Nature & outdoors activities in The Murray
The Murray is home to incredible natural landscapes. From alpine peaks and rolling farmland to thriving wetlands and ancient rock formations, along with the mighty Murray River, which stretches for more than 2,500km. Explore it's water wonderland and beyond.
Nature & outdoors highlights
The Murray River
The longest river in Australia, The Murray is lined with dramatic river red gums and widens into vast lakes. It’s an aquatic playground, a place for endless fun in and on the water.
Take a tour on a historic paddlesteamer, like the PS Emmylou, the star of the TV series All the Rivers Run. You can even stay overnight. Echuca Paddle Steamers offer shorter cruises on P.S. Adelaide, P.S. Alexander Arbuthnot or P.S. Pevensey or sightseeing tours on the historic P.S. Canberra.
Hiring a houseboat is a popular way to spend a holiday, with more than 20 houseboat operators in The Murray. Take a trip from Wentworth with Murray Darling Houseboats, Adelora Houseboats or Drifter Houseboat Holidays or depart from Echuca Moama with Executive Houseboats and Magic Murray Houseboats.
You can fish aboard a boat or from the shore for a famed Murray cod, and may also catch carp, redfin and golden perch. The Murray River is part of the Five Rivers Fishing Trail, which also includes the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Wakool and Edward rivers, all excellent spots for casting a line in the region.
During the months of June to August, it is possible to catch Murray Crayfish – the second-largest freshwater crayfish in the world. The rest of the year fishing these crustaceans is prohibited. You must have a NSW fishing license to fish in the Murray River.
There are plenty of other great river activities, including waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and canoeing. Mulwala Water Ski Club offer lessons and gear hire or you can take a canoe tour with Canoe the Murray or Eco Adventures.
Mungo National Park
Among the dramatic landscapes of Mungo National Park, the oldest burial rituals on earth were discovered. Find out about these, as well as footprints dating back 20,000 years and fascinating Aboriginal sites in this unique national park.
Take the 70km Mungo Self-Guided Drive Tour, which follows a loop and passes the Walls of China boardwalk, Red Top lookout and Rosewood picnic area. Or if you prefer, join an organised tour with Outback Geo Adventures.
On the lakes
Take a scenic flight over the incredible pink lakes of Murray-Sunset National Park. The instagrammable Lake Tyrell is a photographer’s dream and is best viewed from above and during wet and warm periods. However, you can also view the lake from a viewing platform.
Picturesque Lake Mulwala is a unique natural attraction with ghostly red gums growing throughout the lake. You can boat, kayak, waterski, windsurf, stand-up paddleboard or paddle steam across the lake, or simply enjoy its beauty from one of the picnic areas on the shore. It’s also a popular fishing spot for Murray cod, with the Yamaha Cod Classic competition taking place each year.
Lake Hume near Albury is another popular fishing spot, where you might catch golden perch, rainbow trout, brown trout and Murray cod. Enjoy a barbecue by the foreshore or try tube-riding on the water. Cyclists and mountain bikers will love the 80km High Country Rail Trail, which stretches from Albury Wodonga to Shelley in Victoria, including 30km along the shore of Lake Hume.
Underrated national parks & outdoor adventure
See the world's largest stand of river red gums at Barmah National Park. You can explore the park on walking trails like the 4.5km Lakes Loop Track and 7.5km Broken Creek Loop Track, which pass through forest and along waterways. There are some great camping spots in the park including Ulupna Island, where you can camp on an isolated river beach.
Traverse the Edward River canoe and kayak trail in the Ramsar-listed wetlands of the Murray Valley National Park, with over 60km of water trails to explore. Mountain bikers will love the Moama Five Mile mountain bike trail, which offers 7km of purpose-built mountain bike trails suitable for mountain bikers of all skill levels. Featuring wall rides, drops and flowing bridges, as well as a skills area and a pump track. If you don’t have your bike with you, you can hire one from the Deniliquin Visitor Centre. Don’t miss Reed Beds Bird Hide at Mathoura, where you can spot a variety of birdlife including Eastern great egret, yellow rosellas, superb wrens and purple swamphen.
Woomargama National Park is home to a large number of endangered species including the regent honeyeater, superb parrot and powerful owl. You may also spot koalas, the eastern pygmy-possum, the greater long-eared bat and the southern bell frog. Head up to Norths Lookout (4WD required) for expansive views of the Murray Valley, Snowy Mountains and Riverina district.
Head west past Wentworth to the Perry Sandhills. These sand dunes sit on the edge of the flood plain that includes Thegoa Lagoon and have been used as a backdrop in many films and television shows. The dunes are an important area for Aboriginal cultural heritage and evidence of this is still being uncovered as the sands drift. Skeleton remains of giant mega-fauna (kangaroos, lions, emus and wombats) have also been found there and can be seen at the Pioneer Museum in Wentworth.
Birdwatching & wildlife
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in the Mallee region offers excellent birdwatching opportunities, including bush birds, birds of prey, floodplain birdlife and parrots. Featuring expansive wetlands, extensive low scrub and open native pine woodland, spring is a great time to visit when the wildflowers are in bloom. While here, don’t miss the incredible Mallee sunsets.
The Wonga Wetlands are located on the Murray River floodplain, just five minutes from the Albury CBD, and are home to more than 170 different wildlife species including wading birds, pelicans, swans and platypus. And at Yanga National Park you’ll find more than 150 species of birds, with the Yanga Lake Red Gum bird hide an excellent spot for birdwatching, particularly in spring and autumn when the lakes fill with birds such as white-bellied sea eagles and great crested grebes.
Walks & gardens
Cycle or walk the Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, a 15km (return) trail that links the Wonga Wetlands with the South Albury Trail. On the way you’ll find beautiful riverside scenery and the impressive Yindyamarra Sculptures, crafted by Aboriginal artists.
Look out for wildlife as you pass through red gum forest on the Moama Beach Nature Walk. Once at the beach, there is a picnic area and barbecue facilities, and you can relax while you learn about the history of Moama beach on information storyboards.
The town of Deniliquin sits on the banks of the Edward River (Kolety), which has several sandy river beaches lining the calm water. Take the Beach to Beach Riverside Walk past towering red gums and quiet inlets and stop at the Deniliquin and District Historical Society for a quick culture fix. You’ll also see the ‘Ute on a Pole’ sculpture, which is a tribute to the famous Deni Ute Muster, with the walk continuing through Island Sanctuary and onto Willoughby's Beach at Murray Valley Regional Park.
Explore the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens and discover Australian and exotic species, a beautiful rose garden featuring over 1,600 colour co-ordinated bushes and a children's garden. On Saturdays, you can take a tractor-train tour through the gardens at 11am.
The Albury Botanic Gardens opened in 1877, and feature heritage buildings including the 1890 band rotunda and the 1909 curator’s residence. There are four hectares of trails and gardens, with more than 1,000 plant species, including a rainforest collection and a Lone Pine from Gallipoli, planted on Anzac Day 1936.