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Slow Down And Discover Nature In The Gannawarra

8 Feb 2024

Slow Down And Discover Nature In The Gannawarra

If you’re searching for an authentic nature-based experience this summer, look no further than the Gannawarra region - one of Victoria’s premier natural playgrounds.

As a major nature-based tourism destination, Gannawarra - home to regional hubs of Kerang, Cohuna and Koondrook, and the villages of Murrabit, Quambatook, Lalbert, Lake Charm, Leitchville and Mystic Park - is a must for any Murray River region road trip during the warmer months.

To travel through the Gannawarra is to fully slow down… to take a deep dive into nature, cool off in a lake, river or wetland, and reconnect with fresh air, big skies, family, friends and self.

There is room to breathe fully in the Gannawarra, where you can get up close and personal with ancient forests, Australia’s largest inland island, internationally-recognised wetlands, Indigenous culture and local heritage.

Discover World Class Wetlands

Stunning Kerang Lakes and the Gunbower National Park are recognised as wetlands of international significance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and are ideal for cooling off after a day on the road.

This extensive lakes system takes in Lake Charm, Kangaroo Lake, Lake Meran, and Middle Reedy Lake, and offers an array of water-based activities including powered watersports, swimming, fishing, kayaking and birdwatching. Our local wetlands are a haven for waterbirds, with Middle Reedy Lake home to an ibis rookery where thousands breed annually. You’ll discover species such as coots, sea eagles, herons, kites and spoonbills in their natural habitat. Gannawarra is also home to Australia’s largest inland island, Gunbower Island - also a National Park and State Forest. This 26,400-hectare floodplain is a natural habitat to a large range of birds, native mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Forest therapy comes easily on Gunbower Island, of which 80 percent is covered by magnificent red gum and black box forests. Voted as Australia’s favourite tree by ABC television in 2022 you can literally lose yourself in river redgums here.

Come for a camping summer holiday, away from the crowds, with friends and family to the sandy shores of Lake Meran where the wide open skies and expansive seasonal waterways are all yours.

Breathtaking Kayaking on Ancient Waterways

To fully immerse yourself in nature in the Gannawarra region, we recommended taking to the waters to discover Gunbower Island’s very own Canoe Trail. This chilled and easily accessible canoeing experience takes you on the tranquil wetlands of Safe’s Lagoon for an easy 2-hour, 5km return route paddle, taking in breathtaking local scenery where you’ll be spotting abundant birdlife, kangaroo, turtle and the elusive platypus. There are so many unique kayaking experiences on offer here and locally-based Murray River Adventures are your ticket to explore. Known as the ‘Kakadu of the South’ the flooded forest areas of Gunbower Island, as well as Kow Swamp and the Murray River will blow your mind with stunning natural features, intriguing history and amazing birdwatching. And all this from the comfort of a stable and safe double sea-kayak from which you can fully discover countless sheltered waterways.

Discover Glamping and Cafe Culture in The Gannawarra

After all this fresh air and activity the perfect place to lay your weary head at the end of a long summer’s day is nearby historic Koondrook for a unique glamping experience. Koondrook Retreat is an unexpected delight, nestled on stunning Gunbower Creek. This secluded location, just minutes from town, offers sully-served, safari-style tent accommodation for couples or small groups to fully connect with nature. From your very own deck, you can relax with a front row seat to creek life and the ancient forest, or launch a kayak to explore further.

Disappear under a blanket of stars around a shared firepit at night and spend your days exploring walking trails, a unique and historic bridge, or venture the short distance into Koondrook town to explore the historic 1889 redgum sawmill and award-winning Koondrook Wharf. The refurbished waterfront is a delight with easy access to cafes and pubs serving up all the usual offerings. Outdoor dining is a speciality in the Gannawarra, with a healthy supply of country pubs, friendly beer gardens and a burgeoning cafe culture. You can also spend a day or two playing a round on a picturesque local golf course or exploring the many boutique shopping offerings available across the region.

What are you waiting for!

Gather the troops this summer and head to the Murray River for a gorgeous Gannawarra experience, where the sunsets hang in the sky for eternity and you’ll be spellbound by the night skies. Be prepared to slow your pace, and your heart rate, as you fully give yourself over to forest walks, drifting along ancient waterways, lazy afternoons on the deck and casual cafe dinings matched with delightful country hospitality. Rekindle your relationship to nature here and find your own private foreshore to cool off when the temperature rises. In the Gannawarra you can recharge your batteries, connect with locals, discover tranquil waterways and intriguing histories forever linked to the forest, and connect with local strangers who will soon become friends. Plan your Gannawarra getaway via the Gannawarra Visitor Centre on 03 5456 2047 or visit the website to plan your summer holiday today.

For more summer inspo follow along on Instagram, keep across the Events Calendar or download the Visitor Guide.