On my last visit to the lock, I was intending on getting a few photos of the PS Rothbury going downstream through lock 11. However, as I pulled into the carpark I heard the loud toot of her whistle, and realized I was almost too late. A quick jog from the car to the lock meant I was just able to snap a pic of her disappearing around the corner. Sorry, I will update this page as soon as I get those photos.
The whole river frontage in Mildura is family friendly, and no place more so than the lock 11 area. Beautifully kept parkland, a working lock, lots of shade trees and benches, you can’t really ask for more.
Except there is more… cross the lock and take a short stroll over the island, and you get to the weir. This is in fact the only weir and lock on the Murray river separated by an island (16 locks in total).
On the day I was there, a (hired) houseboat came through. Judging by the number of times it hit the wall, and how often it needed to reverse, I’m guessing the captain had not been through too many locks before 😉
If you see one of the Paddle Steamers on the other hand, now that’s pretty to watch! But practice makes perfect –
the PS Rothbury will use the lock about 1000 times per year.
Once the boat is inside the lock, the gates are shut behind it and water valves are opened to let water in or out, as the case may be. This takes just a little over 5 minutes. Then the gates are opened and the boat is on its way.
The lock and island is just such a nice place to laze around and watch the river traffic go by. You can even fish on the other side of the island, though you need to be aware that directly below the weir is closed to fishing at all times. The no fishing area is clearly signposted… ignore the signs at your peril, as this man found out to his cost.
If you do take a rod, expect to catch mainly European carp (and they can get big, over 10kg sometimes) and a few silver perch. As the Murray river is part of NSW, you require a NSW fishing license, even when fishing from the Victorian side.
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