alert-circle-i arrow-down arrow-left arrow-up at-sign calendar clock email-84 facebook globe instagram linkedin mail marker phone location tags twitter youtube

A feast for the senses! Taste the autumn season in The Murray

Bundarra Berkshires, Barham

22 Apr. 2022 by Daniela Sunde-Brown

A feast for the senses! Taste the autumn season in The Murray

Seasonal produce, paddock-to-plate, free-range heritage breed, organic farming… these might seem like foodie buzzwords but in the abundant, fertile lands of the Murray River region, eating like this is the way of life.

If you’re curious about where your food comes from or what’s in season close to home, venture out to the towns scattered along the mighty Murray River and discover what’s fresh today.

Meet farmers in their paddocks or at markets, dine on regional produce, and even fish for your own Murray Cod with this guide to eating local in The Murray.

1. Dine on seasonal produce crafted by Murray chefs

There’s only one thing chefs love more than working with incredibly high-quality produce – and that’s meeting the farmers behind the product. Here in The Murray, the farms and food artisans are never far from town, making it easy for local chefs to maintain great relationships at the source.

If you’re looking for a tasty lunch, Canvas Eatery at the Murray Art Museum Albury is a casual modern diner that makes the most of in-seasonal Murray River ingredients.

In Swan Hill, lounge on the expansive waterfront decks at Spoons Riverside. Overlooking the Little Murray River and nestled amongst the River Red Gums, it’s a peaceful place to enjoy dishes made with regional produce, plus you can pick up handmade gourmet goods.

You can’t get closer to the source than eating a feast served on the very same farm where the produce was grown and harvested. In the quiet countryside between Deniliquin and Blighty sits the Long Table Café, where the family serves its award-winning cheese, salami and preserves along with chicken and pork raised on the property. It’s not open every day, so call ahead to coordinate this authentic paddock-to-plate dining experience in The Murray.

For a refined regional dining experience look to Junction Moama. The chefs make use of the Murray region’s incredible produce in an ever-changing share-style menu. It’s also a great chance to try some of The Murray’s great wines from producers like Dal Zotto, Pizzini and Delatite.

2. Explore the Murray Farm Gate Trail

If you’re curious about paddock-to-plate dining or learning where your food comes from, drop into a handful of the 21 stops along the Murray Farm Gate Trail.

Between Brimin to Barmah, bounce between farms and producers tasting cheese, wine, liqueur, olive oil, beef, garlic, preserves, fresh fruit and veggies. Here are just a handful of the farm gates you can visit:

Fruit

At the Big Strawberry, the Hayes family has been growing the juicy red fruit since 1969. Snap a picture with the giant strawberry then pick-your-own during the season and visit the farm shop to taste preserves, cordials, jams, chutney and even strawberry wine.

For a serious dose of citrus, venture into Orange World, where 10,000 trees produce more than 20 million oranges, mandarins, grapefruits and avocados. Join a tractor train tour through the farm then taste fruit, ice-cream and juice at the kiosk.

Olives

The award-winning Rich Glen Olive Estate makes more than 100 products with the humble olive including salt rubs, dressings, vinegars, tea and, of course, extra virgin olive oil. Drop by the Murray River Providore in Echuca to pick up Rich Glen produce and build-your-own picnic box to take down to Lake Mulwala or Forges Beach.

Beers, wine and everything fine

Byramine Homestead & Brewery dishes up farmhouse platters and Devonshire teas to match its home brewed beers, ciders and wines. Built in 1842, the historic home is Victoria’s oldest homestead, so save time to tour the property and its glorious grounds.

Pork

Nearby, Bundarra Berkshires farm free range heritage breed pigs on a regenerative farm near Barmah. Drop into the family butcher in town to pick up various cuts to grill at a riverside barbecue, some specialist charcuterie for a picnic, or book a stay on the farm to meet the happy pigs yourself.

3. Shop seasonal produce at a farmers market

Blushing red apples that crunch so loudly that people turn to look, honey dripping with sweetness, and picked-that-morning vegetables still covered in loam - the joys of a regional farmers market are too many to name. The Murray River, as one of Australia’s most-loved foodie destinations, is bursting with fertile soil, food and flavours.

If you don’t have a spare few days to journey the Murray Farm Gate Trail, spend a morning connecting with the Murray River community and meet local growers, makers and producers at one of the region’s many farmers markets.

Through autumn look for Murray River apples, figs, cucumbers, pears, beans, beetroot, cabbages, carrots, corn and so much more.

Save your Saturday for these Murray River markets:
  • Echuca Farmers Market: 1st, 3rd, 5th Saturday from 8am-12pm
  • Albury Wodonga Farmers Market: Every Saturday from 8am-12pm
  • Naponda Farmers Market, Deniliquin: 2nd Saturday from 8am-12pm
  • Robinvale Community Growers Market: 2nd Saturday from 8am-1pm
  • Sunraysia Farmers Market: 1st, 3rd Saturday from 8am-11am
Spend your Sunday at these Murray River markets:
  • Katamatite Food Swap: 1st Sunday from 9am-11am
  • Yarrawonga Farmers Market: 4th Sunday 8.30am-12.30pm
  • Corowa Rotary Federation Farmers and Variety Market: 1st Sunday from 8am-1pm
  • Swan Hill Farmers Market: 1st Sunday from 8.30am-12.30pm
  • Echuca Moama Market: most Sundays from 8.30am-3pm

4. Book a fishing charter and cook up your catch of the day

There’s no better feeling than reeling in your own Murray cod and Lake Mulwala Sportfishing will help make that dream a reality. Charter a half or full day fishing adventure and get out on glistening Lake Mulwala to see what’s biting.

Picture yourself out on the water, casting surface lures and waiting for a hungry cod as the sunset ignites the sky with orange dusk tones. Ferry your catch back to dry land and cook it up whatever way you like at your campsite or accommodation.