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Mildura And The Great Murray
murray riverThe town of Mildura is as much a travel and culinary delight as it is home to some of the country's best citrus fruits, fishing and outback national parks. Your itinerary for travel here will be endless, with choices such as the great ‘Walls of China’ and the vast Murray River, the city and surrounding attractions to keep you enthralled.

Mildura is nestled on the banks of the Murray River in the north west of Victoria. The city enjoys and warm and dry climate, and is well known for its plentiful days of sunshine. The wettest month of the year is October, but any other time of year is good to pay a visit to this picturesque region, with orchards, wineries, indoor attractions and an intriguing inland botanical garden.

The most popular activities to take part in on the Murray are of course fishing, canoeing or just hiring a boat and exploring. However if all you want to do is relax, board the Paddlesteamer Rothbury and enjoy the wildlife along the riverbanks. This pleasant steam boat winds through the heart of town from Swan Hill and ends in South Australia. The beautiful Murray River supports an abundant ecosystem of wildlife and vegetation and is the perfect way to get back in touch with nature.

Mildura is also famous for its many wineries and there are plenty of these on the outskirts of town, with many offering vineyard walks and wine tasting. Yearly festivals, such as the wine, food and jazz festival or country music festival, also add a vibrant atmosphere to town and draw in thousands of eager tourists.

Orange World is a must-see while in Mildura as this region is one of the best growers of citrus fruit in the country. So it comes as no surprise that inside you can find out everything you wanted to know about oranges. There is also a tour that will inform you of how to grow your own fruit trees, and a train ride to take you through the huge citrus orchard. You also won’t be able to leave without visiting the fruit market filled with the best selections of citrus fruit you would imagine.

Seafood lovers will not be able to go past the Gol Gol Fisheries, without a look as it offers an interesting tour of Murray’s cod breeding techniques. There is a wide array of live or cooked fish to choose from, and the market specializes in yabbies so you are sure to find something yummy.

Calder Caravan Park is an ideal base to see Mildura and its surrounding attractions. It is located right in the middle of town, and offers all the necessary amenities right at your doorstep with four star amenities, and perfect places to relax.

Mungo National Park is located just over 100 kilometres from Mildura, and is a unique paradise with an abundance of animals to discover. It is best visited during the colder months as the temperatures can soar quite quickly. If you are there at the right time, you may catch a glimpse of the red and grey kangaroos or the prickly echidnas. The geckos and bearded dragons are always a favourite with the kids, as well as the adults. The pink cockatoos will dazzle you with their performances at dusk, and you will be captivated by the wedge tailed eagles as they soar high above.

The park is also home to many desert landscapes, which makes it unique in its own sense. The most famous of the landscapes is the ‘Walls of China’, which is aptly named because of the naturally formed sand formations, easily viewed from a large boardwalk. The many dunes, sand hills and craters all give an eerie appearance; however after it has rained, the wildflowers explode with colour and provide a soft carpet over the harsh terrain.

There are some relatively easy walks here that are suitable for any fitness level. The Grassland Nature Trail starts at the camping area, and the Foreshore walk is longer but just as picturesque. The scenery and beauty along the way will capture your eye's attention almost immediately.

Main Camp and Belah Camp both offer basic facilities if you choose to stay in this amazing place a little longer. There is plenty of room but you will have to bring all your own supplies. For those who love the solitude of the bush, this region will be relaxing especially at night under the canopy of stars and the quiet stillness that will consume you.

There is a direct contrast between the stillness of the Murray and the cosmopolitan culture of the city of Mildura. The nearby towns such as Gol Gol, Buronga and Red Cliffs are just as lively and the food, wine and great entertainment here will no doubt keep you coming back for more. This region is fantastic for all tourists who are searching for the remoteness of the outback but while still enjoying the comforts of the city. It's all here waiting for you!

Christine Barton

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