Episode 23: Murray River
This week on Postcards it's a Mighty Murray River special where the team visit beautiful towns along the Murray River. Glen enjoys Echuca, stopping by the famous Port, then enjoys some delicious food at the freshly renovated American Hotel. He is also shown around the picturesque Cadell Bed and Breakfast and dons his captain's hat steering the PS Canberra down the Murray. Lauren discovers the ultimate location for a girls' weekend away in Mildura with a visit to Endota Spa, Dockside Cafe and luxury accommodation 'Pisces'. Rebecca also visits Mildura, taking the artistic route at the Mildura Arts Centre (MAC) and Wall Flower Photomedia Gallery before catching up with local identity Stefano De Pieri. Finally, Brodie visits the family friendly RACV Cobram Resort and Rich Glen Estate, one of the largest family owned and operated olive groves in Australia.
Port of Echuca, American Hotel and Echuca Luxury Houseboats
For nearly 150 years the Port of Echuca has been home to the famous paddle steamers that have cruised up and down the river. A multi-million dollar restoration of the wharf area has begun and will include a new interpretive centre, upgraded walkways and major works to restore the original red gum timber wharf.
Echuca's oldest pub is the American Hotel, which started out as the Full & Plenty Food Hall where all the American river-boat men ate while working at the port. It has recently undergone extensive renovations and has re-opened sporting a new rooftop bar, lounge, deli and much more.
One of the most popular things to do in Echuca is hire a houseboat and experience life on the water. 'The Ultimate 2' is the pride of the fleet at Echuca Luxury Houseboats. With five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge lounge, living and kitchen area, plus a rooftop deck with barbeque and ten person spa, this boat has it all.
Port Of Echuca
52 Murray Esplanade, Echuca
Ph 03 5482 4248
239–249 Hare Street, Echuca
Ph 03 5480 0969
Echuca Luxury Houseboats
Ph 03 5480 2444
Pisces Accommodation, Dockside Cafe and Mildura Endota Day Spa
Indulge Luxury Homes 'Pisces' is a five bedroom luxury accommodation residence which is beautifully decorated and very comfortable. There are plenty of places to lounge about, a state of the art kitchen if anyone feels like cooking and there's even a fully equipped gym. Just perfect for a girls' weekend away!
A perfect spot to eat whilst in Mildura is The Dockside Cafe. It's Mildura's only licensed riverside café where you'll discover juicy steak sandwiches, a handmade pasta dish or even a delicious dessert like a rum 'n' raisin panna cotta with sticky Muscat sauce. This little gem also serves up some of the best brekkies going, like yummy eggs benny, made from local free range eggs.
It wouldn't be a girls' weekend away without a trip to a day spa and Mildura's Endota Day Spa is a little ray of sunshine in the heart of Sunraysia. There are five relaxing spa treatment rooms, plus a pedicure room and a relaxation lounge.
Dockside Marina, Mildura
Ph 1300 539 559
Dockside Marina, Dockside Drive, Mildura
Ph 03 5023 3375
Endota Day Spa Mildura
35A Langtree Avenue, Mildura
Ph 03 5021 2007
RACV Resort Cobram and Rich Glen Estate
Set on ten hectares of landscaped gardens, the Cobram RACV Resort is located on the mighty Murray River, a three hour drive from Melbourne. A highlight of the resort is the aqua playground made up of the main solar heated lagoon, water features, a kid's play area, inside spa and a 25-metre lap pool. There are activities galore for the kids including a jumping pillow, a playground, and a games room. Golf fans can practice their swing at the driving range before hitting the green at one of the region's top rated courses. Newer facilities include a gym so you can stay in shape during your stay, and an onsite cafe to get your daily caffeine fix. When it comes to accommodation, all of the options are nicely spread out. If you're keen on caravanning, there are powered and ensuite sites, and there is also a range of cabins. If there are a few in your family, then the recently refurbished apartments offer a bit more space, sleeping up to six people.
A short drive from the resort you'll find Rich Glen Olives in Yarrawonga. Although Rich Glen Estate was initially established in 1997 by the Vodusek family, it's only recently that they have opened their impressive new farm gate store and café. Visitors can take their time to taste test the exciting range of products produced by one of the largest family owned and operated olive groves in Australia. You can drop by, pick up some produce and enjoy the surrounds at Rich Glen Estate from 9am until 4pm, seven days a week.
RACV Cobram Resort
Campbell Road, Cobram
Ph 03 5872 2467
Rich Glen Estate
734 Murray Valley Highway, Yarrawonga
Ph 03 5743 3776
Murray River Paddle Steamers and Cadell Bed and Breakfast
During the 1800s the Murray River was home to hundreds of paddle steamers that cruised up and down the river providing transport for local industry. A particularly special paddle steamer is the 100 year old PS Canberra, where a journey on board includes a captain's commentary of the historic port and its unique paddleboat fleet, plus all you need to know about the mighty Murray River. The PS Canberra usually operates four cruises each day and each cruise runs for approximately one hour. The paddle steamers can cater for dinner cruises, overnight stays plus functions and charters, which means there's a paddleboat to suit any occasion.
Not too far from the centre of town you'll find Cadell Bed and Breakfast, the perfect home away from home. Built in 1901, this magnificent Edwardian property is set on half a hectare of stunning gardens and provides traditional B&B style accommodation as well as some good old fashioned country hospitality. Cadell has two rooms that both have a private ensuite, plus a shared lounge and dining room for patrons. Guests also have access to the kitchen, gardens and pool.
Murray River Paddlesteamers
Ph 03 5482 5244
Cadell Bed and Breakfast
12 Tyler Street, Echuca
Ph 03 5482 1163
Mildura Arts Centre, Wall Flower Photomedia Gallery and Mildura Brewery
All lovers of art – both visual and performing – should treat themselves and visit The Mildura Arts Centre (MAC). It's origins began at Rio Vista Historic House, which was originally built as a family home. Recently, the MAC has undergone a serious redevelopment and after almost three years it has re-opened its doors to the public. It is now home to a regional art gallery which features touring exhibitions, and also houses a permanent collection of works. The new and improved centre also includes a sculpture park, Rio Vista Historic House and a new proscenium theatre.
Wall Flower Photo Media Gallery on Deakin Avenue in Mildura is a not for profit operation that specialises in photographic works. It aims to present the work of photographers from all over Australia, including students. The gallery is run through Arts Mildura and is well worth checking out.
One of the best places around to enjoy a bite of lunch or dinner is the Mildura Brewery. It's here that they brew eight varieties of boutique beer. You can also taste some of the best food around, as the Brewery recently joined the stable of restaurants run by the famous Stefano De Pieri of Mildura.
Also, be sure not to miss the Mildura Jazz, Food and Wine Festival held annually in early November. It's all happening in Mildura!
Mildura Arts Centre
199 Cureton Avenue, Mildura
Ph 03 5018 8330
Wall Flower Photomedia Gallery
41 Deakin Avenue, Mildura
Ph 03 5022 9542
20 Langtree Avenue, Mildura
03 5021 5399
Mildura Jazz, Food and Wine Festival
1–5 November, 2013
Open House Melbourne
Open House Melbourne unlocks the city next weekend, so anyone who loves Melbourne is invited to explore 111 great contemporary, historic and sustainable buildings and spaces for free, including the Channel 9 Studios in Bourke St, on 27 July.
Where: Various Locations across Melbourne
When: 27–28 July, 2013
Cavalia is a production not to be missed, and is about to open at the Docklands, so jump online now to book your tickets.
Where: Docklands Drive, Docklands
When: From 24 July
More: Ph 1800 765 955 or cavalia.com.au