Do you want to explore the Mighty Murray River from Albury-Wodonga all the way along to Loxton in South Australia but you can’t bear to leave man’s best friend behind? Well this BIG4 Holiday Parks travel itinerary may be just what you need to conquer the Murray.
Forty million years ago, through the forces of water and geophysical uplifting, the valley that cradles Australia’s greatest river began to take shape. It is a river whose character encompasses environmental beauty, rich in heritage and history, busy townships and major regional centres, with amazing tourism and recreation opportunities, and a continuing bounty of produce – commonly referred to as the “Food Bowl of Australia”.
A thriving modern city with a leisurely country style, Albury Wodonga offers a charming mix of stately heritage buildings, established parks and gardens and tree-lined streets. The Murray River flows between the twin cities, winding through an unspoiled landscape of rolling valleys, hills and lush farmlands. Once a busy trade route for paddle steamers, the river is now very much a part of Albury Wodonga’s relaxed lifestyle and provides excellent freshwater fishing and an abundance of water sport opportunities.
Albury Wodonga is a great place to discover art galleries, fine cuisine and renowned local wineries. Visit the Albury Regional Art Gallery, home to an impressive permanent collection of works by Australian landscape painter Sir Russell Drysdale. Time your trip to coincide with Wodonga’s Carnivale or take a drive and sample local varieties at surrounding wineries. While in this great area, you and your pooch can stay at BIG4 Borderland Holiday Park.
WODONGA to WANGARATTA – 68km
Bop along to the annual Jazz Festival and stay around to discover a bustling rural city, Wangaratta, offering genuine country hospitality. Time your visit to coincide with one of the city’s many memorable festivals and events, especially November’s Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, held annually in town and at nearby wineries. Catch comedy, theatre and opera at the gleaming performing arts centre, and see the ever-changing art exhibitions at the Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery.
You won’t go hungry in Wangaratta, with its plethora of cafes and eateries. Indulge with a meal at Rinaldo’s Casa Cucina, which celebrates the produce of the nearby King Valley. Wander Wangaratta’s broad main street, past historic buildings and through Riverside Parklands. Discover the city’s heritage at the Wangaratta Historical Museum and Vine Hotel Cellar Museum. Stay in Wangaratta at BIG4 Wangaratta North Cedars Holiday Park.
WANGARATTA to SHEPPARTON – 100km
Discover Shepparton on the banks of the Goulburn River, a thriving town in the ‘food bowl of Australia’. Enjoy beautiful weather, great dining opportunities and a host of recreational and entertainment facilities the whole family can enjoy. The area features magnificent food and wine, glorious weather and all the attractions and activities you could imagine in a regional city. The region has an international reputation for quality fruit and dairy products, and is also home to some of Victoria’s (and Australia’s) oldest and best wineries. Endless hours of fishing, boating, and other water activities are offered by the Goulburn, Broken and Murray Rivers and the Waranga Basin. You can stay with your hound at BIG4 Shepparton Park Lane Holiday Park.
SHEPPARTON to ECHUCA-MOAMA – 73km
Welcome to paddleboat heartland. Hop aboard a steamer or holiday on a houseboat, surrendering to the river’s charms in the vibrant, heritage town of Echuca-Moama. Taking its name from the Aboriginal word meaning ‘meeting of the water’, Echuca-Moama is one of Victoria’s oldest river towns was once the state’s most substantial inland river port.
Jump on a paddle steamer and imagine the bustling riverine trade routes of old, when steamers would travel almost as far as the Queensland border, bringing cargoes of wool to Echuca-Moama for transport to the Port of Melbourne. Make Echuca-Moama your base for a high-energy, water-based holiday. Its location right on the Murray River, its warm climate and myriad water-based activities, including waterskiing, swimming and boating, make for endless family fun. While in Echuca-Moama, you and your furry friend can stay at Maiden’s Inn Holiday Park.
ECHUCA-MOAMA to SWAN HILL – 156km
Nestled on the banks of the Murray River in the heart of Victoria’s food bowl, Swan Hill serves up no end of boating and fishing opportunities, fine food and wine, and offers an excellent opportunity to learn all about pioneer history. Get out on the water in the 105-year-old Paddle Steamer Pyap, or take an overnight trip on a houseboat and see the river at your own pace. European explorer Major Thomas Mitchell, who visited in 1836, named Swan Hill. Since then, fortunes have been made on the banks of the Murray River. First by the early squatters and later by farmers whose crops thrived thanks to irrigation from the river. Explore historic residences or get a glimpse of what life was like for the pioneers at The Pioneer Settlement, Australia’s first open-air museum. Discover Swan Hill with your dog while staying at BIG4 Riverside Swan Hill.
SWAN HILL to MILDURA – 222km
Step onto edge of the Australian outback and into an oasis by the Murray River. Mildura offers pretty citrus groves and vineyards, endless sunshine, great food and wine, and abundant water-based activities. The Murray River itself is a major draw and a great destination for a water-based holiday. Beyond the lush, green countryside of the riverbanks stretches the Australian outback. Explore the sand hills of Mungo National Park, a sublime, ancient environment containing some of Australia’s most significant Aboriginal sites. Visit the Mallee with its abundant wildlife, rugged outback scenery and striking sunsets at national parks like Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Sunset. There are two choices for you and your pooches in Mildura, you can stay at either BIG4 Mildura CrossRoads Holiday Park or BIG4 Golden River Holiday Park.
MILDURA to LOXTON – 162km
Loxton is a charming, vibrant town 255 kilometres northeast of Adelaide on the banks of the Murray River. The town is the thriving centre of one of the most productive agricultural and horticultural regions in the state. One of Loxton’s wineries alone crushes about 85,000 tonnes of grapes a year. Known as the ‘Garden Town of the Riverland’, Loxton’s beautifully maintained gardens explode in a riot of colour all year round and are testament to the proud community spirit that exists in Loxton. The Loxton district boasts a nationally recognised golf course, unique attractions, thriving retail and business centre, wine tasting, numerous festivals and events, beautifully maintained gardens, and a variety of nature-based activities such as swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing and bushwalking. While in Loxton, camp at Loxton Riverfront Caravan Park.
***When booking a holiday with your dog, please phone the individual Parks to discuss the accommodation types available and any restrictions that may be in place. This information is correct at time of publishing***