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Stay somewhere Instagrammable this autumn in The Murray

All Seasons Houseboats, Mildura

6 Apr. 2022 by Daniela Sunde-Brown

Stay somewhere Instagrammable this autumn in The Murray

Dreaming of an autumn break surrounded by nature and the simple things in life? Look no further than a short (or longer if you have the annual leave time) break to the Murray River region.

Whether you’re looking for a rustic and wild camping experience or want to recharge your soul with an indulgent wellness experience somewhere luxurious, there’s a stay with your Instagram handle’s name written all over it in The Murray.

From chartering your own houseboat to glamping in the raw wilderness, read on to find out where to stay, play and ‘gram this season in The Murray.

1. Houseboat the Murray River

Explore every snaking curve and bend as you cruise along the mighty Murray River on a houseboat.

Renting your own floating home is one of the coolest ways to explore this river playground. Picture yourself casting a line, reeling in Murray Cod, grilling it on the barbecue and then feasting with family or friends as the sun sets on another great day.

There are more than 20 companies that will help you live it up on the water, journeying along more than 1200 kilometres of Australia’s longest river and the nearby Edward River.

For couples, families and groups of friends there are stacks of boat options – some even include rooftop spas.

To save you the research work, check out - Adelora Houseboat, Executive Houseboats, Mildura Houseboats, Edward River Houseboats, Magic Murray Houseboats, Murray River Houseboats, River of Islands Houseboat and Murray Darling Houseboats.

2. Connect with nature with all the creature comforts

Reconnecting with the great outdoors doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be luxurious when you swap camping with glamping.

Imagine waking up in fluffy white bed sheets, pushing open safari tent flaps and witnessing a spectacular sunrise over the Murray with your neighbours, the local wallabies.

All you need to do is show up and relax, giving you more time to kayak, cycle, fish, bushwalk or kick back with a juicy book beneath the gumtrees.

Set on the banks of Gunbower Creek, you can dock your boat at one of Koondrook Retreat’s self-contained luxury tents. Despite the bush location, you can keep your Insta-pals up to date with free Wi-Fi to share every moment of your sunset.

In Moama, Talo Retreat at Moama on the Murray features 12 luxury yurts set among 82 acres of natural Australian bushland. With coffee machines and soft pillow-top mattresses, pinch yourself just to make sure you’re not dreaming. Each tent has its own private outdoor spa, perfect to relax beneath with stars with a glass of wine.

For something a little bit retro, Olina the Caravan is a restyled 1980 Millard vintage caravan that gives you all the creature comforts inside its pastel façade, which will leave your friends double tapping with envy. Simply choose your location and Olina will be set and waiting for your glamping adventure to begin.

3. Treat yourself to a spa weekend

Nourish your body, mind and soul with a tranquil spa weekend in the countryside.

Overlooking Lake Mulwala, Sebel Yarrawonga is a favourite spot to recharge. The on-site day spa, SOL Wellness, draws inspiration from the local landscape – salt, sun and clay – for its soothing and revitalising treatments. Soak in water views while indulging in a much-needed self-care day, and be sure to get an obligatory photo in the infinity pool, cocktail in hand.

For a slow weekend in the countryside, book a stay in one of the self-catering Spa Villas at Perricoota Vines. Here you can experience the raw luxury of 18 acres of lakes and gardens, a communal fire pit and two swimming pools, or simply soak in your very own tub.

The city of Albury hides a heritage gem. Set in the restored Commonwealth Bank building, the boutique and artsy Circa 1928 Hotel features five spacious day spa treatment rooms. Snap a picture in one of the oversized, hand-beaten copper bathtubs and enjoy special treatments like mud wraps, or spa menus that include paired cocktails.

4. Experience real adventure while camping in a National Park

There’s nothing quite like waking up to a chorus of Australian birdsong. Come morning, the choir of native birds ricochets through the forests, bouncing off 500-year-old red gums as the local feathered friends greet each other for the day. Waking up in the middle of nature is easy when you camp in one of The Murray’s many national parks. Let us show you where to set up.

Murray-Sunset National Park

Autumn is the perfect time to visit Murray-Sunset National Park’s wide-open plains, catch a spectacular sunset and enjoy inky night skies, peppered with stars. What’s on the day’s agenda? Snap an Instagram-worthy photo of the pink lakes then pitch a tent and enjoy the remote wilderness of far north-western Victoria.

Gunbower National Park

Bring your tent and kayak to the magnificent red gum and black box forests of Gunbower National Park. Here the trails aren’t just limited to foot – there’s four best explored by oar, including a five-kilometre canoe trail through the wetlands that gets you close enough to take photos of the region’s rare native bird species.

This national park lists more than 50 camping areas, but the most popular spot is the well-maintained Masters Landing campground, offering a little comfort with bathrooms, picnic shelters and an all-important boat ramp.

Barmah National Park

Home to the largest red gum forest in the world, the 500-year-old trees of Barmah National Park soar 30 metres into the sky. It’s worth staying a rustic night or two in the bush to spectate the display of more than 300 native birds, fish and animals that call the forest, wetlands and waterways home. There are dozens of camping areas throughout the park, perfect to pitch a tent beneath the stars. With limited light pollution and milky way season fast approaching in autumn, pack the tripod and practice your Astro photography.

Hattah-Kulkyne National Park

The vibrant freshwater lakes of Hattah-Kulkyne National Park are a bird watcher’s paradise. Visiting in autumn skips the searing summer temperatures, making it easier to sleep well and spend your days exploring the dozens of trails through the 48,000-hectare park. There are two spots to camp – Lake Hattah and Lake Mournpall – both photogenic and home to basic facilities.

Woomargama National Park

Serious bushwalkers and photographers will enjoy the challenge of Woomargama National Park. Here the Hume & Hovell Walking Track is a 426km multi-day trail that follows in the footsteps of Australia’s early explorers. Of course, you can trek parts of the route and use the two campgrounds – Samual Bollard and Tin Mines – as your base. Both offer picnic tables, barbecues, fresh water and toilets.