Heritage & culture attractions in The Murray
The Murray is more than just a river, it’s an integral part of Australia’s colonial history and helped shape the country as we know it today. It’s the birthplace of Federation and home to iconic paddle steamers that transported essential goods, as well as ancient Aboriginal sites and eclectic galleries and museums.
Heritage & culture highlights
This beautiful region is blessed with a number of historical and heritage sites. Heritage walks are a great way to explore historic towns. Follow the Federation Story and self-guided tour around Corowa and learn about the Australia Felix expedition on the Corowa and Howlong History Trails.
Find out about early explorers to the region, including John Oxley, Charles Sturt and Sir Thomas Mitchell on the Balranald Heritage Trail or discover how Mildura became Australia's first irrigation colony on The Chaffey Trail.
You'll find beautifully preserved heritage buildings on the heritage walking trail in Albury, which includes Albury Railway Station and Albury Botanic Gardens. Nearby on Lake Hume is the Bonegilla Migrant Experience, which brings to life the stories and experiences of some of the many post-war migrants that passed through the city.
Visit the hideout of infamous colonial bushranger Dan ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan near Culcairn. While there, pop into the Culcairn Hotel, a classic railway pub built in 1891. Further west is Barham Bridge, a heritage-listed road bridge that was built in 1904.
Historic Tocumwal is home to one of Australia’s iconic ‘big things', the Big Murray Cod, which is also known by its Aboriginal name 'Goodoo'. And in Yanga National Park you’ll find Yanga Woolshed, which was built in the late 1800s and was once the largest, most modern woolshed in the district.
Paddle steamer history
The towns of Echuca Moama are known as Australia’s paddle steamer capital and were an integral part of the inland pioneering transport system along the Murray River from the 1860s through to the early 1900s. Learn about paddle steamer history at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre or join a paddle steamer cruise along the Murray River to experience the boats for yourself.
Museums & galleries
One of the best regional museums and galleries in Australia is Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) in Albury. It has an impressive collection of Aboriginal works and is known for its bold contemporary exhibitions. You can also explore the Albury Wodonga Public Art Trail, which features sculptures, murals and more.
Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery has one of Australia's most comprehensive collections of naïve art and Moulamein Art Gallery is a volunteer-run gallery which holds workshops and exhibitions, along with serving great coffee and cake.
The town of Holbrook is named after the first submariner to receive the Victoria Cross for bravery at the Dardanelles during the Gallipoli campaign in 1914. Visit the Holbrook Submarine Museum and climb inside HMAS Otway, a decommissioned Oberon-class submarine.
For more war history, head to Tocumwal Aviation Museum, or to learn about the 1893 Corowa Conference, which is credited with starting the popular movement towards a Federation, visit the Corowa Federation Museum.
The Murray is part of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s food bowl, and is rich in agricultural history. In Henty, discover the story of farmer Headlie Taylor, who revolutionised grain harvesting in 1914, at the Headlie Taylor Header and Blacksmith Shop Museum. Then get a taste of country life at agricultural shows, farmers markets and festivals.
Discover some of the unique cultural experiences in The Murray, like the Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk. This 15km (return) trail links the Wonga Wetlands with the South Albury Trail along the Murray River and includes the 5km Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk between Kremur Street and the Wonga Wetlands. Admire 15 sculptures crafted by Aboriginal artists, which tell local stories through contemporary art.
In Deniliquin, visit Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre Aboriginal Corporation, a centre housing local cultural exhibits, family history and historic photos as well as offering guided tours of the local environmental areas.
Barkindji Wiimpatya Murra Centre (Bmeet) in Dareton displays a wide range of Aboriginal artwork. You’ll find painted kangaroo skins and emu eggs, jewellery, boomerangs, wood burnt art and carved bowls along with the largest playable didgeridoo recorded in Australia.
The ancient Mungo National Park is an area rich in Aboriginal history and heritage. It was here that the 42,000-year-old burial site of Mungo Woman and Mungo Man was discovered – some of the oldest remains of modern humans found outside of Africa. Take an organised tour of the incredible park with Outback Geo Adventures.