Lover of the great outdoors? Experience life on the open road with a trip to the Victorian outback city of Mildura. Things to do in and around the city are numerous, but if you’ve got a particular fascination for Victorian colonial history, are an intrepid explorer and/or enjoy feasting (both literally and metaphorically) on the spoils of nature, there’s a bounty of fun to be had. But where to begin?
Start your Mildura getaway at the NRMA Mildura Riverside Holiday Park, which you’ll find nestled along the banks of the picturesque Murray River. The Holiday Park is the ideal base for your next adventure, located just 5 kilometres from Mildura’s town centre and a leisurely drive away from some of the region’s best nature and wildlife hotspots. Grey nomad, solo traveller or family travelling circus? There are plenty of flexible accommodation options to suit you, including a number of cabins, large family villas and spacious ensuite and powered caravan and camping sites. If you’ve got the kids in tow, the park has loads to keep them occupied ¬– from a dual water slide and heated swimming pool, to an indoor adventure playground and pedal carts – while those seeking peace and quiet can opt for rooms/sites situated away from the hustle and bustle.
Once you’ve settled in to your riverside base, had a cuppa and soaked in the Park’s bush surroundings, get ready to explore with the help of this list of top things to do in and around Mildura:
1. Cruise down the Murray River
The Murray River, which stretches 2700km from northeast Victoria to Adelaide in South Australia, is arguably Mildura’s most popular attraction. For a quintessential Murray River experience, catch an old historic paddle streamer from the Mildura Wharf and spend the day cruising down the Murray. For a food and wine adventure, jump on board the PV Rothbury or PB Mundoo, which run winery and dinner cruises throughout the week.
2. Go fishing
Fancy a spot of fishing? Whether you’ve got a boat, canoe, kayak or your own two feet, the Murray offers up some choice fishing spots for you to reel in Murray or Trout Cod. To avoid snagging a fine, do ensure you purchase a New South Wales fishing license before you cast out your line.
3. Cycle through Mildura’s scenic nature hotspots
If you like the great outdoors, you’ll really love Mildura. Things to do often revolve around nature. One of our favourite ways to enjoy the region’s unique environment is to jump on a bike and ride down the many scenic cycling trails that meander down the Murray, around Kings Billabong Wildlife Reserve and past other beautiful parks, lakes and waterways. Give these off-road bicycle rides a try today.
4. Discover Murray Sunset National Park’s pretty Pink Lakes
It’s not often you come across a pink lake, but you’ll find four within the Murray Sunset National Park – the second largest national park in Victoria. These natural wonders are made up of beds of solid salt and water containing red algae, which gives them their pink hue. An hour and a half from Mildura, the park is also home to kangaroos, wallabies, emus, echidnas and a whole host of birdlife. We highly suggest donning your walking shoes, as there are some wonderful walking trails throughout the park that are well worth traversing.
5. Explore the World Heritage-listed Mungo National Park and the Walls of China
Mildura is a destination packed full of contrasting landscapes, including Mungo National Park’s “Walls of China”. These spectacular moon-like rock formations are ice-age lunettes that have been shaped by the elements over thousands of years. You can self-drive (four-wheel-drive required) through this unique natural landscape, but to truly understand the full historical, scientific and cultural significance of these structures, found on the edge of Lake Mungo, we recommend joining an immersive tour with Discover Mildura or Murraytrek.
6. Travel back in time on the Chaffey Trail
Mildura is a city steeped in colonial history, dating back to the 1800s when the Chaffey brothers created the Mildura Irrigation Colony and developed a series of steam-driven pumps to lift water from the Murray River and irrigate up to 33,000 acres of pastoral land. Trace the development of the city along the Chaffey Trail, a self-guided tour that will take you past key heritage sites and buildings including the Mildura Station Homestead, Mildura Wharf and King’s Billabong.
7. Surf on land at the Perry Sandhills
Avid surfer or just want to try something different? Head on over to Wentworth’s Perry Sandhills, a shifting dune system that is more than 40,000 years old, for some sandboarding fun. Bring sandboards (or opt for the Aussie budget option – a large piece of cardboard) and slide down the dunes.
8. Embrace art, history and culture at Mildura Arts Centre
The Mildura Arts Centre is a state-of-the-art performing arts venue, café bar, gallery, sculpture park and heritage site first founded in 1956. Back then, the arts precinct was situated in the Rio Vista Historic House, which still remains the centrepiece of the expanded cultural hub today. The Rio Vista has since been restored and reflects what the residence would have looked like back when it was first constructed in 1889. Visit the historic site, walk amongst large-scale art pieces in the centre’s sculpture park and finish the day with coffee and cake at the café bar.
9. Celebrate local artists at The Art Vault
Mildura is home to a thriving arts community made up of artists, writers and performers. Get to know some of the region’s creatives at The Art Vault, a local contemporary art gallery that runs regular exhibitions, performances, workshops and events throughout its three gallery spaces.
10. Eat at Feast Street
Looking for a place to eat? Head to Feast Street on Langtree Avenue and find a great range of restaurants and eateries guaranteed to satisfy both your tastebuds and your wallet. Mildura locals recommend dining at The Province by Matt De Angelo and Stefano’s Restaurant, which both received a Chef’s Hat from The Good Food Guide.
11. Buy fresh produce at Sunraysia Farmers Market
If cooking’s more your thing, don’t miss a trip to the Sunraysia Farmers Market. Renowned as one of Australia’s major “food bowls”, Mildura boasts an abundance of fresh, locally grown produce, all of which you can source and buy at the farmers market every first and third Saturday of the month.
12. Spot a variety of exotic plants and flowers at the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens
The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens is the first semi-arid botanic gardens in the Southern Hemisphere – an oasis filled with flowers, plants and trees from all over the world. The gardens, which were first planted in 1988, are a spectacular example of nature’s ability to adapt to extreme climates and weather. Spend the day strolling through the park’s many paths and nature trails.
13. Play a game (or a few) of golf
Plenty of daylight, a pleasant climate and idyllic riverside/bush settings make Mildura the perfect golfer’s paradise. You’ll know what we mean when you swing your clubs at the Coomealla and Riverside golf courses, both of which are located on the banks of the Murray River. Mildura Golf Resort, Red Cliffs Golf Club and Sunraysia Golf Range are also worthy of a visit.
Photo credit: Hawkeye Photography
14. Taste your way through the Murray Darling Wine Region
Wine aficionados will have plenty of fun hopping between wineries in the Murray Darling Wine Region, the second largest wine region in Australia. Join a wine tour for a fuss-free day of tastings, or put together your own self-drive wine trail (don’t forget to pick your designated driver). Our must-visits: Trentham Estate, Oak Valley Estate, Chateau Mildura (the region’s oldest winery) and Sunraysia Cellar Door (which you’ll find conveniently located in the heart of town).
Photo credit: Teagan Jane Photography
15. End your adventure with a local brew
One of our favourite ways to end an adventure-filled day out is with a tasty, refreshing beverage. Head to boutique distillery Fossey’s for a sip of Australian botanical-infused craft gin and spirits, or enjoy a naturally brewed beer at the Mildura Brewery, located inside the former Astor Theatre.
Feeling inspired? Plan your next Mildura outdoor adventure with the help of NRMA Parks and Resorts and you’ll soon experience what you’ve been missing.