DATA issued by Tourism Research Australia and reported in Sunraysia Daily (Friday, July 13) stated that South Australians love our end of the world.
To quote the report: “Sunraysia is increasingly becoming a top tourism destination for South Australians.”
The report continued that although most of the visitors to the area are from Victoria and NSW, the number from South Australia has increased by 27 per cent.
It is well-known that there has been a huge increase in grey nomad tourists in recent years, but also overseas visitors continue to come to this part of the world.
I won’t go into the “train or no train” debate but there are adequate transport options to travel to or from other parts of Victoria via V/Line or other bus services.
There are a minimum of three V/Line bus-train services per day each way between here and Southern Cross Station via Bendigo as well as services via Donald, Maryborough and Ballarat.
However, imagine how many more tourists, from all backgrounds, would come here from South Australia if there was any workable form of bus travel between Mildura and our nearest state capital city.
Imagine trying to organise a trip from Adelaide to Mildura (400km direct route) via the Riverland, about 50km further via Murray Bridge, Lameroo and Ouyen, only to be told there are only a couple of services a week.
Then you have to change at Renmark or Manangatang, wait up to two hours to connect to another service which may go another 100-150km out of the way.
What should be a five or six-hour trip finishes up taking up to 10 hours, for example leaving Adelaide at 8am via Lameroo and Murrayville to arrive in Mildura at 6.12pm.
Increasingly, more and more Sunraysia residents now travel to Adelaide for medical appointments rather than go to Melbourne and flying may not be an option.
NOTE: Tambray Coaches operates a Mildura-Adelaide direct bus service three times a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.