The Murray River is the longest river in all of Australia. It is over 2,500 km and runs along the border between New South Wales and Victoria; then through South Australia. It starts in New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains continues through the plains and empties into the Southern Ocean at Lake Alexandria and The Coorong, which is near Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills. It is a very important water system for all of Australia and is widely known as “the food bowl”. It supplies fresh water to over 1.5 million Australian homes. One of the rivers that feed into the Murray River is the Darling River. See more information about one of the best scenic drives in Australia, the Darling River Run.

Murray River Map

Murray River Map Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Hiring a Car for Touring the Murray River Region and The Coorong

Murray River Car Hire

Murray River Car Rental Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au

Murray River - Canoeing

Canoeing Murray River Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

If you want to tour the Murray River region, there are plenty of different places where you can hire a car in Australia at the state level: New South Wales, Victoria, or South Australia. Depending on where you start your Murray River holiday, you can hire a car in Adelaide, Melbourne, or Syndey. The Murray River covers a lot of ground, so you might want to switch out rental cars to be sure that you have the right vehicle for the local terrain as you travel through the different states, geography, and climates. When you tell our car hire agents your travel plans, they can help to ensure that you have the right vehicle for your needs all along the way.

Things to do on the Murray River

Paddle Steamer - Murray River

Murray River Paddle Steamer Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

Jumping In the Murray River

Swimming in the Murray River Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

One of the most popular things to do on the Murray River is take a cruise on one of the original paddle boats from the 1800’s. However, that is certainly not all there is to do. Other Murray River pass times include fishing, boating, golfing, and exploring the bush trails and scenic lookouts. The sunny, Mediterranean-like weather makes for excellent holidays no matter what the season. Hire a houseboat, partake in water sports, or just have a picnic on the river banks. Whatever you do on the Murray River, keep in mind the river’s ancient spirit. It is over 130 million years old! The Aboriginal tribes have lived in settlements along the river for thousands of years. You can hire an Aboriginal tour guide or visit one of the many museums in river towns like Albury, Wodonga, Echuca-Moama, Swan Hill, or Mildura. The many various Aboriginal groups in the area include Ingalta, Moorundie, Goodwarra, Parrian-kaperre, Tongwillum, and Yoorlooarra. In the Riverland, the Ngarrindjeri people lived on and along the lands around the Murray and the Coorong and are, today, South Australia’s largest Aboriginal community.

Gardens and Parks of the Murray River Region

Australian Inland Botanic Gardens

Australian Inland Botanic Gardens Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

Black Dragon Gardens

Black Dragon Gardens Wulong Yuan Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

Odonnell Park

O’Donnell Park Curlwaa Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

The Murray River is a “thing” to do in itself; however, the water running through southern Australia has given beauty and life to everything around it. There are so many parks and gardens that line the banks and nearby towns along the Murray River. They show off the fruits and flowers grown from the river’s flowing waters. Bask in the sunshine and the scents of the flowers from this long list of parks and gardens you can choose from:

  • Belvoir Park Playground: An excellent family park with walking tracks, picnic, and BBQ facilities that have plenty of trees.
  • Cactus Country: The towering cacti here join a collection of plants that are up to 50 years old.
  • O’Donnell Park Curlwaa: The Murray River meets a serene park where you can picnic or children can play in the playground.
  • Australian Inland Botanic Gardens: These award winning gardens draw travellers and wedding parties from all over. In addition to the rose garden, there are 2500 year old mallee trees.
  • Albury Botanic Gardens: For more than 130 years these beautiful botanic gardens have been enchanting residents and tourists alike. There are over 1,000 native and exotic plant species along the meandering walking paths.
  • Black Dragon Gardens Wulong Yuan: This Chinese garden was designed with the inspiration from the Suzhou gardens in China. Come here to relax and achieve your Zen.
  • Oddies Creek Adventure Playspace: This is a spectacularly fun playground for children on the banks of the Murray River. Have a family picnic or barbeque here and cool off in shaded walking paths or bike paths.
  • Wonga Wetlands: The flora of this area is a unique blend of renewal with wetlands, lagoons, and billabongs that are constantly renewed and the 600 year old river red gum trees.

National Parks of the Murray River Region

Hattah Kulkyne National Park

Hattah-Kulkyne-National-Park Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

Barmah National Park

Barmah-National-Park Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

Murray Sunset National Park

Murray-Sunset National Park Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

Lucky for our future generations, much of the Murray River and surrounding areas are protected national parks. This gives the change for the flora and fauna native to the land and river to flourish and will be around for a long time to come. Here is a list of some of the many National Parks in the Murray River region:

  • Mungo National Park: We detailed the beauty and unique landscape of Mungo National Park in our Darling River Run blog.
  • Mount Lawson State Park: This Park is in the mountains with steep slopes, towering cliffs, and rugged bluffs. Fishing, bush waling, horseback riding and scenic drives can all be enjoyed within the state park.
  • Murray-Sunset National Park: Enjoy the untouched and unspoilt nature in Victoria’s far north-west corner.
  • Barmah National Park: You will be amazed by the vast diversity in this park. The complexity and ever changing ecology of the forest is tied to the flooding patterns of the Murray River.
  • Leaghur State Park: Situated on the Loddon River floodplain, this park protects some of the most significant Black Box wetland and woodland communities in Victoria.
  • Murray-Kulkyne Regional Park: If you love the great outdoors, this is the park for you with the abundance of wildlife, mallee trees, River Red Gums, and Buloke trees.
  • Perry Sandhills: Over 40,000 years ago during the ice age, the red sandhills were part of the Willandra Lakes System. Now this 10 hectares of red sandhills appear foreign, almost alien and make a great backdrop for movies and television shows.
  • Mount Granya State Park: Some of the brightest colours of wildflowers and a variety of vegetation highlight this park as well as the high mountain slopes.
  • Hattah-Kulkyne National Park: : Located in mallee country, the birds and animals are highly adapted to the environment. The seasonally filled freshwater creeks and lakes provide shelter for the waterbirds and fish.

Wildlife of the Murray River Region

Mildura

Kangaroos Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

Kingfisher in Barmah Forest

Kingfisher in Barmah Forest Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

Kyabram Fauna Park

Kyabram Fauna Park Photo Credit: VisitMelbourne.com

The Murray River lends an abundance of life to the region including hundreds of native animal species. There are many spots within the region that are excellent for bird watching. Spot wedge-tailed eagles, major Mitchell cockatoos, Mallee fowls, pelicans, wrens, parrots, emus, and much more winged wildlife. Bring your binoculars because there are over 150 different bird species just in the Wonga Wetlands alone. In addition to birds, you will find kangaroos, koalas, goannas, possums, snakes, owls, Alpine Dingoes, wombats and more. If you are especially interested in discovering more about the animals in the Murray River region, here are the specific areas to check out:

  • Kyabram Fauna Park: Home to the 2nd largest collection of animals in Victoria.
  • Hattah-Kulkyne National Park: Located in mallee country, the birds and animals are highly adapted to the environment. The seasonally filled freshwater creeks and lakes provide shelter for the waterbirds and fish.
  • Murray-Sunset National Park: Enjoy the untouched and unspoilt nature in Victoria’s far north-west corner.
  • Barmah National Park: The wildlife here is so diverse because the landscape is equally diverse. The national park is joined with the Millewa forest in New South Wales and forms the largest River Red Gum forest in the world.
  • Wonga Wetlands: The wetlands, lagoons, and billabongs here create a unique ecosystem for birds, fish, and many other types of wildlife.