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Step it out along these walking trails through The Murray

Moulamein River Walk, Moulamein. Image credit: Murray Regional Tourism

3 Nov. 2021 by Daniela Sunde-Brown

Step it out along these walking trails through The Murray

If you’re sick and tired of the same old pavements and paths of your local suburb, it’s time to step it out through The Murray.

Match your pace with that of the gentle river flow on a short morning stroll or lace up your boots and spend a challenging day bushwalking through the heart of a national park.

Stop into the local Visitor Information Centre in each town to pick up local walking trail guides and find out their favourite places to stretch the legs.

Whether you’re getting your steps up or are seeking a serious hike, there’s a trail in The Murray to match your needs.

For a walk close to town

Read up on the history and heritage of the Riverina’s oldest town on this signed, self-guided trail that follows Edward River and Billabong Creek on the Moulamein River Walk. Weaving along the waterfront beneath huge river gums, time your walk for dawn or dusk for a greater chance of seeing kangaroos, emus, goanna, kookaburras and bearded dragons.

Taking you from one river beach to another, the Beach to Beach Walk in Deniliquin begins at McLean Beach and follows the banks of the Edward River under red gums and along sandy banks. You’ll pass heritage landmarks, the ‘ute on a Pole’, wander over National Bridge and through Island Sanctuary before ending at the Murray Valley Regional Park.

Set off from the Echuca Visitor Centre, pass under the historic Echuca Moama Bridge and take your pick from a maze of tracks that crisscross the Banyule Forest Area in Echuca Moama. You can take any trail that wanders beneath gorgeous gums and spend your time bathing in nature.

Add some art to your walk when you follow the Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk along The Murray. For five kilometres between Kremur Street in West Albury and Wonga Wetlands, you’ll encounter 11 sculptures created by local Aboriginal artists. Read about the sculpture, local Aboriginal history and the cultural significance of the Murray River by scanning interpretive panels with your phone.

For an easy nature trail to stretch the legs

Bring your four-legged friend on this flat, easy trail through Murray Valley Regional Park following the 5km Gulpa Creek Walk in Mathoura. While men once hauled logs off to the local timber mill, the towering red gums now live in peace and provide shelter for vibrant birdlife around the creek.

The half-day (13.2km) Turtle Loop following the Koondrook Red Gum Forest Walk takes you deep into Gunbower Forest, a 26,400-hectare floodplain made up of towering red gum and black box forest. On this easy and flat three-and-a-half-hour trail keep a lookout for a 40-metre-high red gum called Eagle Tree, freshwater Broad-shelled turtles around Gunbower Island, and more than 200 types of birds that thrive in the Ramsar-protected wetlands.

Back in 1889, Canadian engineers, George and Ben Chaffey put Mildura on the map with early irrigation systems. Huge pumps start moving water from the Murray River to Kings Billabong to be used for vineyards and fruit farms. Now the 2000 hectares of Kings Billabong is a wildlife reserve popular with walkers and cyclists, complete with a four-kilometre Kings Billabong Nature Trail. Follow a trail past river red gums watching for ducks, spoonbills, kingfishers, whistler kites and marsh harriers along the way.

You can extend your trail another eight kilometres to visit the original Psyche Bend Pump House, the oldest intact irrigation station in the country.

Three constructed trails with boardwalks, bird hides and picnic areas allow you to explore the stunning Kinnairds Wetlands following the Red Gum Walk Loop Track in Numurkah. This one-hour (3.5km) track features panoramic views of the wetlands and woodlands, passing under plenty of mega-sized river red gums – some more than 300 years old!

Step it out through a national park

Every season on the Pink Lakes Trail looks a little different as the water changes colour from a deep pink to glistening white. This short trail (2.5km) takes you through the untouched landscapes of semi-arid Murray-Sunset National Park. Bring your camera to snap spring wildflowers, wide open plains and stunning sunsets over the lake.

The two-hour (4km) Lakes Loop starts and ends at the Dharnya Centre, passing through the heritage-listed Barmah National Park, home to the largest red gum forest in the world. The park’s incredible breadth of wildlife will be on show as you walk along the Murray River and Barmah Lake. Created with help from the local Aboriginal community, it passes sacred sites including ancient kitchen middens, oven mounds and canoe trees.

Calling all serious bushwalkers – the Hume & Hovell Walking Track is a 426km multi-day trail to Yass that crosses through Woomargama National Park. Of course, those not up to the extreme challenge of following the explorers’ route can bite off smaller chunks of the trail and still spot incredible birdlife including the regent honeyeater, superb parrot and powerful owl.

More than 100 years ago Afghan masters led camels carrying salt along the Camel Pad Track from the Spectacle Lakes to the Murray River, where the salt was packed onto paddlesteamers. The vegetation on this moderate one-way (10km) trail in Hattah-Kulkyne National Park changes as you pass through open woodland, over sand dunes and past salt pans. Keep an eye out for grazing kangaroos and emus and bring your binoculars to spot galahs, parrots and Major Mitchell Cockatoos.