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Explore spring blooms in The Murray

Australian Inland Botanical Gardens. Image credit: Mildura Regional Development

3 Nov. 2021 by Daniela Sunde-Brown

Explore spring blooms in The Murray

Between the vibrant display of colourful wildflowers swaying in the breeze and stunning blooms on show in botanic gardens and flora and fauna reserves around The Murray, it’s easy to argue that spring is the best season to explore the region.

Here are eight gardens and parks to get up close with seasonal blooms in The Murray.

1. Albury Botanic Gardens, Albury

For more than 130 years the award-winning Albury Botanic Gardens have been blooming for residents and tourists.

The gardens contain some 1000 plant species whose floral showcase blossoms in spring for Gardenesque.

Over the years, the gardens have hosted a flower and garden festival sends the park abuzz with stunning floral designs and interactive displays for you to touch, smell, eat and explore.

The Albury Botanic Gardens also features a Children’s Garden, Climate Watch Trail, Rainforest Walk and Heritage Walk.

2. Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, Mildura

The first semi-arid botanic garden in the southern hemisphere, the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, is a must-stop for viewing native and exotic plants.

If you’ve never seen the desert in bloom, this is the place to explore unusual arid plants up close like the flowering Sturt Desert Pea, Desert Cassia and more.

At the centre of this botanic gardens is a beautiful rose garden that features more than 1600 colour coordinated rose bushes that bloom in late spring.

3. Moama Echuca Botanic Gardens, Moama

Designed in the 21st century, the Moama Echuca Botanic Gardens is a relatively modern arid and semi-arid garden celebrates the best of the Australian landscape with a focus on indigenous plants.

Reconnect with the environment as you roam through the settler’s garden and dry billabong, looking out for native blooms as you go.

Next to the Moama Adventure Playpark you’ll find undercover barbecues, so bring a picnic to make a day of exploring the tranquil Moama Echuca Botanic Gardens.

4. Waring Gardens, Deniliquin

Established in 1888, the historic Waring Gardens in Deniliquin was once used to test the suitability of plants for the local Deniliquin climate and soil.

Nowadays the central park is a green oasis beloved by locals who enjoy feeding ducks in the lagoon, picnicking on the lawns and walking by blooming flower bushes.

Don’t miss the marble sculptures known as the Three Muses. Made in Italy from Sicilian marble, they represent art, science and literature and were originally outside the old School of Arts building.

5. Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre, Burrumbuttock

Originally an old stock reserve, since 1995 the Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre a, four-hectare park has been restored back into its former glory with native vegetation and wetlands thanks to an army of volunteers.

The goal has been to address problems of declining biodiversity, so keep an eye out for rare native shrubs and other unusual wildflowers and grasses that support native bees, frogs, skinks, birds and the threatened squirrel glider.

Visitors to Wirraminna can wander by a large dam, through wetlands and natural woodland, and along native garden beds. There’s a discovery centre with educational displays and an aquarium of native fish found in the Murray-Darling Basin.

6. Gunbower State Forest, Koondrook

While this 26,400 hectare floodplain is primarily made of magnificent red gum, black box forest and never ending wetlands, the trails of Gunbower National Park and State Forest are also filled with native wildflowers.

Lace up your boots or grab your bicycle and hit the trails that explore Australia’s largest inland island, Gunbower Island. The half-day Turtle Loop (13.2km) is an easy, flat trail that starts from Koondrook.

While exploring the Ramsar-protected wetlands looking for native wildflowers, keep a keen eye out for more than 200 types of birds and the freshwater Broad-shelled turtles.

7. Redlands Hill Flora and Fauna Reserve, Redlands

One of the most stunning places to spot wildflowers and native blooms along The Murray is the Redlands Hill Flora and Fauna Reserve.

Located near Corowa, wander one of four short trails through this endangered grey box grassy woodlands to spot beautiful wildflowers and wildlife.

In summer, look for the white flowers of Sweet Bursaria bush and red fruits of the Cherry Ballart; while in spring you can expect golden wattle bloom, along with bush peas and native lilies.

8. Barooga Botanical Gardens, Barooga

Run by the local community, you can feel the collaborative spirit and passion when you enter the lush green Barooga Botanic Gardens.

Here a stunning rose garden is kindly tended by volunteers with green thumbs, while various trees and shrubs go into bloom throughout the year.

Spend a relaxing afternoon picnicking under huge European cedars and oaks, admire the heritage rotunda, bring meats to grill on the barbecue and let kids run wild on the playground.