The Murray River: History, Heritage and Stunning Natural Beauty
The Murray is one of Australia’s mightiest rivers, stretching the length of the Victorian/NSW border. Travel this route and you’ll discover friendly rural towns, stunning desert formations, fertile riverbanks and some of Victoria’s best food and wine.
Located in far north-western Victoria, Mildura is an oasis of wildflowers, citrus groves and vineyards set amidst the surrounding desert landscape. Mildura is a bustling town with plenty of facilities and a burgeoning reputation for its fine food and wine. Sample it at its best at the renowned Stefano’s Restaurant. Be sure to get out on the water with a cruise, canoe paddle or even a night on a houseboat.
As the lush green river banks slowly merge into the Australian desert, you’ll discover Mungo National Park. This striking desert landscape was once a giant lake and remains of human ancestors from 40,000 years ago have been unearthed here. One of the highlights is the park’s Great Walls of China formation, and there’s also abundant wildlife including kangaroos and wedge-tailed eagles.
Historic paddleboats once ploughed the mighty Murray, carrying goods to settlements the length of the river. The town of Echuca-Moama lies in the heart of paddleboat country and is the ideal spot to step back in time with a paddleboat cruise. With an Aboriginal name translating as 'meeting of the water', Echuca-Moama is a town with a rich history. Take a self-guided tour of the port and wharf area to discover heritage buildings, and be sure to take advantage of the sunshine to enjoy some aquatic activities.
Another historic destination is the riverboat town of Wentworth, which sits where the Murray and Darling Rivers converge. Take a stroll along the picturesque river’s edge or past many of the lovely historic buildings in town.
Outside town are the rolling, red Perry Sandhills, more than 40,000 years old. Another attraction is the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, a semi-arid botanic garden where you can join a fascinating Aboriginal tour to learn about the history of the area.
Nestled between the river and lush rolling hills, Swan Hill is a food-lover's paradise. Discover fabulous local produce, great restaurants and an abundance of nearby wineries with a penchant for crisp chardonnay. Stroll beneath beautiful river gums by the river, or discover the town’s history at the open-air Pioneer Settlement Museum with its 19th century pioneer cottages, homesteads and stores. The Swan Hill Region Food and Wine Festival is a popular drawcard every March.
There’s a lot to discover along the mighty Murray River. Plan your adventure to capture the diversity of the region, and you’ll have a trip to remember. Don’t forget to pack the camera!