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Take a long weekend road trip in The Murray

Thompsons Beach, Cobram. Image credit: Moira Shire

22 Nov. 2021 by Daniela Sunde-Brown

Take a long weekend road trip in The Murray

Keen to escape the city and lose yourself somewhere new? In a long weekend you can cover plenty of turf travelling the border towns through the Murray River region.

From hatted restaurants to museums to day spas to golfing, here’s how to spend three days bouncing along Wodonga, Yarrawonga and Cobram.

FRIDAY

8am: Hit the road

Getting to The Murray from Melbourne is a straightforward 320-kilometre drive that in just shy of three-and-a-half hours’ from Melbourne will land you in Wodonga on the Victorian side of the river, the Twin Town to Albury on the New South Wales side.

12pm: Fuel up in town

Hungry? We bet you are and Junction Place is the place to get a feed in a hurry.

Located in the old rail yards in central Wodonga, you’ll also find BeanStation Cafe and Piccolo Pod if you’re in need of a caffeine fix or Andiamo offering and Italian and Mexican street food mashup.

Finish with a scoop from Topolino Gelateria and time to explore the gorgeous florist, Thistle and Fern.

1pm: Afternoon at the museum

If you’re curious about military history, the Army Museum Bandiana is one of the largest and most diversified in Australia.

Get up close with uniforms from both World Wars plus the present day, see more than 150 weapons including machine guns and pistols, and check out more than 150 military bikes, cars, trucks, heavy equipment and armoured vehicles.

4pm: Check into local digs

Quest Wodonga is your bed for tonight. The serviced apartment-style hotel rooms all feature a well-equipped kitchenette but staying in would mean missing out dinner at Miss Amelie.

6pm: Fine dining? Yes Miss!

Wodonga’s historic railway station is home to one of The Murray’s top restaurants.

Miss Amelie serves up modern European fare inspired by executive chef and owner David Kapay’s time spent living in Europe and working in kitchens run by superstar chefs Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Jason Atherton's Michelin-starred Maze.

The award-winning fine diner heroes high quality seasonal produce in the multi-course and degustation menus.

If you do feel like staying in, make an order with Miss Amelie Gourmet and take-home chef-made meals ready to heat and eat, gourmet pies, pastries and European deli goods.

SATURDAY

9am: Take it easy, you’re on holiday

There’s no need to rush to the road. Order a continental breakfast to your room or head into town for pancakes at BeanStation.

It’ll take you just over an hour to drive the 90 kilometres from Wodonga to Yarrawonga.

11am: Brewing up history

Built in 1842, Byramine is Victoria’s oldest homestead and was built by famous explorer Hamilton Hume for his sister-in-law and nine children after her husband was murdered by bushrangers.

Now an enchanting memorial to the early pioneering days, Byramine Homestead is more than just a museum – it’s a working brewery, cider house and cafe.

Finish your historical tour through the home with octagonal rooms with a round of beers or ciders brewed on site. Stay for a light lunch or ploughman’s platter made with local and homemade produce.

3pm: A second serving of history

Explore four huge rooms packed to the brim with large-scale displays of aviation and agricultural history in the region.

The Yarrawonga-Mulwala Pioneer Museum showcases the rich shared heritage of the twin Murray River towns, Yarrawonga on the Victorian side and Mulwala over the border on the New South Wales side.

A collection highlight is the biplane that local pioneer aviator Douglas Sloane built in 1913, taking inspiration from the local wedge-tailed eagle. It’s a rare example of early period aviation in Australia.

5pm: Poolside cocktails, anyone?

Check in, drop your bags and head straight for the pool or spa at The Sebel Yarrawonga.

There’s nowhere better to enjoy the sunset than with a cocktail in hand, lazing on a luxe striped beanbag with views across the infinity pool to peaceful Lake Mulwala.

6.30pm: Lock in a table at the Stock and Barrel

The only reason to peel yourself away from the pool bar is the promise of a good meal.

The Stock & Barrel is an Italian-vibe modern bistro located at The Sebel. In summer, enjoy long late evenings on the terrace with a fresh pale ale, while cooler months call for red wine by the fireplace.

The hardest decision will be what to eat. Maybe a pizza topped with house-cured pork belly, gorgonzola, fig jam and smoked garlic dressing, or the lamb shank ragu and salted ricotta linguine?

Just save room for the San Sebastian-style burnt cheesecake with dulce de leche ice-cream.

SUNDAY

9am: Take it easy like Sunday morning

Today’s adventure is just down the road, so opt for the hotel breakfast and maximise your luxury stay at The Sebel Yarrawonga. When you’re ready, enjoy an easy 25-minute drive to Cobram.

10am: Tee time

Bring your best golfing swing to the Cobram Barooga Golf Club, a championship-standard golf course with 36 holes split over two courses.

Test your skill on the Old Course, a cleverly designed green with narrow fairways that was listed among Australia’s Top 100 Golf Courses in 2020. Or opt for the more modern, wider fairways and larger, sloping green of the West Course.

1.30pm: A long late lunch

At Nineteen 81 food is served all day long, so there’s no need to rush away from the green.

The friendly sports bistro serves up casual, tasty tucker such as burgers, pizzas and snacks perfect for sharing like chicken wings and spicy wedges.

3pm: Beach time

This deep in the countryside you’ll be forgiven for raising an eyebrow about Thompsons Beach, but right on the bank of the Murray River lies a patch of golden sand.

Cross back over from Barooga on the New South Wales side to the Victorian riverbank at Cobram.

Splash about in the freshwater, keep an eye out for koalas, pack a picnic to enjoy beneath shady gums, or take advantage of the public barbecues.

7pm: One last night

Your final check-in is RACV Cobram Resort. Set right on the banks of the Murray River, choose from a cabin, apartment or caravan site.

In the morning look forward to a stack of pancakes or big breakfast at the poolside café.