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For romance

Our couples-only guide to Deni

Quiet river experiences, fun on wheels or on the water, great food and comfy places to stay: Deniliquin is perfect for a couples’ getaway all year round.

Day 1

At just 3.5 hours from Melbourne, and even less from cities like Wagga and Bendigo, it’s possible to rendezvous with your partner, skip town a bit early in the afternoon and be in Deni for dinner.

Accommodation: Book in for a few nights at the romantic Cottages on Edward, and let a stress-free weekend for two unfurl ahead of you. Fresh sheets and a warm welcome will greet you on arrival at these pretty self-contained cottages, just five minutes’ drive from the centre of town.

If the cottages are booked out, don’t worry; Deni hosts a variety of hotels, B&Bs and self-catering options that are just perfect for a quiet weekend for two.

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Dinner: Deniliquin has all of the well-known take away options, along with local pizza, chicken shops, fish and chips, Thai and more. Relax after the drive with some take away and a quiet night in.

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Day 2

Morning: At Cottages on Edward, you’ll love the breakfast basket delivered to your door.

After breakfast in bed, drive into town and wander the boutique shops, checking out town sculptures and historic sites along the way.

If it’s market day (second and fourth Saturdays of each month), you’re in luck. Head to Waring Gardens for the Naponda Farmers Market or Lions Community Market for fresh produce, crafts, plants and more. Pick up some picnic supplies at the market and, starting at McLean Beach, stroll along the beautiful riverside Beach to Beach Walk.

You’ll skirt the edge of town as you follow the path through the fascinating Island Sanctuary, before reaching tranquil Willoughby’s Beach after around 40 minutes. Spread out your blanket and relax as the Edward River flows by and the birds sing in the trees.

Afternoon: Relaxed and well-fed, it’s time for some adventure. Stroll back into town together and collect the car, before driving out to the Hay Plains – one of the three flattest places on the planet – north of Deniliquin on the Cobb Highway. Around 40 minutes from Deni is the Black Swamp: stop by and view the Headless Horseman sculpture which forms part of The Long Paddock Touring Route. The sculpture celebrates the mythical headless horseman, who was said to appear and frighten camping drovers in the area from the 1850s.

Evening: On the way back to Deniliquin, turn off for the small village of Wanganella. The Wanganella General Store, on a lovely bank of the Billabong Creek (known as the longest creek in Australia) serves home-style meals and drinks. Stop in for an early dinner and a chat with the locals before the short drive back to your accommodation.

Day 3

Morning Sleep in, then skip the complimentary breakfast in favour of coffee and a big brunch at the Crossing Café, just near the bridge into Deni. Take your time either inside or – if it’s a sunny day – out on the tables and sprawling lawn.

When you’re ready, take a look at the latest exhibition at the adjoining Peppin Heritage Centre. Exhibitions change regularly through the year, and might feature visiting or local displays of art, fashion, district history and more. There’s also a heritage museum and a Federation-style classroom.

Afternoon: The Heritage Centre is also home to the Visitor Information Centre: hire bikes rom here, grab a cycling map, and spend the afternoon exploring the easy town rides and more challenging mountain bike paths in the area.

Evening: Coast back into town and settle in at one of the town pubs for a couple of drinks and a meal. You’ve earned it!

Later on, if the evening is chilly, there’s nothing better than snuggling up in front of the open fire back at Cottages on Edward with a bottle of local wine from nearby Echuca or Rutherglen.

Day 4

Morning: Enjoy your final yummy home-cooked breakfast in your cabin before heading back to McLean Beach. Pop into the caravan park there and hire a kayak for two, before a paddle along this gorgeous, waterski-free, tree-shaded stretch of the Edward River.

Afternoon: Head back to your accommodation to collect your bags, before relaxing with your partner and a light lunch at a cafe in town. Fuel up on one more coffee and hit the road. With the jacaranda trees in the rear-view mirror and the open road ahead, point the car towards home, feeling rested and recharged.