Running along the southern edge of New South Wales, The Murray is a remarkable region that’s full of stories.

Soak up the history of heritage buildings and ancient sites, follow a creative trail of art and sculpture, play a game of golf alongside riverbanks and red gum forests, and get a taste of the region’s premium produce in contemporary restaurants and scenic wineries.

Follow art and history paths

The Murray has a rich cultural history: artists have long been drawn to the region’s natural beauty, and the region’s First Nations peoples have 40,000 years of living culture to share. Start in Albury, with the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk that meanders along riverside parks and features a series of eleven sculptures by local artists. The fascinating works speak to totems, such as the Guguburra’s and Goanna; to culture, such as the Bogong Moth Migration and Maya Fish Trap; and to history, in the Reconciliation Shield. 

The recently developed Murray Art Museum Albury combines heritage features with contemporary spaces and has an excellent roster of innovative events and talks. SIMMER (November 26-February 13), a collaborative project between artists and local chefs, considers how food brings us together and includes cooking demonstrations in the foyer on Saturdays. 

For history buffs, the region boasts an impressive endowment of original landmarks and well-preserved architecture. The self-guided Corowa History Trail covers 25 landmarks – learn about which building had holes cut in the roof of the stable to keep watch in case the Kelly Gang came by, and find the original horse water trough and hitching post in front of a pub built in 1888. Along the Howlong History Trail, discover the general store that was owned by the same family for 100 years, and find the historic crossing place where pioneer settler Joseph Hawdon established the first overland mail service between Port Phillip and Sydney.

Tee off by the river

If a day on the green is an essential part of your perfect holiday, The Murray won’t disappoint. It’s almost always listed among the best golfing destinations in Australia, partly because of the choice – there are more than a dozen courses in the area – but mostly because of the stunning landscapes. Tee off with incredible views of the river at the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, a 45-hole masterpiece that also has a cinema, pool, tennis court and croquet lawn on site. The Murray Downs Resort is another top choice, a remote spot with river gums and birdsong in the background that will reward players accustomed to city surroundings.

Teeing up.

Feast on local produce

With an idyllic climate and soil conditions for growing fine produce, The Murray is one of Australia’s most important agricultural regions. No matter the time of year, you’ll be able to graze your way through paddock-to-plate restaurants, farmers markets, boutique distilleries and more. Albury-Wodonga is the region’s largest town, and the perfect place to try a variety of local flavours in contemporary spaces: River Deck Café is perched right on the river in picturesque Noreuil Park, while Mr. Benedict serves all-day brunch across from the Botanic Gardens. Albury is also home to a second outpost of Lake Mulwala’s popular Blacksmith Provedore, serving woodfired pizza and a curated list of local wines just like its waterfront sister venue. In Moama, stop by the Echuca Moama Market to stock up on local produce and artisan goods, and fuel up with coffee and fresh pastries at Three Black Sheep cafe.

Wine time by the water

The Murray-Darling is the second-largest wine producing region in Australia, and grapes have been grown here for more than 130 years. Vineyards sprawl out from pristine national parks to the banks of the Murray River, producing lush chardonnay, fruity shiraz and emerging Mediterranean varieties. Wine comes with waterfront views at Morrisons Winery – you can even reach the vineyard via a scenic journey on board a paddlesteamer from Echuca-Moama. Or you can visit St Anne’s traditional rammed-earth cellar door and enjoy cheese and wine overlooking their own lake in Moama. Wander off the beaten track to Restdown Wines, set on 445 hectares of natural bush and farmland in Caldwell. After a tasting, head out on their 1.4-kilometre Wetland Walking Trail, an easy 40-minute walk past black box woodlands, wildlife habitats and Indigenous heritage sites. Further north, Trentham Estate is a family -run winery on the riverbank at Trentham Cliffs, its seasonal restaurant menu showing off homegrown and local artisan produce. For a stronger sip – and a sweeter taste – Corowa’s restored 1920s flour mill now houses a decadent whiskey and chocolate factory.

A region of indulgence.

Feel at home on a houseboat

For a distinctively historical and peaceful experience on the river, stay onboard the Emmylou Paddlesteamer, a storied steamboat with eight modern cabins. Spend sunset on the deck with a local wine, dine on produce prepared by the on-board chef, and embark on an offshore adventure with campfire breakfasts, guided bushwalks, glamping, winery experiences and more on offer.

If you would prefer to skipper your own vessel, houseboats are a memorable way to enjoy riverine activities such as fishing, kayaking and bird watching. There are plenty of options from budget-friendly to luxury: River of Islands Houseboat, which sleeps seven; a luxury houseboat with spa from Magic Murray; a modern vessel from All Seasons Houseboats; or the design-lovers’ haven, Alexia on the Murray.

Luxury stays on land

Nestled in peaceful bushland in Moama, Talo Retreat is a collection of contemporary adults-only glamping yurts. The inviting circular structures are spaced out for privacy with an outdoor spa and private bathrooms in a beautiful natural setting.

A lavish find in the heart of Albury, Circa 1928 is a boutique hotel and spa with attentive service and incredible Art Deco design. There are two suites inside this former bank building. The Hart Suite has a spectacular deep copper soaking tub and artworks inspired by Pro Hart; while the Warhol Suite boasts intricate stained-glass windows and a portrait of Andy Warhol. 

Moira Station is an exceptional blend of luxury and the Australian outback. The immersive pastoral station is a 20-minute drive from Moama and offers four elegant suites featuring a retractable ceiling skylight to bring the star-studded skies into the comfort of your room. The suites have luxury appliances; local artwork; king-sized beds with Australian pure-wool blankets; and private red-gum decks with bushland views.

Take me there

Drive: Albury is a six-hour drive from Sydney, a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Melbourne, a four-hour drive from Canberra, and a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Wagga Wagga. Wentworth is a 25-minute drive from Mildura, and two and a half hours from Broken Hill.

Fly: Qantas and Rex airlines operate daily direct flights between Albury and both Sydney and Melbourne. If you wish to start your trip from Wentworth, Qantas and Rex have daily flights to Mildura from Sydney or Melbourne; Rex also flies from Broken Hill to Mildura. 

For more NSW inspiration, head to visitnsw.com 

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