A sea change getaway more than 100 kilometres from the sea? The Murray region has great camping, secluded bushwalks, stunning water-based adventures, and all of it along the mighty Murray River! Rancho Relaxo at the river it’s finest.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.



  • Sunsets along the Murray River
  • Epic mountain bike trails
  • Stunning camping and delicious local food and wine


The majestic Murray River is Australia’s longest river, stretching all the way from the East Coast and Aussie Alps out through South Australia. Many of us know it as the border between Victoria and NSW, but the 2,508 km long river is full of adventure, beauty and great towns along the way. To truly appreciate this beast you’ve got to get out there and spend some time with it.



Lakes Loop Track

The special Lakes Loop Track at Barmah National Park takes you on a 4km winding path through significant Aboriginal sites. Among the River red gum forest, you’ll pass canoe trees, oven mounds, and kitchen middens from the Yorta Yorta people.

Barmah National Park is also known for its wildlife, with more than 200 bird species, koalas as well as some cheeky kangaroos. The walk starts and finishes at the Dharnya Community and Education Centre in Barmah.

Cactus Country

Alright, this one might be a bit more of a stroll than hiking, but it’s not every day you get to transport yourself to Mexico right in the middle of Victoria. Out in Strathmerton, Australia’s largest cactus garden has 12 acres to explore and a bar and restaurant for when you’re cactied out.

Oh and did I mention it’s dog friendly?

Horseshoe Lagoon

If you really want to spot some wildlife, the boardwalks at Horseshoe Lagoon in Moama are the place to be. As part of Moama’s Wetland and Floodplain Reserve, there are oodles of native birds, fish, and other wildlife. The floodplains like this one hold a special significance to the Yorta Yorta Elders, which they call their supermarket because of the abundant wildlife.

Each winter the town puts on a show with the Moama Lights event lighting up the boardwalk and wetlands with a spectacular installation. For 2022 it’s on show in August.

McFarlanes Ridge Walking Track

To get a view over the area in Wodonga, head up the McFarlanes Ridge Walking Track. The walk is just under 5km on the outskirts of town and heads up into the hills.

The track is a loop and if you do it anticlockwise you get the steeper uphill at the start and then cruise back after. It can be pretty dry and hot in summer with not a whole lot of tree coverage, so pick your time of day and bring plenty of water.


Mountain bike enthusiasts will rejoice at The Murray with options for every skill level. First up there’s Hunchback Mountain Bike Park just outside of Wodonga with more than 20 blue trails and a few black trails if you want to spice things up.

Just over the river in Moama, there’s the Five Mile MTB Trail which cruises through the River red gums on the banks. They’ve also got a skills park there, with a pump track, berms, jumps, and rollers if you want to test out (or show off) what you can do.



A little further afield just outside of The Murray region is the Yackandandah Mountain Bike Track Network, also known as the Yack Tracks. Mostly maintained by dedicated locals, there’s a good mix of easy and intermediate cross country trails.

Wild Swimming

You’re not going to come all the way to The Murray without going for a dip. There are secluded beaches all the way along that’ll blow your socks off, but not all beaches are created equal.

Thompsons Beach was recently voted Australia’s 12th best beach. Not a bad haul for a beach that’s more than 100km from the ocean! Only a few minutes from the centre of Cobram, it’s got BBQs for a picnic, and you can swim, canoe, fish, or just stroll by the water. In the evening it’s even lit up with floodlights to keep the good times rolling. 

A little bit further out of town, Dead River Beach also has a campsite so you’ll never even have to leave.

Over in Moama, there’s the aptly named Moama Beach. With a nice grass area in the shade and a sandy beach, set up for the day and spend your arvo swimming along the NSW and VIC border.

Last up, 20 minutes out of Wodonga is Lake Hume with a pretty epic dam holding it all together. It’s not just swimming on offer here, you can also wakeboard, waterski, and SUP. Which brings us to…


Hitch up the tinnie, chuck the kayaks on the roof or stuff the SUPs in the back, cause we’re getting on the water. There are so many great options on the Murray River and the possibilities are endless but these are just a couple of faves.

Grab some kayaks or canoes from Murray River Canoe Hire and paddle down the mighty river. You can head out for just a couple of hours, or plan a bigger trip and spend a couple of days paddling. Lake Mulwala is also ripe for a paddle if you’re itching for more options.



