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Gunbower National Park

Gunbower National Park. Image credit: Gannawarra Shire Council

Gunbower National Park – along with and the adjoining Gunbower State Forest – comprise the largest inland island in Australia, bordered on the north by the Murray River, and the south by Gunbower Creek. It’s a floodplain, forest and Ramsar-recognised wetland. It’s also paradise for canoe and kayak enthusiasts, campers, bushwalkers and birdwatchers.

Getting to Gunbower

Gunbower occupies land on the Victorian side of the Murray River between Echuca Moama and Barham Koondrook, and just a stone’s throw from Cohuna off the Murray Valley Highway. Note that pets aren’t allowed in the National Park.

Points of interest

Safe’s Lagoon and Gunbower Creek are wonderful spots for kayaks and canoes. A 5km trail (an easy 2-hour paddle) goes through the wetlands of Safe’s Lagoon, bringing you up-close with some rare native bird species. The route to the canoe trail is well signposted off the highway as you head to Koondrook.

For those who enjoy a leisurely walk or cycle and a picnic, the Koondrook Red Gum Forest Walk in the State Forest is ideal. Starting from Koondrook, both the Turtle loop (13.2km) or Eagle loop (9.1km) are enjoyable half-day walks, linking historical, cultural and ecological sites of interest. Some bushwalking experience is recommended as each walk, while fairly flat, takes between 2–4 hours to complete.

The Gunbower Forest Drive begins in Cohuna, and is a great way for day-trippers to enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the forest and stop along the way for a picnic lunch in picturesque surrounds.

One of the best ways to experience Gunbower and learn about the area is by taking a trip on the Wetlander, a boating tour that showcases native flora and fauna, and highlights the ecological importance of this unique part of Australia.

Camping in Gunbower

With more than 50 listed camping areas, those wanting to relax at Gunbower are spoilt for choice.

Popular spots include the well-maintained Masters Landing campground, just northeast of the town of Gunbower. The boat ramp makes it popular for fishing and other watersports, and toilet facilities, picnic shelter and tables make it an easy spot for campers. Basic bush camping is available along the Murray River and Gunbower Creek on the island.

Swimmers should be aware that waterways can contain hidden snags.

Take a day trip

Spend the day in Gunbower National Park - For Australia’s largest inland island, just a quick 25 minute drive from Cohuna and under an hour from Echuca Moama and Barham Koondrook.

Be sure to check the Parks Victoria website for the latest information before visiting this National Park.