River activities in The Murray
Australia’s longest river, the mighty Murray, offers endless activities. Cast a line and try and hook a Murray cod, paddle a canoe, try waterskiing or hop on a paddle steamer for a riverboat tour. Whether you’re looking for an adrenalin rush, or a relaxing afternoon on the river, you’ll find it in The Murray.
River activities highlights
One of the best ways to experience the Murray River is by hiring a houseboat. By day, admire the ever-changing landscapes as you sail along the river, and then moor up for the evening and enjoy dinner on the deck before falling asleep under the stars
No license is required to drive a houseboat, and you will receive a full briefing on how to safely operate the boat before you depart. There are houseboats suitable for couples on a romantic break and for families and groups of friends, with some of the larger boats hosting up to 12 people. If you’re planning on travelling during the holidays its worth booking at least 6-12 months in advance.
There are more than 20 houseboat operators in The Murray and hire is available from a variety of locations. Departing from Wentworth you can book Murray Darling Houseboats, Adelora Houseboats or Drifter Houseboat Holidays.
All Seasons Houseboats depart from Mildura, along with Mildura Houseboats, and from Echuca Moama, there is Executive Houseboats and Magic Murray Houseboats. You can also float along the Edward River with Edward River Houseboats from Deniliquin or on Lake Mulwala with
Try your hand at catching a Murray cod - the largest exclusively freshwater fish in Australia, and one of the largest in the world. There are great fishing spots all over The Murray region, including the Five Rivers Fishing Trail, which encompasses the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Wakool, Edward and Murray rivers. These are restocked with native fish by the local council and fishing clubs and trail maps can be found at the Balranald Visitor Information Centre.
You can catch fish (including Murray cod) in the Murray River by trolling aboard a boat, with your lure slowly moving through the water. Carp and redfin can be found here, along with silver perch (protected) and golden perch. June to August is the Murray Crayfish season. These are the second-largest freshwater crayfish in the world and can only be taken during this period.
At Lake Hume near Albury you can fish golden perch, rainbow trout, brown trout and Murray cod. More fishing can be found on the Edward River near Deniliquin and Lake Mulwala. Check out the events calendar for river festivals and fishing competitions such as the annual Yamaha Cod Classic in Lake Mulwala, Australia’s richest freshwater fishing tournament.
You must have a NSW fishing license to fish in the Murray River and a Victorian fishing license to fish in Lake Hume.
Watersports fans will love The Murray, with a plethora of activities on offer. The river is a fantastic place to try waterskiing and wakeboarding. Take lessons and hire gear at Mulwala Water Ski Club. If you prefer to watch, the Southern 80, Robinvale 80 and Mildura 100 pro waterskiing events take place each year.
For something gentler, head out on a canoe or kayak. Canoe the Murray in Albury and Moontongue Eco Adventures at Wentworth both offer tours. The Ramsar-listed wetlands of the Murray Valley and Barmah national parks, where the world’s largest river red gum forests sit, are also spectacular paddling sites. Or traverse the Edward River canoe and kayak trail.
Paddle steamer & river tours
Paddle steamers transported passengers, traders, livestock and wool along the busy Murray River and waterways from the 1850s through to the early 1900s and were an integral part of life during the period.
The twin towns of Echuca and Moama, found on either side of the Murray River are known as Australia’s paddle-steamer capital, and are the perfect place to experience a paddle steamer, along with Mildura, Wentworth and Yarrawonga-Mulwala.
Join a relaxing lunch cruise on the PS Emmylou, the star of the TV series All the Rivers Run, or stay overnight and spend a few days on the historic ship. Take a one hour cruise with Echuca Paddle Steamers on P.S. Adelaide, P.S. Alexander Arbuthnot or P.S. Pevensey or a sightseeing tour on the century-old PS Canberra.
From Mildura, take an evening dinner cruise aboard the P.V. Rothbury and from Yarrawonga-Mulwala, join the MV Paradise Queen and P.S Cumberoona for a steam ride across beautiful Lake Mulwala. Please note that boats depart from the Victorian side of the river.