4 days on the Murray River food trail
The Murray Valley food bowl is a delicious proposition, filled with stunning scenery, interesting historic towns and gourmet food and wine.
By Leigh-Ann Pow
The mighty Murray River is the longest in Australia (and the third-longest navigable river in the world, after the Amazon and Nile), weaving its way through three states – New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Traversing its length offers up breathtaking scenery, charming country towns, and unique experiences, but it also calls for a major investment of your time. Breaking it down into smaller journeys allows you to experience many of its attributes in bite-sized pieces (literally).
The stretch of river running from Albury in New South Wales to Echuca in Victoria forms part of the Murray Valley food bowl, one of the country’s most productive agricultural areas, where everything from grains to olives and wine to whisky is produced in plentiful supply.
Take this four-day road trip – starting and ending in the New South Wales border town of Albury – to eat, drink and be merry.
Day 1: Albury to Moama
- Drive time: about 3 hours
Begin your Murray Valley road trip in Albury, New South Wales. From here, head straight for the town of Corowa, about a 45-minute drive. Stop at Corowa Whisky & Chocolate, housed in the imposing heritage-listed Corowa Flour Mill, built in the 1920s. Do a chocolate and liquorice tasting (both are produced by Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory), then tour the distillery at Corowa Distilling Co. before tasting the wares.
Continue on to Yarrawonga (another 45-minute drive) to visit the family-owned Rich Glen Olive Estate, where Ros and her husband Damien farm olives to produce award-winning oils, as well as gourmet foods and a huge range of beauty products. You can enjoy a coffee and something sweet on the veranda overlooking the lovely gardens and a collection of cheeky goats.Show more
Day 2: Exploring Moama, Perricoota and Murray Valley National Park
After a morning meal prepared from the breakfast basket in your villa, start the day surrounded by nature at Murray Valley National Park, a 35-minute drive from Perricoota. Here you can wonder at the soaring river red gums and lush wetlands, as well as do a spot of birdwatching along the Reed Beds Bird Hide Boardwalk.
After your morning activities, stop for lunch at Three Black Sheep, a popular local café in Moama. The menu includes lots of healthy options, and the coffee is excellent.Show more
Day 3: Moama to Murray River and Lake Mulwala via Echuca
- Drive time: about 2 hours
This morning, take the short drive through Moama and over the Murray River to arrive at the historic Victorian town of Echuca. It is a delight to wander, visiting the cafés and shops along the main street and the historic port area.
Board the 107-year-old PS Canberra for the 30-minute cruise to Morrisons Riverview Winery Restaurant & Brewery for lunch overlooking the river (and watched over by a hungry kookaburra or two) on Murray River Paddlesteamers Wharf to Winery cruise.Show more
Day 4: Lake Mulwala to Albury
- Drive time: about 1 hour
On the road back to Albury, make sure to stop at the edge of Lake Mulwala to see the eerily beautiful tree trunks of long-dead river red gums submerged in the water while elegant black swans float by.
The River Deck Cafe in Albury’s Noreuil Park, overlooking the Murray River, is the perfect spot for lunch, before heading to the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) to view its roster of visiting exhibitions and permanent collection of photography, contemporary and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.Show more