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10 reasons why you need to put Mildura on your to-travel list

Fossey's Distillery, Mildura. Image credit: Fossey's Distillery

8 Sep. 2021 by Melissa Townsend

10 reasons why you need to put Mildura on your to-travel list

Dreaming of a change of scenery? May we suggest a nature escape along the banks of the Murray River in Mildura?

With a bustling city centre filled with retail shopping, chef-hatted restaurants, and an inner-city specialty coffee scene situated with national parks and World Heritage-listed sites within a drives reach, Mildura ticks every box.

Float, hike, paddle, or road trip your way through Mildura at your own pace, taking in all the sites and immersing yourself in the laid-back river lifestyle accompanying the town.

Here’s 10 reasons while you’ll need to add Mildura to your travel list.

1. Mildura has nature on its doorstep

Take one step into Mildura and you’ll slip seamlessly into nature. If there’s one thing this region is not shy of, it’s national parks and natural landscapes.

Drop your location pin in the middle of Mildura CBD and within a 150km radius you have billabongs, wetlands, sandhills and national parks at your travelling fingertips.

Flanking the Murray River you need only take a short drive before entering Mildura’s kilometres of parkland, ideal for exploration by foot, 4WD, bike, or kayak which can be launched on the Murray River or Kings Billabong for a paddle.

Discover breathtaking views within the Murray-Sunset National Park, dive into history at Mungo National Park, get up close with nature in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park or explore Perry Sandhills dunes, just to name a few.

2. There are lakes that change colour

You’ll want to pack a good camera when making your way to Mildura’s famous Pink Salt Lakes.

Made of natural salt, the lakes get their pink hue from the red algae growing in the water found within the Murray-Sunset National Park.

Watch as the lakes transform into vibrant colours reflective of the cloud coverage throughout the day. Snap a selfie as you walk along the salty banks, hearing a crunch with every step.

If there's one thing you can expect from the Murray-Sunset National Park all season round, it's a golden sunset and you’ll want to hang around for one as the pink lakes burst into a deep pink colour and golden hues.

3. Mildura has a coffee culture to explore

Whether you’re partial to an aromatic long black or a creamy flat white, Mildura’s coffee culture has you covered on the caffeine front.

Just a short walk from Mildura’s CBD, Shippy’s cafe is based out of a converted shipping container and set on the banks of the Murray River. Make your way a little further down the waterfront and find yourself at bobby + me for another round of food and coffee.

If you’re after a more inner-city-style café, Mildura’s CBD sets the regional Victorian café bar high. Make your way to blk.mlk specialty coffee slinging shots of five sense coffee, drop by Steampunk Mildura pouring a Four Rascals Coffee Roast, or enter the urban scene of Nash Lane for a delicious house blend flat white.

4. Mildura’s restaurants offer a fine-dining flare

Working up an appetite? You’re in luck with an array of restaurants to choose from. Find yourself sitting down for a local pub meal, indulging at a relaxed cafe or dining in one of the many restaurants within Mildura.

Be sure to check out the local chef-hatted restaurants for a feast of food and wine such as Stefano’s restaurant, utilising fresh, simple ingredients and transforming them into flavoursome Italian dishes.

The Province By Matt De Angelo is another of Mildura’s chef-hatted restaurants with a seasonal menu featuring local produce crafted into traditional Italian dining with a modern flare. Think buttery homemade pasta and antipasto dishes.

5. You’ll find award-winning makers and creators in Mildura

Discover award-winning makers like Fossey’s Ginporium and Distillery featuring craft gin, whisky, and vodka all rolled into one boutique distillery, open Thursday to Sunday from 2pm.

Their onsite distillery is open every Thursday where you can tour the facilities and learn about the production of their boutique spirits with distillers delighted to chat and share their knowledge on all things Gin, Whisky and Vodka.

Grab a tasting paddle to try more or take home one of their many blends from hot cross bun and Christmas pudding gin to single malt whisky or a bottle of Fossey’s premium double-distilled vodka.

If cocktails are your love language, then stop by Sip, a retro 70’s inspired cocktail bar and eatery, open Thursday to Sunday from 4pm, where you’ll find a long list of curated cocktails to choose from.

6. There’s a world heritage-listed natural wonder to explore

Delve into natural wonders and explore our UNESCO World Heritage-listed area of Willandra Lakes Region at Mungo National Park.

It’ll take you around a one and a half hours drive from Mildura across to Wentworth in New South Wales where the park begins.

Get the lay of the lunar-esque land and discover its heritage and significance on a self-guided drive tour. The Mungo Loop Track is a 70km loop that guides you through the park’s desert landscape, pinpointing the best spots to jump out of the car and explore by foot.

For a deeper dive into the history of the area, book in for an Aboriginal Discovery Tour to hear indigenous stories and learn about the importance of the area while walking your way through the National Park.

7. You can experience amazing sunrise and sunsets

If there’s one thing Mildura yields day after day, it’s a blazing sunrise and sunset. If you’re keen to catch the horizon burst to life as the sun emerges, set your alarm, pack a camera, and head to Red Cliffs.

Red Cliffs Scenic Reserve Lookout is just a quick 15 minute drive from Mildura, gifting prime sunrise views across the town's most prominent feature - the 70 metre red cliffs straddling the Murray River.

For the afternoon and set your navigation to Perry Sandhills located on the New South Wales side of the Murray. It’ll take you around a 30 min drive from Mildura CBD to reach this desert landscape filled with golden dunes. Once you’ve soaked in the landscape, grab your sandboard and surf your way down some of the bigger dunes.

Stick around for sunset and watch as the sun dips below the horizon.

8. You can have a close encounter with wildlife

If you’re keen to get acquainted with some of the local wildlife, there’s plenty of parklands and animal reserves to explore.

Make your way to Hattah-Kulkyne National Park armed with binoculars and a good camera lens for some bird watching keeping your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the endangered Regent Parrot.

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park is a 40 minute drive from Mildura offering up close encounters with emus, kangaroos, and koalas in their natural habitat, for those with a keen eye for spotting.

9. You can explore Mildura’s nature by foot, car or kayak

Whether you’re partial to road tripping through nature, hiking through national parks, or dropping off the beaten track and into the water for a kayak adventure, you’re bound to wind up somewhere in Hattah-Kulkyne National Park.

Book a tour with Murray Offroad Adventures or Mallee Tours and learn about the history of the land while driving through the region and into some of the best spots to encounter the native flora and fauna.

The Hattah Lakes Nature Discovery Trail is a great one to take a self-drive tour through the National Park or explore the 6.5 kilometre trail by bike.

For those keen to set off on a walk, take to the Hattah Nature Walk or Warepil Lookout Walk for sunset views. If you’re game for something a little longer, tackle the three-hour Mournpall Lake Loop.

Stay a little while longer and set up camp lakeside and launch a kayak into one of the many semi-permanent freshwater lakes within the national park. The wetlands provide a sanctuary for native birds, swans, fish, and other water-dwelling wildlife.

10. There’s retail therapy on offer

If you’re keen to make memories browsing the shops or purchase a few mementos to take home, there’s plenty of boutique stores lined with hand-crafted and locally made gifts throughout Mildura.

Walk your way through Mildura’s city heart and discover an array of local stores from clothing to jewellery, shoe shops, and perfumeries.

For a truly memorable shopping experience, take a 10 minute drive from Mildura’s centre to Woodies Gem shop. Peruse their gem shop and crystal displays, making your way into the gem cave before sitting down for a coffee.