For us 2018 is going to be a quieter year travel-wise as we have other big events happening here at home during the year. However in saying that we are still managing to get away in our caravan for around six weeks of travel tracing the mighty Murray River. We intend heading south to the source of the Murray River, not high in the Australian Alps at Mount Kosciuszko where it is a mere stream, but further down at Albury/Wodonga.
The 2756km long Murray River journeys across the Australian continent forming the border between New South Wales and Victoria, where it is joined by several other rivers including the Mitta Mitta, Ovens, Goulburn, Campaspe, Loddon, Murrumbidgee and the Darling Rivers. This mighty river twists and turns on its westward journey, until it meets the Southern Ocean, in Goolwa, South Australia.
From the Queensland/NSW border we will drive south down the Pacific Coast, past Sydney. When we reach Ulladulla on the South Coast of New South Wales we will head west to Goulburn on the Hume Highway and then south towards the Victorian border, Murray River and Albury/Wodonga. Once we hit the Murray River our intended itinerary will be something like this:
Must sees in this area are the Mt Granya State Park, Lake Hume, The Wonga Wetlands, Bonegilla Migrant Experience Heritage Park and Army Museum Bandiana.
Distance: Albury – Corowa 57kms
Visit the Federation Museum in Corowa, the Corowa Whisky & Chocolate Factory and the wineries across the river at Rutherglen.
Distance: Corowa – Yarrawonga 44kms
Must sees in the area are Lake Mulwala and Yarrawonga Mulwala Pioneer Museum.
Distance: Yarrawonga – Tocumwal 55kms
Must sees in the area are the Barmah National Park and Wetlands, Tocumwal Aerodrome Museum and Chrysties Museum.
Distance: Tocumwal – Echuca 121kms
Must sees in Echuca are the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre, paddle-steamer ride down the Murray River, National Holden Museum and Great Aussie Beer Shed.
Distance: Echuca – Swan Hill 155kms
Visit Gunbower Island and the River Red Gum Forest along the way to Swan Hill. In Swan Hill a must see is the Pioneer Settlement.
Distance: Swan Hill – Robinvale 133kms
Visit Robinvale Organic Wines and the Robinswood Homestead. Nearby is the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park west of Robinvale.
Distance: Robinvale – Mildura 90kms
Must sees in Mildura include the Mungo National Park, Red Cliffs Lookout, see where the Murray and Darling rivers meet, Kings Billabong, historic paddle-steamer cruise and tour of Orange World. Visit Mildura Brewery and some of the wineries in the area.
Distance: Mildura – Wentworth 29kms
Must sees are Wentworth’s historic buildings, including the Old Gaol, Courthouse, Convent and Customs House, the old Wentworth Wharf, the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers, Australian Inland Botanic Gardens at Burongo, Lock 10 and weir, and Perry Sandhills.
Distance: Wentworth-Renmark 143kms
Must sees in Renmark area are Ruston’s Rose Garden, PS Industry Paddle-Steamer, Olivewood Museum, McCormick Centre for the Environment, cliffs at Whirlpool Corner, riverfront walks and a visit to Angove Winery.
Distance: Renmark – Berri 19kms
Must dos in Berri include an Air Boat ride, River Lands Gallery, Water Tower Lookout, Bella Lavender Farm, Berri Estates Winery, Barmera and Lake Bonney and Wilabalangaloo Flora and Fauna Reserve.
Distance: Berri – Loxton 23kms
Things to do and see in Loxton include Loxton Historical Village, The Pines Historical Home & Garden, Banrock Station Wine & Wetlands Centre, Lock 4, Kingston Bridge Lookout and bush walking and nature trails.
Distance: Loxton – Waikerie 75kms
Waikerie area is very much a nature-lover’s paradise with the BirdLife Australia Gluepot Reserve, Maize Island Lagoon Conservation Park, Eco experiences and the Riverland Nature Trail.
Distance: Waikerie – Blanchetown 44kms
Must sees in Blanchetown are the town’s historic buildings, pretty riverside parklands, the historic settlement of Moorundee, Golden Crest Gardens and Brookfield Conservation Park.
Distance: Blanchetown – Swan Reach 31kms
Swan Reach has a few historic buildings but the must see is the hairy nose wombat at Old Devon Downs or Kooloola Stations. Take a walk along Ngaut Ngaut boardwalk at nearby Kroehn’s Landing, and take in the great panoramic views of the Murray River at nearby at Nildottie.
Distance: Swan Reach – Mannum 63kms
Must dos in Mannum are the Mannum canoe trail, river cruising, historic walks, Murray River cliffs and Mannum Waterfalls.
Distance: Mannum – Murray Bridge 33kms
The city of Murray Bridge is the crown of the Murray region. Must dos include Monarto Zoo, Sturt Reserve, Lavender Federation Walking Trail, Captain Cook’s Cottage, The Bunyip and Australia’s smallest cathedral.
Distance: Murray Bridge – Tailem Bend 25kms
Must sees in Tailem Bend are the Pangarinda Arboretum, Old Tailem Town and Jervois cheese-tasting. The large expanse of Lake Alexandrina is only 40kms away and is definitely worth a visit.
Distance: Tailem Bend – Goolwa 99kms
The mouth of the Murray River, where it meets the Southern Ocean, and the last port of call on our trip along the Murray, is Goolwa. Attractions include Oscar W historic paddle steamer, River Boat Trail, Signal Point, the Barrages and a day trip to the Coorong.
The good thing about trekking down the Murray River is that there are plenty of river camping areas to spend a night of two. We will be taking advantage of these camping spots, but also staying at caravan parks for their facilities during our travels.
After we’ve traced the Murray River to Goolwa, we will be continuing down the Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis and boarding the vehicular ferry with our car and caravan for a week on Kangaroo Island. But that adventure will have to wait for another day!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
merry christmas 2017