If you’ve never heard of Yarrawonga and Mulwala, Murray River border towns about an hour west of Albury, it’s probably because you’re not that into fishing or golf. Those two activities dominate the towns culture and tourism and for the most part, is the only two things people think of when coming here. But they are wrong – very wrong to limit their stays to just those things, because this very underrated region is so much more than that.
Yarrawonga, in Victoria and Mulwala (pronounced Mool-whale-a) in New South Wales lie on the western shore of Lake Mulwala, a ginormous man-made reservoir that’s the result of the Yarrawonga Weir, built in 1939 to irrigate surrounding farmland.
The region’s popularity as a fishing destination is well earned. It’s one of the best places along the Murray to target Murray cod, and in season (between December and August) there’s an almost constant stream of small boats being launched and retrieved at the numerous concrete and natural boat ramps around the lake. Cod are notorious ambush feeders that grow to enormous sizes and fight hard, so in freshwater there’s few fish as thrilling to catch. Locals recommend spinnerbaits in tight, snaggy areas and surface lures if you’re fishing in low light.
Golf is also big in Yarrawonga Mulwala, thanks to the abundance of water with which to water the grass. Boasting two-and-a-half courses across 500 acres the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Resort it’s the largest public course in Australia, with some of the most striking scenery along the river and the lake. If you don’t quite have the patience to chase a small ball with a big stick around a grassy acreage, the bistro is great, and one of the better places to eat in town.
Base your stay at NRMA Yarrawonga Mulwala Holiday Park, right across the road from the lake and a boat ramp on the Mulwala side of the river. The park is modern and very friendly, with sites for caravaners and campers and cabins to suit nearly any visitor to the region. Park hosts Ian and Katie will ensure your stay is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Just out of town, it’s also nice and quiet, with two great pools to cool off in, and heaps of things for the kids to do. As nice as the park is, you’ll make the most of the area by exploring it.
Even without a boat, it’s easy to get along the river and walk. The easiest of them are in Gorman Park off Golf Club Road. The small wilderness park hugs the Murray, below the weir, and paths venture through the red gum forest shared with kangaroos and cockatoos. The paths are mostly flat and hard packed gravel, so simple to get around. There’s also another great short walk on Chinamans Island, which is an excellent place to watch the local wetland birdlife.
If you don’t have your own boat and really want to get out on the water, you can hire one from Mal’s Boat Hire – he’ll even deliver it to the boat ramp of your choice, or take a more leisurely cruise on the MV Paradise Queen or PS Cumberoona, a replica of the original which was built in 1866 and features twin 16hp Buffalo Pitt engines from 1906. Both boats run lunch and sunset cruises, so check out their websites for more details.
Because of Yarrawonga Mulwala’s proximity to the Rutherglen wineries, there’s no shortage of vineyards and cellar doors to visit and stock up your own personal drinks list. The acclaimed All Saints Winery, whose cellar door is in a Scottish-inspired castle is one to remember, or you can follow the wine trail to visit some of the region’s most prominent makers.
For all that, though, the most satisfying things to do (apart from cooling off in the caravan park’s pools), is watching the sun set or rise over the lake. For sunrise, the best vantage spot is from the boat ramp right across the road, where you’ll watch the sun rise through the drowned, ghostly gums standing sentinel in the water. For sunset, take a short drive to Kyffins Reserve on the north shore of the lake and from where you can look west as the sun sets into the water, there is almost no more perfect way to end a day on the Murray, than amongst the subdued bird calls and softening light by the water.
Discover the hidden secrets of Yarrawonga Mulwala.
With a range of cabins and sites, NRMA Yarrawonga Mulwala Holiday Park has got you covered for your next visit to the region.Book now