If you’re keen to pick up a bit more speed, (and have your own boat handy), why not ride the wake? Between waterskiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, and wake skating (yes that’s a thing) you’re spoilt for choice. Yarra Skin, Ski & Surf offers lessons if you’re just getting started, and can also cater for the advanced riders wanting to take it to the next level.

For a slower pace, hitch a ride on PS Pevensey, a 1911 paddlesteamer that’s still running cruises up and down the Murray River. Leaving from Echuca Wharf, the old girl has still got its original engine in it to potter along at a relaxing pace.


If you still haven’t had a chance to flex that shiny new Hilux then look no further than River Red Gum Drive. The 354km drive winds through a plethora of state forests and national parks which make up the world’s largest River red gum forest, right beside the Murray River.

Where to Refuel & Stay

Where to eat in The Murray?

After a rough day barely surviving in the dangerous and unforgiving (read: friendly and delightful) Murray region, you’ll have surely worked up a hunger.

In Echuca, Johnny & Lyle’s cafe is the place to go. They’ve got a strong focus on fresh ingredients and roast their own coffee on premises so it’ll even keep the Melbournians happy.

For a fine dining experience in Wodonga, Miss Amelie has got your back. It’s set in the historic former Wodonga Railway Station with modern European food. River Deck Cafe is a good option for a slightly more relaxed setting, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s set on Noreuil Park by the river so you’re treated to some views along with great food.

Black Smith Provodore in Mulwala (they also just opened another venue in Albury) is known for its simple and delicious wood-fired pizzas. Pair it with their selection of Victorian wines, cocktails or a beer and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a good night.

On the banks of Lake Mulwala, the Criterion Hotel has got a big deck to soak up the rays on warm days. They do a modern pub feed and let’s be honest, is it really a trip to regional Vic if you don’t visit a local pub? 

Where to drink in The Murray?

Over in Echuca, the American Hotel has a pretty epic courtyard and rooftop bar. Perfect for summer nights and watching the sun go down, they have a great selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. If you pick your night, you might also be treated to some live music!

In Echuca there’s also the Social Wine Bar. As the name might suggest, it has a relaxed and friendly vibe with a great selection of wines. With an intimate courtyard out the back and a roaring fire, it’s a top pick year-round.

Calling all whisky fans, the Corowa Distillery is home to some quality stuff. Set up in the old Corowa Flour Mills, they do tastings, great food at the restaurant and make chocolate in-house.


Where to stay in The Murray?

You’d normally be hard-pressed to convince me that there’s a better option out there than sleeping in a tent under the stars, but The Murray region has got some pretty epic cabins and hotels floating around.

If you’re really hankering for a night in your own little palace, Forges Beach Campground on the banks of the Murray River in Yarrawonga is my pick. It’s got space for your humble tent for car camping as well as caravan spots.

If you’re going to splash out for something special, the choices are endless. First up are the Talo Glamping Tents in Moama. They’re beautiful yurts tucked away in the bushland and each one has its own outdoor spa bath.

In Yarrawonga, The Sebel resort will make it hard to even get out in the morning to explore. The luxury apartments are set on Lake Mulwala and leave you wanting nothing more. They’re great for bigger groups too, with one to three-bedroom apartments as well as studios available. And did I mention the sunset poolside bar? Yeah, there’s a sunset poolside bar.

Circa 1928 in Albury and Circa 1936 in Corowa are classic heritage buildings that’ve been fantastically redone in an art deco style. They walk the fine line between paying homage to their heritage past while being spruced up with comfort and modern design. Not a bad place to come back to after a long day of adventuring if you ask me.

But really, if you’re heading up to The Murray, why not go all out and stay on a houseboat? Murray River Houseboats have got some pretty bougie options that can sleep from eight to 12 people. These boats don’t miss a thing, with big decks and even spa baths on some of them.


Essential Gear

  • Mountain bikes
  • Some ripper tunes for the drive
  • Water 
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimmers

How To Get There

With many parts around a three-hour drive from Melbourne, The Murray region is much more accessible than people think. Head straight up the Hume and you’ll be there in no time, or if you’re coming from further afield, you can fly into Albury Airport.

Leave No Trace

The long winding Murray River and the ecosystem it supports are pretty bloody special if you ask me. At We Are Explorers, we reckon it’s a good idea to keep it that way, so make sure to take all of your rubbish with you, minimise your plastic use as much as possible, stick to the paths and try not to disturb the area or animals. Mother Nature will thank you for it!

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!


Photography by @ben.savage