There’s a satisfying balance of both city and country life in historic Mildura, right on the banks of the Murray River. In partnership with Visit Victoria, here’s our guide on where to eat, drink and stay.
In the Mallee region, nestled against a winding stretch of Australia’s longest river, Mildura is close to abundant wetlands, national parks, vast salt lakes and rolling sand dunes. That diversity of landscape makes it an attractive place to stop for anyone driving between capital cities. But really, it’s a destination in itself.
Formerly the busiest inland port in the entire country, the NSW town of Wentworth is only half an hour upriver, and the scenic river plains of Red Cliffs are even closer. Tours in preserved paddle-steamers offer a glimpse into the once-roaring river trade, while the region’s pioneering irrigation system is to thank for a wealth of citrus (including the nearby 50-acre farmland of Orange World) as well as a local horticultural industry that supplies the bulk of Australia’s grapes.
Within six hours’ drive of both Melbourne and Adelaide – and about nine hours from both Canberra and Sydney – Mildura is a nice mix of convenience and country. The Murray River is just a few minutes’ stroll from the city’s CBD.
Welcome to Mildura
A international array of cuisine peppers the region, from pan-Asian eats to authentic Italian.
From craft spirits using local produce to a brewer in a repurposed art deco cinema, choice for tipples abound.
Art, historical artifacts and adventure abounds around the Murray and surrounds.
Murray Off-Road Adventures
Mildura offers a cross-section of varied Australian landscapes, a fact that the 4WD bus tours from Murray Off-Road Adventures brings into stark relief. Proving just how much diverse natural backdrop you can experience within a single day’s return drive, the tours offer immersive experiences stretching right across wetlands, plains, ancient forests, salt lakes, sand dunes, creeks and billabongs. The half- and full-day tour options include visits to the Millewa-Mallee region to the west, the Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Sunset National Parks, wetland-ensconced wineries, Woolshed Brewery in nearby South Australia, and even a themed art trail. Whatever option you choose, you’ll have the chance to absorb regional history from both an Indigenous and pioneer perspective while observing thriving native wildlife.
Mildura Paddle Steamers
More than just Australia’s longest river, the Murray was once home to a bustling system of commercial transport thanks to its distinctive paddle steamer boats, carrying everything from gold to sheep. Port cities such as Mildura were regular fixtures on the route before being eclipsed by newly developed rail and road options, but a select few of those iconic paddle steamers have been preserved for recreational cruises. Operating three unique vessels – the oldest dating back to 1881– Mildura Paddle Steamers runs two-hour cruises in the late morning and arvo every day, exploring Mildura Weir and its water-level-controlling Lock 11.
Old Wentworth Gaol
The first Australian-designed gaol, the former prison in Wentworth ran from 1881 to 1928 without a single escape. A well-preserved single-storey building made from local clay bricks, Victorian bluestone and Welsh slate, it’s now open to visitors, who can take an up-close look at the period prisoner and guard uniforms, among other artefacts. Also popular is the on-site statue of Indigenous resident Harry Nanya and a historic personal collection of antique bottles, minerals and gems.
Mildura Arts Centre
Entry is free to the Mildura Arts Centre gallery, which features local and touring exhibitions alongside a permanent collection that includes the largest single collection of paintings by London artist Sir William Orpen, best known for his portraits of Edwardian society figures. You’ll also find works by Sir Frank Brangwyn and Edgar Degas mingled with Australian pieces.
Settle into your stay with a choice of comfortable waterside views or heritage pleasure.
Riverside strolls and luxe dining experiences.
With the winding Murray River at its heart, Mildura encourages visitors to linger close to the water while sampling the region’s bountiful fresh produce.