Benny Walker

Hailing from Echuca Moama on the banks of Dhungala (The Murray River), Yorta Yorta singer/songwriter Benny Walker has carved out a reputation as one of Australia’s best live acts. His style is an upbeat mix of First Nations storytelling, soulful blues and contemporary guitar, backed by killer vocals and a double-helping of showmanship.

It’s a pretty exciting cocktail. Walker took out Music Victoria’s Best Aboriginal Act of the Year award in 2016. His third studio album, Chosen Line, picked up a 2021 NIMA nomination and entered the Double J ‘Best Albums of 2020’ charts at number 12. He’s also got a deep connection to The Murray, and the lands of north-western Victoria.

“I recently found out from a Koorie historian that the Walker family can be traced back to one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Ulupna,” Walker says. “It made sense to me when I heard that, because Ulupna’s always been one of my favourite places to visit. My grandfather was born at the Cummergunja Mission, on the banks of Dhungala (The Murray River). I love showing off this part of the world.”

We sat down with Walker to chat about The Murray, and get his recommendations for the best local music. Here are Benny Walker’s Murray highlights.


1. Ulupna


Everyone should camp amongst the koala-filled gumtrees at Ulupna. My Aboriginal ancestry can be traced back to Ulupna and that helps give me an understanding as to why I’m drawn to this beautiful part of the world.


2. Barmah Lakes


If you’re in the area, you should definitely go fishing at Barmah Lakes, also known as the Narrows. Whether in a boat or off the river bank, you’ll love being surrounded by gumtrees, birdlife and kangaroos. Visitors usually stumble over old middens around here, too. These are places where, generations ago, my people would have collected and cooked mussels and other freshwater creatures.


3. Border Inn


This is one of my favourite pubs along the Murray. The Border Inn front bar feels like an old country pub, and it’s dangerously cosy! The staff and owners are always friendly, and it also happens to be the place where I played my first ever gig!


4. Morrisons Winery


This place is amazing. Chef Troy Jarrett is a close friend of mine and is world-class in his trade. Morrisons holds a special place in my heart; it’s where my wife and I tied the knot.


5. Brett Sands Watersports


You’re coming to the Murray, you have to try water skiing, right? If you’re looking for some tips, book in a ski lesson with world champ, Brett Sands. Brett’s a great friend of mind, along with his offsider, Bo. If these guys can’t get you up on skis or a board…well, let’s just say it’s not them!

"I created this playlist like a sort of sound-bed to my life that day. My inspiration came in the moment. Every day is different."

—Benny Walker

The Murray


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