Replenish the soul, reconnect with nature and share the best of the outdoor life amid the sunny climes of the vibrant Murray. Splash around on sandy river beaches, wander through towering red gum forests, or take a cruise downriver on a paddle steamer or canoe. Delve into Aboriginal history, spend the night in some quirky accommodation or stroll the fairways of some the country's finest golf courses.
The Festival will host a Regional World's Longest Lunch on Friday March 4, 2016.
Known as Victoria's food bowl, The Murray region's combination of rich soils, sunny Mediterranean climate and river water for irrigation ensure an endless supply of fruit and vegetables, gourmet cheeses, nuts and excellent freshwater fish. Stefano's cafe and food store, 27 Deakin, is a good starting point where visitors can order a picnic hamper filled with the best regional produce. Travel south to Swan Hill, the home of Australia's stone fruit industry and look out for farm gates along the Murray Valley Highway to stock up on nectarines, peaches, pistachios, almonds and olives. Choose from 40 wineries, restaurants and pubs along the Echuca Moama Food and Wine Trail, or turn off the highway and onto the Backroads Trail where it's all about old-fashioned country hospitality.
With so many renowned farms, dairies, orchards and vineyards, it's no wonder the Murray region boasts some of Victoria's best dining destinations. Many visitors have come to Mildura to dine at chef Stefano de Pieri’s restaurant Stefano’s, and gone on to discover the wide variety of fine food and wine in the Mildura and wider Murray regions.
Today daily cruises operate out of Echuca, Mildura and Swan Hill. Visitors can take a cruise aboard the reclaimed paddle steamer Rothbury and head to Trentham Estate, a boutique winery on the banks of the Murray, or embark at Gol Gol Hotel for hearty pub fare river views. For 360-degree views of the river, guests can set aside the afternoon for a relaxing lunch on the M.V. Mary Ann or paddle-steamer Emmylou. There are many houseboats available for visitors to spend a night or two sleeping on the beautiful Murray River.
For lovers of the great outdoors, The Murray River region is a sun-kissed wonderland full of striking natural landscapes and winding waterways. With the river making its way through the heart of the region, there are countless opportunities for all kinds of watery fun, from water skiing, boating and kayaking to fishing and canoeing. There are plenty of options for landlubbers too with great bushwalking trails, renowned golf courses and cycling routes to try.
The Murray River region is not only magnificent in its natural diversity, it is a place steeped in Indigenous history, culture and spiritual significance. Today there are over 40 Aboriginal nations in the Murray-Darling Basin. Discover some of Australia's most significant Aboriginal sites and learn about the important relationship The Murray's traditional owners have with the ancient landscape.
Surrounded by red-gum eucalyptus trees and located on the Murray, the Yurt style accommodation at Talo Retreat takes the concept of glamping to a whole new level. Inspired by traditional nomadic Mongolian dwellings, the Yurts are circular in design with canvas walls that are lined with Australian wool for insulation. The internal lattice wood frame adds both form and function, and the domed skylight enables guests to stargaze from the comfort of a private abode.