The Murray is quickly becoming one of Australia’s best destinations for a short getaway, and for good reason. Only three hours from Melbourne, the region delivers a hefty dose of adventure to satisfy your weekend cravings.
For those looking to unwind, there are plenty of tempting options. You can indulge in exceptional local food and wine, play a round of golf in the shade of towering red gums or kick back on the deck of the iconic Paddlesteamer Emmylou as she cruises the mirror-like waters of the Murray.
But there’s heaps for adventurous types chasing the great outdoors too! Here are four must do adventures when visiting The Murray.
# 1 Hike to Norths Lookout in Woomargama NP
As an avid hiker I might be biased, but a sunrise hike to the Norths Lookout in Woomargama National Park should be on everyone’s to-do list. The outcrop rises to 1,000m above sea level and provides 180-degree views over the vast expanses of the Upper Murray Valley all the way to the western face of the Snowy Mountains. Perched on a flat granite boulder extending above the surrounding forest, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the view while taking in the plentiful local flora and fauna.
Coming into spring you can expect to see native flowers blossoming, such as the ever-vibrant fuchsia with its delicate hanging blooms. Along with a flurry of activity from birds like the breathtaking Nankeen Kestrel, you might even be lucky enough to spy an endangered squirrel glider whizzing between the trees. The hike itself is an 8.1km gradual climb from Tin Mines campground, and the lookout is well worth an early morning start to catch the sunrise.
It’s one of the few places where the views, flora and fauna come together to create a remarkable moment that you’ll want to share.
# 2 Sunset Kayaking on Lake Mulwala – Kyffins Reserve
What better way to get up close and personal with the mighty Murray than kayaking? Now, let me tell you: this isn’t just any ordinary kayaking. The surface of Lake Mulwala is scattered with hundreds of flooded red gums rising from the depths, and it’s pretty easy to get lost (but not literally!) in the beauty of these monstrous trees.
The red gums are not only a wonderful sight but provide important nesting sites for birds. Silently drifting in a kayak allows you to get close to the local birdlife without ruffling any feathers. Even if you forgot to pack your binoculars, you’ll have the best seat in the house.
# 3 Fishing on Lake Mulwala
After you’ve finished enjoying the scenery it’s time to get serious and drop a line in. Lake Mulwala is a very popular fishing destination and has a reputation as the best spot in Australia to catch a famous Murray cod. Fishermen flock from every corner of the country during peak season in the hope of landing a 1m+ giant.
But if chasing monsters isn’t your thing, there are also golden and redfin perch, commonly measured at a respectable 40-50cm. Don’t be deceived! Though they are smaller than their neighbouring cods, the perch in Lake Mulwala are sure to test your angling skills.
The real hidden secret to the beauty of fishing on Lake Mulwala is that you’re almost guaranteed to have an area all to yourself. The lake is enormous! And with decent protection from winds, you’re bound to have a peaceful day out on the water.
# 4 Camping at Ulupna Island
One thing I couldn’t leave off this list is a go-to camping spot. If you’re spending time in the Murray region, it’s only fitting to spend a night or two on the banks of the Murray River itself.
Just imagine pulling up to your own patch of sandy river beach, inches from the water’s edge, surrounded by thick river red gums and kicking back for the afternoon. Well it’s all right there, at Ulupna Island.
It’s separated from the mainland by the Murray River and Ulupna creek, providing a safe haven for wildlife to thrive. Goannas and Eastern grey kangaroos are common on the island, and at dusk you’re very likely to see some adorable koalas dozing up in the trees. Camping on the island with these animals for a night is a special opportunity to capture the essence of The Murray.
Next time you’re visiting The Murray, give yourself an extra day or two and experience the wonders the region has to offer.
Read more: Nature And The Outdoors In The Murray
Ready For A Road Trip?
Pack up your fishing rods, kayaks and camping gear and hit the road. Or just hire gear when you arrive if you’re about that minimalist life.
Here’s how long it takes to get to the Murray Riverina from nearby capital cities:
Melbourne: 3 hours
Canberra: 5 hours
Sydney: 7 hours
We Are Explorers is proud to have partnered with Destination NSW to explore the Murray region.
Epic adventures in NSW