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Natural Wonders

From its beginnings in the mountains, the Murray meanders through world-renowned wetlands, the world’s largest river red gum forests and bird-filled lake systems to starkly beautiful outback plains of sandhills, saltpans and Mallee scrub. The Murray is joined on its journey by the Murrumbidgee and Edward rivers, each with their own thriving ecosystems.

Spend some time here and you’ll meet some of the incredible native residents, from kangaroos, emus and goannas, to kingfishers and cockatoos. National parks give you a ringside seat to take in the flora and fauna which make this area unique, with 35 endangered species of birds, 16 species of endangered mammals and over 35 different native fish species living within its varied environs.

National Parks

Along its length, and stretching inland on both sides, areas of the Murray region have been set aside as national parks, showcasing spectacular, unique diversity.

Gunbower Island, Lake Boga and wetlands

With internationally significant wetlands, it’s easy to explore the amazing bird and waterlife of the Murray region.

Day walks, canoe & kayak trips and 4WD trails

If you are seeking an active nature experience, the Murray includes idyllic day walks and soul-stirring multiple day treks. There’s an experience to suit everyone!

Must Experience

  • Cruise through Barmah National Park, home to the world’s largest stand of River red gums.
  • Spot a spectacular range of birdlife at the Kerang Lakes wetlands.
  • Explore the ancient dry lake in Mungo National Park, where some of Australia’s oldest archaeological finds have been uncovered.
  • Camp and kayak in the beautiful Gunbower National Park.

Hidden Gems

  • Take a 4WD trip through beautiful river red gum forests.
  • Look out for native wildlife, including grey kangaroos, wallabies, goannas, koalas and emus, as well as kookaburras, mallee fowl and numerous species of parrot at any of the national parks along the Murray.
  • Find a secluded beach campsite along the Murrumbidgee River at Yanga National Park.
  • Soak up the spectacular Mallee sunsets and floodplain birdlife at Hattah-Kulkyne National Park near Mildura.

Trails

  • Wagirra Trail, Albury - 2 hours or 5.6km along the banks of the Murray.
  • Gulpa Creek Walk - 5km or 1 hour among the Red Gums near Mathoura.
  • Barmah National Park - The Lakes Loop - 4km or 1 3/4 hours; or Broken Creek Loop - 3.5km or 1 1/2 hours.
  • Koondrook Red Gum Forest Walk - Turtle Loop - 13.2km or 3 1/2 hours.
  • Pink Lakes Trail - Murray Sunset National Park - 2.5km of 1 1/2 hours.
  • Kings Billabong Nature Trail - Mildura - 4 km or 2 hours.
  • Camel Pad Track - Hattah-Kulkyne National Park - 10km or 3 1/2 hours.

National Parks

The Murray’s most famous native is the majestic river red gum, a towering eucalypt providing shade and wildlife habitat all along the river. The largest red gum forest in the world can be found at Barmah and Murray Valley National Parks, where a narrow section of the Murray frequently floods, creating ideal conditions for growth.

The oldest river red gums here have been around for over 500 years, and the forest has been declared an internationally significant wetland. As the river swells and broadens, it flows towards a completely different environment – the semi-arid desert region of the Mallee in northwest Victoria and the red sands, dunes and saltbush of the NSW outback. South of Mildura, Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, on the Murray floodplain, attracts birds and wildlife superbly adapted to the conditions.

The freshwater Hattah Lakes are seasonally filled by creeks connected to the Murray. To the west, remote Murray Sunset National Park has an ethereal beauty, vast open spaces and colourful spring wildflowers. Environments range from billabongs and floodplains near the Murray River to grasslands, native pine woodlands, Mallee scrub-covered dunes and saltbush flats.

To the north, Mungo National Park is the focal point of the Willandra Lakes World Heritage area, where the shifting sands of this extraordinary outback landscape have created the impressive Walls of China, a huge formation of sand dunes.

Must Experience

  • Camp and kayak in beautiful Gunbower National Park.
  • Cruise through Barmah National Park, home to the world’s largest stand of River red gums.
  • Spot a spectacular range of birdlife at the Kerang Lakes wetlands.
  • Explore the ancient dry lake in Mungo National Park, where some of Australia’s oldest archaeological finds have been uncovered.

Gunbower Islands, Lake Boga and Wetlands

With internationally significant wetlands, it’s easy to explore the amazing bird and waterlife of the Murray region.

Gunbower Island, formed by the Murray River and Gunbower Creek into Australia’s largest inland island, is home to a large red gum forest and wetland area with some of the region’s best sandy river beaches, camping, bushwalking and wildlife-spotting. It’s easily accessed from Koondrook, Cohuna or Gunbower.

Another natural highlight is the ‘Lake District’ between Kerang and Lake Boga, where a system of 22 lakes, lagoons and marshes form an internationally-recognised Ramsar (International Convention on Wetlands) site which provides a habitat for an amazing population of waterbirds, migratory birds and more than 150 species of native plants.

As well as the largest Ibis rookery in Victoria, birdwatchers can spot the endangered Freckled duck and Blue-billed duck, egrets, spoonbills, cormorants, darters and sea eagles. Larger lakes such as Kangaroo Lake and Lake Charm are popular for watersports and fishing.