G’day everyone, Uncle Garry from Global Rotomoulding here. Welcome to my first post of Gazz’s Aussie Country Town Tour, where I’ll take you through some of my favourite rural towns and show you the best things to do there.
This week I was sitting on my porch, looking out onto the pink skies at sunset. My mind started to wander, and I recalled a trip I took to the beautiful Mildura pink salt lakes some time ago (back when it was still pink).
It’s hard to forget the red earth and mighty river of Mildura. This Victorian town revolves around the Murray River. There are always people fishing, boating and skiing on the water.
Bursting with history and fresh agricultural produce, this vibrant town is a refreshing oasis surrounded by desert landscapes. There’s so much to see and do. Mildura is famous for its oranges, grapes and wines. It’s a perfect spot to stop for some fresh citrus-based foods and sip on fruity beverages.
It’s honestly one of the most colourful natural landscapes in the country and a fantastic holiday destination. So if you’re stopping for a day or a week, make sure you check out some of these fantastic places.
Much To Do On The Murray River
Mildura is positioned beside Australia’s longest river. The Murray River is a huge attraction all-year-round. You can partake in or spectate things like the 100 Ski Race, the Malibu & Axis Boats Wakeboard State of Origins, or the Mildura 24-hour Mega Swim.
If you want a truly unique rural town visit, I recommend hiring a houseboat and spending a week cruising the river. It’s a great way to wind down and live in a way that few other towns can offer.
If a day trip is more your style hop onboard one of three vintage paddle steamers and cruise your way on one of the available tours.
Places To Eat In Mildura
Food makes the world go round, and Mildura knows how to cook up a good feed. Here is my go-to food tour.
If you want a simple, but trendy breakfast and some of the best coffee in the town, you’ve gotta stop by Nash Lane. They make mouth-watering breakfast and the staff are as polite as can be. Uncle Gaz’s fave is their Eggs Benedict.
Stop by The Wooden Door for lunch and enjoy some hearty Australian classics. They put a mean spin on the classic chicken parmy.
The Brass Monkey makes a great feed too. It’s funky and brings street-food inspired dishes and city laneway culture to the rural town.
I had a few great dinners on my Mildura trip, but when I stopped by Stefano’s I forgot about every other meal I had. Head Chef Stefano de Pieri’s food resembles art. Stefano uses fresh, in-season ingredients to prepare his simple but flavoursome dishes. Trust me on this one – wow.
Farm Fresh Produce (And Wines)
Mildura is famous for oranges! Even if you’ve never heard of the town before, you would have heard the name because of the Mildura Fruit Company, Australia’s largest fresh citrus exporter. It’s like Bundaberg and the rum! Swing by Orange World and take a tour of 20-hectares of citrus farm. It will be the freshest orange you’ve ever bitten into.
Visit the region on the first or third Sunday of the month and access all the fresh produce the region has to offer in one easy spot. The Sunraysia Farmers Market brings rows and rows of stalls run by local farmers and producers. Set up along the main street, you’ll find everything you need here from fresh meat to pistachios, fruits, asparagus, Murray River salt and more.
If you love wine, the Mildura region is ripe (pun intended) with grape vineyards and local wineries. My recommendations are the Trentham Estate if you don’t mind a drive to the Trentham Hills. Alternatively, the Sunraysia Cellar Door is easily accessible along the main street of Mildura. Here, you can sample wines from dozens of local producers that operate along the Murray River.
Rev heads, you have to check out the Mildura Holden Museum. A collection of 28-35 Holden vehicles which date from the first model made to the recent additions. The whole museum is the effort of Mr Ron Morello’s passion for the car brand. It’s a pit stop I’ve made several times to ogle at the original 1948 FX Holden sedan.
If you love the Holden Museum, you’ll be interested to see the massive prime mover, Big Lizzie, which paved the way for settlement in the Red Cliffs. She now proudly stands in Barclay Square Red Cliffs. You can find history at every turn in Mildura; you just need to look.
Explore The Most Colourful Desert Landscapes
The Victorian town is an explorer’s dream. To the south-west is the famous Pink Lakes in the Murray Sunset National Parks. The unusual coloured water source has a pink hue. While it has lost most of its vibrancy in the past decade, it’s still a massively popular stop.
Mildura is surrounded by vast deserts and rockscapes. Just 30 minutes drive from the town will take you to the Perry Sand Hills where you can admire the looming dunes and maybe spot an emu or two. On the edge of town is the Australian Inland Botanic Garden which is a pleasant splash of colour and greenery. Just 16km south is the Red Cliffs, a town named fittingly after the mighty red rocks surrounding it.
Alright, that’s it for Mildura, and I’ve only just scratched the surface. I’d love to hear about your favourite parts of Mildura, so be sure to leave a comment on our Facebook. Working for Global Rotomoulding has allowed me to travel across the country. I’ve made plenty of stops in plenty of towns. Where should I write about next?