In riverside Narrandera, part of the beautiful Riverina, you can visit koalas in their natural habitat, explore fascinating heritage and enjoy fishing, kayaking and swimming. There are orchard tours, cycling and walking trails by the river, and two of Australia’s iconic ‘big things’.
Things to do
The region is renowned for fresh produce, acclaimed wines, country charm and natural attractions, including native animals and sandy beaches on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.
For extraordinary wildlife encounters, the Narrandera Nature Reserve is part of the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park and home to hundreds of koalas. Known locally as the Koala Reserve, the koalas munch on the river red gums, and on some days koalas doze on branches overhanging the river.
The fun and exciting events calendar includes the thrilling Narrandera Rodeo in February. Glimmering chrome fills Narrandera over Easter as vintage cars come to town for the annual Narrandera Rod Run Event. The tasty Narrandera Farmers' Market is monthly.
Cycling and walking
Cycling is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area, including the koala sanctuary. Bring your own bike or hire one from Eurell’s Bike Hire and pedal along the river on the 23km Narrandera Bike and Hike Track. There are more cycling trails in Barellan and Grong Grong, two nearby villages.
Stop by the Narrandera Visitor Information Centre and pick up free maps to explore the history and heritage. The self-guided Two-Foot Heritage Walk wanders past many attractions, including the Tiger Moth Memorial, the Royal Doulton Hankinson Memorial Fountain and Parkside Cottage Museum.
Local heritage and culture
For indigenous heritage, visit the Wiradjuri Honour Wall, a rammed-earth memorial to the Narrungdera Clan who have passed. You can browse beautifully crafted boomerangs and other handmade works by Wiradjuri descendant Michael Lyons at his Sandhills Artefacts workshop.
The two ‘big things’ in the district are Barellan’s Big Tennis Racquet, a tribute to tennis great Evonne Goolagong Cawley, a Wiradjuri woman who grew up in the town and won Wimbledon twice. The Big Guitar is Australia’s biggest playable guitar on display at the Narrandera Visitor Information Centre.
Getting there and where to stay
Narrandera is a 5hr 30min drive from Sydney, just under five hours from Melbourne and 3hr 45min from Canberra. You can also fly into Wagga Wagga or Griffith, both around one-hour away. Places to stay suit a range of budgets, from caravan and camping sites to hotels, motels and B&Bs.