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Spend 5 days exploring The Eastern Murray

29 Aug 2022 by Mel Townsend

Spend 5 days exploring The Eastern Murray

Did someone say road trip? Spend five days exploring The Eastern Murray bouncing from the Victorian to the New South Wales side of the mighty Murray River.

If you’re travelling from regional NSW, hit the road and drive the largest leg of the trip to Yarrawonga before slowly making your way along The Murray, stopping for the night to explore each town on your way to Greater Hume.

Travelling from Melbourne, you’ll be on the road for a quick three hours before making it into region to start your five day road trip.

Buckle up and get started on your ultimate Murray River adventure with this itinerary covering everywhere to eat, stay and play along the way.

Day 1: Yarrawonga

Begin your trip beside the water and explore Yarrawonga’s Lake Mulwala, flowing off the Murray River through the Yarrawonga Weir. Take in the sights of the lake aboard the MV Paradise Queen a luxury boat cruise with a licensed bar, offering a range of menus and cruising options like the Devonshire Tea Cruise, Cheese Platter Cruise, and Breakfast Cruise, or sit down for a three-course dinner cruise.

Alternatively, step back in time aboard Yarrawonga’s only Paddlesteamer P.S. Cumberoona and soak in the history and beauty of Lake Mulwala on a lunch or sunset dinner cruise.

If your sea legs aren’t quite up for it, there’s still plenty of ways to explore Lake Mulwala from the bank. Take to one of the walking tracks, making use of the picnic and BBQ facilities or set up camp along the banks with your fishing gear and try your luck at luring-in the famed Murray Cod.

If you’re feeling peckish, the Criterion Hotel overlooks the lake with a modern pub-style menu and extensive cocktail list. Think coconuts margaritas, espresso martinis, and Aperol spritz.

For seafood lovers, a visit to the Yarrawonga Hotel is in order with their fresh seafood menu, or make your way to the Blacksmith Provedore sipping on some of the Murray River region’s finest wines accompanied by local cheeses and share plates.

If you’re eager to sink a few holes while in region, looping in a stay at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort is a great way to stay close to the greens, making the most of their 45 holes across three courses.

For lakeside accommodation with a luxurious flare, the Sebel Yarrawonga is set to impress, or on the other end of the accommodation spectrum, set up camp for something a little more serene at Yarrawonga Riverlands Tourist Park or BIG4 NRMA Yarrawonga Mulwala Holiday Park.

Day 2: Corowa

Crossing over the Murray River to the NSW side, step back in time and discover the historical town of Corowa.

Learn about Corowa’s role in the birth of federation at the Corowa Federation Museum, winding your way through the museum’s displays including local Aboriginal artefacts, Tommy McRae sketches, and horse-drawn vehicles.

For car enthusiasts, booking a visit to Max's Motor Museum is a must. The private collection features a riveting display of vintage and modern cars as well as motors from all ages.

For lovers of whisky, dropping by Corowa Distilling Co is a non-negotiable. Housed in a heritage 1920s flour mill purchased for just $1. Enjoy a whisky tasting or dine on their seasonal breakfast and lunch menu, paired with cocktails and their infamous Corowa Whisky blends.

Grab a coffee and a bite to eat from Doc's Cafe before strolling down Memorial Plaza (just off Sanger Street) and enjoy the interactive murals inspired by the Murray River featuring an array of native flora and fauna created by local street artist, Kade Sarte.

Snap a photo in front of the murals and picture yourself holding the line that landed a giant Murray Cod or become a Dainty Swallowtail and smaller Painted Lady.

For a delicious dinner and glass of wine to end the day, D'Amico's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria is located in the town centre serving up fine Italian fare.

Roll up for the night at the Ball Park Caravan Park tucked into one of the Murray River’s bends and book a campsite or check into a self-contained cabin.

If you’re after something a little more boujee, Circa 1936 makes for a luxurious stay filled with the historic art deco of the original Rural Bank of NSW, the former residence of the hotel.

Day 3: Albury Wodonga

There’s a reason why the twin towns of Albury Wodonga are known as a cultural hub. Steeped in history and home to art galleries, chef-hatted restaurants, and an abundance of parklands and waterways to explore, there’s no shortage of ways to fill your day.

