Start your tour in Albury Wodonga, home to the Hume Murray Farmers Market on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, the QEII Twilight Market every second Thursday from October to March, and the Albury Wodonga Community Market every Sunday morning. There’s also a string of sophisticated restaurants and cafés and the unique community wood-fired oven on Sundays.
The next day take a drive to historic Corowa, which offers easy access to the excellent Rutherglen wine region across the river in Victoria – sample the signature full-bodied reds and fortifieds such as Port and Muscat. In a former flour mill, the Corowa Whisky & Chocolate Factory produces handmade Belgian chocolates paired with a developing whisky distillery.
Continue on to Yarrawonga Mulwala, where you can follow the established Murray Farm Gate Trail, visiting olive, honey, almond, cheese and berry producers, as well as wineries such as Monichino, Warrabilla and Fyffe Field. Finish the day with a meal on the deck of the Yarrawonga Hotel, overlooking Lake Mulwala, or take the Country Pubs tour, visiting six old pubs within a 100km radius of Yarrawonga.
Albury – Corowa: 57km, 45 minutes
Corowa – Yarrawonga: 44km, 35 minutes
Day 3 – 4
Call in to the twin river towns of Cobram Barooga, centre of a large stone-fruit growing industry and a good place to jump on the Farm Gate Trail, before continuing on to Echuca Moama.
This historic port town brings plenty to the table, with self-guided food and wine trails and a slew of fine wineries, including Silverfox, St Annes, the Carriages, Stevens Brook Estate, Cape Horn and the Old School Winery. A paddlesteamer lunch cruise to Morrisons Riverview winery or a dinner cruise on PS Emmylou is a highlight. Pick up a copy of the Echuca-Moama Food & Wine Trail map and brochure from the visitor centre.
Echuca also has some fine old pubs and cafes, and the renowned Oscar W’s, overlooking the river on the historic wharf, is a must.
- Yarrawonga – Cobram Barooga: 36km, 26 minutes
- Cobram – Echuca: 111km, 1½ hours
At Koondrook Barham, the Red Gum Food Group (www.redgumfoodgroup.org) strives to promote local producers like the Barham Avocados and Golden River Walnuts. If you’re in town on the third Sunday of the month, the farmers’ market here is a local legend.
Take a drive through the magnificent red gum forests of Gunbower Island and the bird-filled Kerang Lakes on your way to Swan Hill, a region renowned for its stone fruits and its Food & Wine Festival on the Labour Day long weekend in March. Excellent regional wineries include Andrew Peace, Dos Rios and Buller. Favourite dining experiences in Swan Hill include the Pan-Asian Java Spice and Spoons Riverside near the Pioneer Settlement.
- Echuca – Koondrook Barham: 87km, 1 hour 10 minutes
- Koondrook Barham – Swan Hill: 83km, 1 hour
Day 6 - 7
The drive from Swan Hill to Mildura can be broken at Robinvale, a riverside town where Robinvale Organic Wines is well worth a visit. It’s only another hour to Mildura, a wonderful place to end (or start) your food and wine tour. Home to the Grand Hotel, the renowned Stefano’s Cellar, and the Langtree Avenue ‘Feast Street’ – one of regional Victoria’s finest dining strips – Mildura has truly developed into a regional gourmet treat. Sample a brew at the art deco Mildura Brewery, visit Chateau Mildura (established by the pioneering Chaffey brothers) or take a paddleboat lunch cruise to Trentham Estate Winery or the award-winning Gol Gol Hotel – a great way to finish a food and wine tour of the Murray.
- Swan Hill – Robinvale: 135km, 1½ hours
- Robinvale – Mildura: 88km, 1 hour