The Murray River
It’s hard to beat the simple pleasure of camping along the Murray River.
The 354km River Red Gum Drive between Torrumbarry Weir and Barmah National Park highlights the best of the Murray River region.
Winding through the world’s largest river red gum forests, it takes you to beaches, lagoons and wildlife hotspots. There’s a wealth of places to explore on foot, by bike or in a canoe.
Explore Australia’s largest inland island in Gunbower National Park and paddle Safes Lagoon, before heading to the quaint riverside town of Koondrook. After crossing the Murray on the historic Barham Bridge, head for Perricoota Forest or meet up with the Backroads Trail for a food and wine journey – either path leads to Echuca-Moama.
From there, the Murray Valley and Barmah National Parks beckon. Stop at Reed Beds Bird Hide for a spot of bird watching or get back on the water, by canoe or eco cruise, and discover the wonderful wetlands.
At the end of each day, there’s no shortage of places to stay, whether you prefer secluded riverside campsites or indulgent cottages close to restaurants, shops and golf clubs.
To find out more about touring the Murray region, or to book your next trip and take advantage of some great deals, click here to visit www.turu.com.au.
Things to do
Canoeing is the ideal way to experience the river, and many rental operators also offer guided trips. Alternatively, hiking, biking and horse-riding are great ways to explore. The Murray is ideal for waterskiing, with professional instruction on hand for waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding and barefooting. For a new experience, try sandboarding at Wentworth, or tandem skydiving at Corowa.
For the foodies
The Murray is the heart of the nation’s food bowl and the local farmers’ markets reflect that. Wash down local cheeses, jams, olives, yabbies and chocolate with wines from Mildura, Swan Hill, Perricoota and Rutherglen.
Gourmet tours such as the Farm Gate Trail, and restaurants including Jim McDougall in Stefano’s Cellar, Java Spice and Oscar W’s cater to all tastes.
The region’s history
From the tree marked by Hume and Hovell in Albury in 1824 to 40,000-year-old human fossils in Mungo National Park, the Murray region is steeped in history. The Pioneer Settlement re-creation at Swan Hill introduces families to European colonisation while further afield you’ll find Aboriginal sacred sites offering a glimpse of more distant days.
Don’t miss the ‘lake district’ between Kerang and Lake Boga – 22 lakes, lagoons and marshes forming habitats for hundreds of birds and plants. From the semi-arid Mallee in north-west Victoria and the red sands of the NSW outback, the Murray environment stretches to floodplains and woodland. To the west, Murray Sunset National Park offers vast open spaces and colourful spring wildflowers.
Events & festivals
Most months there’s a festival somewhere in the region, from soulful tunes at Echuca’s annual Riverboats Music Festival to roaring engines at the Deni Ute Muster. Sporty types should check out the Southern 80 – the world’s largest water ski race – or train up for the Massive Murray Marathon paddle.