Step it out along Albury’s Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, featuring 15 sculptures crafted by Aboriginal artists that tell First Nations stories through contemporary art accompanied by interpretative signage. If you’re enjoying the sunshine, turn your walk into a 15km (return) walk through the Wonga Wetlands and along the South Albury Trail winding through riverside parks and red gums. Or head to Gateway Island Parklands and take to one of the three walking trails lining the Murray River.

For art connoisseurs, you’ll want to add Murray Art Museum Albury and Hyphen - Wodonga Library Gallery to your list of must-visits. Peruse their rotation of exhibitions of contemporary, modern and immersive artworks. Once you’ve finished browsing the art at the Murray Art Museum Albury, step outside and refuel with a meal and a cocktail at the adjoining Canvas Eatery, sipping from the garden terrace.

Immerse yourself in water-based activities, with a visit to Lake Hume, just a 15-minute drive from Albury Wodonga. Gain the perfect vantage point overlooking the lake from Kurrajong Gap Lookout, Great River Road Scenic Lookout, or take in the sights and sounds as you travel the Lake Hume Loop, snapping a photo overlooking Lake Hume and Wodonga from Huon Hill lookout. Did you know you can even see snow on a clear winter's day?

When it comes to dining out, enjoy a peaceful lunch overlooking the Murray River at The River Deck, serving up a modern Australian cuisine driven by seasonal local produce. For dinner, order a meal at La Maison Restaurant in Wodonga and enjoy their signature Asian fusion and Middle Eastern style menu with a focus local produce.

If you’re after accommodation on the quirkier side a stay at The Astor Hotel in Albury will have you dreaming of Palm Springs with its brightly coloured exterior and surrounding palm trees. For something a little more modern, the Mecure Albury and the Mantra Albury make for a comfortable stay located just a short walk from town, or stay but the waterside in one of Lake Hume Resort’s cottages or deluxe rooms.

Day 4: Greater Hume

Located on the NSW side of the Murray River, Greater Hume is an epicentre for agriculture and outdoor adventure.

Experience the great outdoors in its rawest form and journey into Woomargama National Park. The largest protected area of forest west of the Great Dividing Range, it comes as no surprise that the national park is full of wildlife including an abundance of birdlife making it the perfect place to pitch a tent, head for a hike, or put your 4WD skills to the test navigating the unsealed tracks.

Quench your thirst after exploring with a visit to Flyfaire Wines, a sustainable vineyard tucked into the foothills of Woomargama National Park. Taste their vintage blends accompanied by a bite to eat at their Cellar Door. For something a little more hearty, the Woomargama Hotel serves up a tasty pub menu prepared with the best of local produce accompanied by beer on tap and an extensive wine list. You can also make the hotel your overnight location and book a room at the adjacent motel with spacious double, triple, and family rooms.

Uncover the wonders of the past and loop a couple of museums into your agenda. Recreating the material culture of early German settlers using local relics the Jindera Pioneer Museum will step you through life 100 years ago. Discover the pioneering past of Holbrook at the Woolpack Inn Museum, learn more about the heritage of Wymah at the Wymah Museum or book a guided tour of the blacksmith shop and discover why Henty is known as the ‘Home of the Header’ at the Headlie Taylor Header and Blacksmiths Shop.

Make the most of the country hospitality and stay the night at one of the local Motor Inns. The Byer Fountain Motor Inn, Holbrook Town Centre Motor Inn, and the Culcairn Motor Inn are all accommodating options.

Day 5: Greater Hume

Spend your final day in the Murray River region venturing further into Greater Hume.

First up caffeinate yourself and enjoy tasty homemade treats straight from the baker's oven at the Culcairn or Henty Bakery. Both bakeries have sweet and savoury cravings sorted with a selection of pastries, cakes, slices, fresh bread, and of course, delicious cups of barista made coffee, tea, and hot chocolates.

Dive into the submarine history of Holbrook with a visit to Holbrook Submarine Museum, home of the HMAS Otway. Explore the museum and discover their extensive display of authentic submarine memorabilia including submarine escape suits, a torpedo, and a genuine Jolly Roger (skull and cross bone) flag.

For your final pitstop before heading home make your way to Morgans Lookout. Gifting 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside it comes as no surprise the white granite outcrop was used as the hiding spot and vantage point for the notorious Mad Dan Morgan a bushranger of the 1860s as he evaded police. Now the location is a popular place to enjoy a picnic among the wildflowers while soaking in the views.

Hit the road home to Melbourne with just a four-hour drive or make your way back to Sydney in five and a half hours or back to regional NSW in around three hours.