The Mighty Murray is Australia’s longest river, with numerous settlements dotting its banks as it twists and turns through Victoria and New South Wales. Step back in time in the historic ports of Echuca and Swan Hill, see abundant birdlife as you cruise the waters, stay overnight on a luxurious houseboat, visit ancient landscapes in the northern desert, and eat and drink to your heart’s content in this food bowl of the nation.
At a glance:
- Melbourne – Echuca (2.40 hours)
- Echuca – Swan Hill (1.45 hours)
- Swan Hill – Mildura (2.30 hours)
- Mildura – Melbourne (6 hours)
Depart Melbourne for Echuca. Stop off in the Heathcote region and taste some of Victoria’s finest Shiraz. Arrive in Echuca and enjoy lunch at The American Hotel by Oscar Ws, at the Port of Echuca. Explore the historic Port of Echuca, restored to its 1860s heyday to showcase the main shipbuilding centre of the Murray River. Take a cruise on a restored paddlesteamer with Murray River Steamboats.
- Visit the Echuca Discovery Centre.
- Cruise the river and enjoy lunch at the M.S. Emmylou.
- Hire a canoe or book a water-ski lesson.
- Explore one of the many food and wine trails.
Head to Barmah wetlands for a Kingfisher Cruise on the Murray, spotting local wildlife and learning about the environmental impact of the river. Have lunch at Morrisons Winery on the banks of the Murray before checking out some of the local gourmet providers. Depart to Swan Hill. Stop in at Lake Boga and explore the underground museum devoted to the Catalina Flying Boats. Visit the Pioneer Settlement tracing the history of the town.
- Taste local produce at Echuca Farmhouse Cheese and Echuca Chocolate.
- Hear fascinating commentary about the hundreds of species of water birds, animals and native fish that have made the Barmah Wetlands on the Kingfisher Cruise.
Today take in a round of golf at the Murray Downs Golf Course, regarded as the best course on the Murray. Then continue to follow the Murray, all the way to Mildura. There is no better way to explore the Murray on a houseboat. No license required. Cruise the Murray, stopping at wineries and olive groves to collect supplies for your BBQ on board.
- Cruise the Murray, stopping at wineries and olive groves to collect supplies for a picnic.
- Visit the nearby Mungo National Park.
- Indulgence at the award winning Stefano’s Restaurant.
Get off the river and explore more of the gourmet offerings in the area, including fruit farms, the famous Murray Pink Salt factory, and nut farms.
Alternatively, take a full day off the boat to visit Mungo National Park with Harry Nanya Tours. This park contains the artefacts of ancient cultures dating back to over 50,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest known locations of humans outside of Africa. The indigenous history here is mesmerizing, and the landscapes surreal and beautiful.
- Visit the ancient Perry Sandhills, 10 hectares of constantly shifting red sand dunes just 10kms from Mildura.
- Stop in at the Mildura Brewery for a refreshing ale.
- Join a Harry Nanya Tour.
Spend the rest of the morning in Mildura before driving back to Melbourne or dropping you rental car at Mildura Airport to continue your journey. (Avis/Budget/Hertz – one way drop off fee will apply).