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Taste the flavours of The Murray with a 3-day foodie road trip

Albury Wodonga Farmers Market. Image credit: Visit Albury Wodonga

15 Mar 2023 by Mel Townsend

Taste the flavours of The Murray with a 3-day foodie road trip

Settling on somewhere to eat is always the highlight of any road trip, so why not base your next adventure entirely around all the places you’ve wanted to try for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between?

Not only is the Murray River rich with agriculture and peppered with talented producers, makers and creators, but the Murray-Darling Basin river system actually contributes 70% of Australia's agricultural water and provides one-third of Australia's food supply.

It’s with good reason that the region has earned the nickname of Australia’s food bowl. From farm to table, paddock to plate, and award-winning whisky, you might want to allocate a designated driver before buckling up for this road trip feast for the senses.

Day 1 | Albury Wodonga

Begin your flavour-filled road trip in the twin towns of Albury Wodonga, home to an abundance of eateries with an emphasis on creating fresh and seasonal dishes.

Prepare your palette with farm-grown produce at the Albury Wodonga Farmers Market sourced directly from farmers and producers local to the region, seasonal fruit and veggies, baked sourdough bread, preserves, artisan cakes, and hand-crafted small goods.

Kick back with a relaxing lunch at The Thirsty Devil Brewery, pairing great craft beer with burgers, fries, wings and share plates, or check out their latest guest food van in the beer garden often accompanied by live music.

Work up your appetite for dinner with a stroll along the Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk. Stroll the 5km trail lining the Murray River between Kremur Street and and Wonga Wetlands where you’ll find a series of sculptures crafted by Aboriginal artists telling First Nations stories accompanied by interpretative signage.

When it comes to settling on a place for dinner, the line-up of restaurants in Albury Wodonga will have you spoilt for choice.

Bistro Selle, serves up a modern European style menu and with only a few items on the regularly rotating menu, you can rest assured that each dish is purposely created focusing on regional, seasonal produce perfectly paired with their local and international wine list.

Inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean and the European tradition of cooking over fire Yardbird Restaurant and Bar, is one is Albury’s newest eateries. Taste your way through their menu from charcoal grilled baby octopus with chilli, garlic oil and chorizo to bavette steak with bone marrow, persillade, green peppercorn, and horseradish butter finishing with the poached cherry pavlova with candied pistachios and chocolate ice cream.

For buonissimo Italian dining, NORMA WINE + PASTA will hit the spot with their house-made semolina pasta, share plates and home-made tiramisu.

After a day filled with feasting, rest your head at the Palm Springs inspired Astor Hotel Motel. It’s also one of the newest pub venues in Albury, so if you’re not ready to call it a night you’ll find 28 draught beer taps across the Main and Garden Bar.

Day 2 | Corowa

Spend the second day of your food-loving escape to The Murray savouring each meal in Corowa. You’ll find Corowa just under an hours’ drive from Albury Wodonga, steeped in history, farm gates and world-class food and wine.

Step inside Corowa Distilling Co, crafting award-winning whisky inside their heritage-listed 1920s Flour Mill. The dream started with two men with a love of footy, a passion for whisky, one dollar and the rest is history.

Before you start on the whisky tasting (which is a must) stop for a feed at their café open daily for breakfast and lunch or simply coffee and cakes, or a couple of cocktails.

Now that your stomach is sufficiently lined, it’s whisky-tasting time. Immerse yourself in the art of whisky tasting with a 30 minute behind the scene and whisky tasting tour at the distillery, sampling the flavour profile behind each blend.

Before leaving, you’ll need to try some of the tasty Belgium chocolates created in house by Corowa Distilling Co’s sister company Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory. The chocolate pizzas will have you savouring all the best flavours with the small size including four different toppings and eight on the large.

In the spirit of an indulgent day, keep the luxuries coming with a stay at Circa 1936, once the former Rural Bank of NSW the hotel pays homage to the history of the building with its eclectic art deco-inspired interior.

Day 3 | Yarrawonga Mulwala

For your final day tasting your way through the Murray River region, set your GPS to Yarrawonga Mulwala, where you’ll find plenty of foodie gold mines alongside stunning views of Lake Mulwala.

Make your way lakeside and take in views of the impressive body of water home to dried-out river red gums, offering refuge and nesting for the many animals and birdlife that call the lake home.

A hub for water-based activities, the lake gifts a spectacular vision during sunset, well worth launching a kayak or sitting by the water’s edge to soak in the view.

Enjoy lunch with the best seat in the house and set out on the lake with a Barby Boat. With seating for up to 12 people the BBQ boats will have you right at the wheel, no boat licence required, ready to cook up a storm on the barbie. The boats are all equipped with a BBQ, cooler and a sound system to set the mood.

If you’re eager to cook up a freshwater catch, the team will even supply you with a fishing licence all you need to do is BYO rods, gear and some good luck.

For the evening, pay a visit to Blacksmith Provedore flanking Lake Mulwala. Creating their own pizza dough from scratch in house using a three-hour slow-ferment process and hand stretching the dough, you already know you’re in for a tasty treat. Peruse their drinks menu while you kick back and relax, soaking in the Murray River lifestyle one last time with a pizza in hand before making your way back home.