Paddle steamers, luxury houseboats, canoes and skis, wineries, restaurants, markets and tees: ten top reasons to visit The Murray.

1. Riverside wines

The age-old water-and-wine combo proves itself once more with the winery equivalent of a swim-up bar on the Murray River. Hitch a ride on a paddle steamer or moor your houseboat and wander up the banks to Trentham Estate Winery or where cellar door tastings and gourmet luncheons are served with glorious river views. Or pop into Morrisons Riverview Winery for a taste of their warm climate wines – independently, or as part of a Wharf to Winery Tour.

2. Culinary legends

Dine on four courses of seasonal rustic Italian dishes from celebrated Mildura chef Stefano de Pieri at eponymous restaurant Stefano's in Mildura. Pair delicious dishes with riverside views at The Riverdeck Cafe in Albury and the Lake Cafe and Deck in Yarrawonga. Or, keep it casual with a wood-fired pizza by the water at Cape Horn Winery in Echuca.

Head to Wahgunyah to visit one of Victoria's oldest wineries, All Saints Estate. Enjoy meals from a menu inspired by much-loved family recipes at KIN, or pull up a chair at casual eatery Bonnie.

In Swan Hill, taste delicious local produce at Spoons Riverside or dine on plant-based dishes at The Sweet Meadow in Echuca.

3. Houseboats and paddle steamers

Step on board an iconic Murray houseboat. These floating homes come appointed with all kinds of holiday necessities, including hammocks and outdoor spas. Not sure if you're skipper material? All you need to operate a houseboat is a current drivers licence.

Or, let someone else take the helm on a historic Murray River paddle steamer cruise. Australia's biggest fleet is at the Port of Echuca – hop aboard and relive your favourite moments from All The Rivers Run.

4. Outdoor adventures

From towering river red gums to flourishing wetlands and intriguing desert landscapes, The Murray is teeming with native wildlife. See kangaroos and koalas in their natural bushland habitat and keep an eye out for the elusive platypus bobbing near the banks at dusk.

For something truly special, make a dedicated trip to world heritage-listed Mungo National Park. Join a guided day tour through the park or sign up for a multi-day tour, where you can camp out under the stars.

5. Water sports

Take advantage of The Murray's year-round ski season with an adrenaline fuelled water-skiing experience. Join the many BYO-boat-ers or sign up for lessons in riverside towns.

Prefer to paddle? Tackle level five rapids with local adventure operators or paddle at your own pace on a solo or guided trip through pristine natural landscapes with picnic-perfect pit-stops.

6. Local produce

Go for double helpings of the best from Victoria's food bowl: fresh fruit and vegetables, gourmet cheeses and meat, nuts and excellent freshwater fish. Follow the Farm Gate Trail or choose your own culinary adventure and stock up at provedores and cellar doors, roadside stalls and farmers markets.

7. Golf

With more than 40 golf courses in the region, it's always tee time along The Murray. Spend sunny days on lush fairways and sleek greens with views of Murray River Red Gums. Follow in the footsteps of hometown hero Stuart Appleby at Cohuna Golf Course, and five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson, who helped design courses at Thurgoona, Yarrawonga Mulwala and Echuca Moama.

8. Family-friendly fun

Get snap-happy on a self-guided tour through the gardens of Cactus Country in Strathmerton. Catch a glimpse of Australian native animals at Kyabram Fauna Park.

Drop into the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre, where you can walk in the footsteps of the town's river pioneers through entertaining tours and interactive displays. Continue the history lesson at Pioneer Settlement in Swan Hill, an open-air museum which depicts life as an early settler.

Don't miss Heartbeat of the Murray, a multimedia show that uses light, lasers and sound to tell the 30 million year old story of the Murray – from the region's rich Indigenous history, to European settlement.

9. Art galleries and unique museums

Galleries, artist studios and museums line the river. The refurbished Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) is well worth having a good nosy around in, along with galleries in Mildura, Swan Hill and Shepparton.

Step back in time at Lake Boga Flying Boat Museum, which holds 500 artefacts from World War II, including a restored Catalina A24-30. Rev-heads can revel in the history of an iconic Aussie brand at the National Holden Museum in Echuca. Gerogery Doll Museum contains over 1600 dolls throughout the ages, including the largest Barbie doll ever made.

10. Wild walks

The Wagirra Trail is a 15 kilometre (return) walk that links the Wonga Wetlands with the South Albury Trail. Put time aside along the way, to check out the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, which features the works of fifteen local Aboriginal artists.

Head east to Nyah-Vinifera Park to stroll past red gums or enjoy a gentle walk from Echuca Visitor Centre through Banyule State Forest. Pack the binoculars to bird watch along Barmah Lakes Loop Track, or tackle a trail that will take you past four of Victoria's pink lakes (weather permitting) at Murray-Sunset National Park.


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