther ex­plor­ing and, for the ad­ven­tur­ous, crack­ing the salt pan to re­veal the hy­dro­gen sul­fide-laden sub­soils, which con­tain all the stinky in­gre­di­ents to keep the boys happy.

The lo­cal pub and cafe pro­vides good meals, but if you want di­ver­sity wan­der up and down the high­way to other small towns where tra­di­tional pub fare in­volves huge quan­ti­ties of meat.

Dur­ing footy sea­son, Mur­rayville has a Sun­day soc­cer com­pe­ti­tion, which is a draw­card for lo­cals, back­pack­ers and fam­ily tourists. If you can walk, you can play, and it is not un­usual for a team to have 40 play­ers on the field.

Send your 400-word con­tri­bu­tion to our Fol­low the Reader col­umn: travel@theaus­tralian. com.au. Pub­lished colum­nists will re­ceive a $100 voucher for Colorado shoes. Colorado (now stocked by Wil­liams stores) spe­cialises in men’s and women’s life­style footwear. More: colorado.com.au; williamsshoes.com.au.

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