Life revolves around the great outdoors in riverside Narrandera, part of the beautiful Riverina region of southern NSW. In addition to expansive walking and cycling trails, the area is blessed with wilderness areas where you can visit koalas in their natural habitat, as well as watery playgrounds where you can enjoy fishing, kayaking and swimming.
Things to do
Narrandera may be small in population, but its big in natural attractions, including native animals and sandy beaches on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River – check out the Historic Rail Bridge.
For extraordinary wildlife encounters, make a beeline for Narrandera Nature Reserve, part of the larger Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, part of the longest continuous tract of river red gums in the world. It’s the perfect home for koalas, and you’ll find hundreds of them hanging out on branches overhead. Small wonder it’s known locally as the Koala Reserve.
Cycling is not only a great way to get your heart pumping, but is the ideal way to explore many of Narrandera’s natural attractions, including the Koala Reserve. Bring your own bike or hire one from Eurell’s Bike Hire in the nearby town of Leeton, 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.
While on two wheels, pedal over to the Narrandera Skywalk, a new attraction extending 15m over and above Lake Talbot, with views of the water and well as the floral reserve that surrounds.
Autumn colours on display on a tree-lined road, Narrandera
The bird hide on the banks of the Bundidgerry Creek in the Rocky Waterholes, Narrandera - Credit: Narrandera Tourism
Heritage & culture
This part of the Riverina is Wiradjuri Country, and you can take a deep dive into the heritage when you 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.
There’s not much that Aussies love more than ‘big things’, and there are two in this region to get a happy snap with. In Barellan is the 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.
Want the best view across town? Head to the town’s tower to ogle a wrap-around mural comprising a visual collection of landmarks, activities, flora and fauna that resonates with the local community. It’s part of the Narrandera Water Tower Art Trail.
Whether you’re a fan of Italian fare or love classic pub grub, there are plenty of dining options to sate you. Traditional and gourmet pies are on the menu at local favourite, Narrandera Pizzeria, while the Murrumbidgee Hotel (one of the town’s oldest establishments) serves up generous burgers, schnitzel and pastas. After a caffeine hit? Head to The Early Opener, Red Door Cafe (which doubles as an interiors store) or Pretty Little Lattes for strong coffee and great breakfast and lunch specials.
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.
Narrandera is a 5.5-hour drive from Sydney, just under five hours from Melbourne and just over three hours from Canberra. You can also fly into Wagga Wagga or Griffith – both around one-hour away. The Narrandera Leeton Airport is 10km southwest from Narrandera’s town centre and 24km northwest from Leeton’s centre. There are daily return flights to both Sydney and Griffith. Use the taxi services to make the short trips into these towns. Alternatively, rent a car at the airport and explore the Riverina region at your own pace. Places to stay suit a range of budgets, from caravan and camping sites to hotels, motels and B&Bs.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.