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Beaches of the Murray

8 Feb 2024

Beaches of The Murray

For those dreaming of an easy summer escape, combining the allure of warm sandy beaches with unparalleled natural charm, and all within a stone’s throw from the seemingly inescapable frenzy of city life… This summer, head north, (just a little way) and uncover the unexpected offerings and the very best of the Murray River in Cobram Barooga and surrounds.

Though regional NSW may not immediately conjure images of beaches, those seeking an easy escape from city life might be surprised to discover that 100 stunning sandy beaches dot this part of the mighty Murray. And with more sunshine hours than Queensland, there’s more opportunity to soak it all in, unwind and enjoy yourself on an easy, fuss-free escape with friends and family.

While the beaches are the most obvious pull to the region, the unique experiences outside the bigger towns of the Murray River are unparalleled. Not your average beach holiday, the experiences available are picture worthy and uncommon in all the best ways and definitely unlike anything you’d find in the city. All, of course, featuring the laid-back charm of a region that lends itself so perfectly to the good life, and a warm community that champions fresh produce and fresh experiences.

You’d be forgiven for not realising the Murray River boasts some of Australia’s best beaches. Once voted the 12th best beach in Australia, the iconic Thompson’s Beach in Cobram is the clear standout. It’s right in town making it easy to access, features a huge sandy expanse large enough to never feel crowded, a gentle entry into the water (great for little swimmers) and excellent amenities (BBQs, cafe and toilets) right nearby. It is the most obvious and most obviously wonderful choice for swimming in the Murray and relaxing on its shores.

Arriving early in the day, with coffee in hand from the nearby cafe, the river here is impossibly calm, the sun is rising from behind the bush gums and the birds are waking up. It’s exactly the salve needed to counter the busyness of everyday life back in the city. And in the evenings, it’s the perfect spot to share a pizza or some fish and chips as you enjoy the sunset views and relaxed, family-friendly vibe.

Those adventurous enough to stray from the relaxation of the beach can easily rent a barbecue barge, charter something a little bigger to cruise around on, or let the current do the work as you paddle board downstream through the winding bends, taking in the landscape and the wildlife along the way.

Though if you are after something a little more secluded - and let’s face it we can all do with a little more peace and quiet amongst nature - ninety-nine other beaches are also counted within the region. Some are easy to access and others are a little more off the beaten track - perfect for true adventurers (hikers, bikers, paddlers and four-wheel drivers) seeking a private beach all to themselves. Those in the know are likely already toes in sand, refreshment in hand, and a provedore-packed picnic by their side with the birds and native wildlife their only companions. And those not yet in the know can easily get insider knowledge by checking out Beaches of the Murray, or - and this is our favourite as it’s the perfect example of how warmly guests are welcomed in this region - scroll to the bottom of the page, email the Beach Watch crew and someone with insider knowledge will respond with all the details needed to find your perfect beach experience nearby.

Unique experiences abound in Moira Shire, all worthy of stealing you away from the beach for a few hours or full days. Nearby are otherworldly gardens of exotic cacti, strawberry picks with adorably pic-worthy and iconically Australian oversize fruit characters, nature reserves to spot some of the most iconic Australian wildlife, and delicious farm to table treats.

For the kind of experience only found outside of the city, the region’s famous Farm Gate Trail leads you along the path and, as the name suggests, right inside the gates of some of the country’s best producers. The trail includes 27 unique farm gate experiences encompassing the very best and most delicious of the region’s offerings, from cheese, olive oil, organic beef and milk, to wineries and breweries with guaranteed idyllic, natural backdrops and the warmest of welcomes. There’s definitely something a bit magic about discovering these culinary delights right at their source, and right amongst the crew who produce them.

Fast becoming the it-experience of the region, Cactus Country’s acres of surreal gardens of cacti, artwork and classic Mexican treats really makes visitors feel they’ve been transported out of Australia and into another country. A little strange and wonderful like the Nevada desert, and a little vibrant and unique like Mexico but all just around the corner from the beach where your day began.

This is not your typical country getaway, and clearly not your typical beach holiday either. It encompasses the absolute best of both worlds, with the added elements of some genuinely unique and wonderful experiences. There really is so much more on offer than meets the eye along this stretch of the Murray, making it well and truly deserving of a place on your summer destination list.