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MILDURA has a mirage-like aura, its vineyards and orange orchards standing out from a hot, dry landscape. To the southwest is the evocatively named Sunset Country, with nothing but gnarled mallee scrub, red sand and pink salt lakes (reached via Linga on the Mallee Highway). Mildura makes a good winter getaway, but summer can be stiflingly hot and it’s best to avoid the area at this time if you can. Many people use the town as a jumping-off point for the Mungo National Park.

Mildura has a good reputation as a place to find fruit-picking work, though the only guaranteed time is in February, when the grape harvest takes place.

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