The Riverina Region has it all! Cloaked in history and culture, close-up wildlife encounters and let’s not forget the expansive river and waterway systems – there is definitely something for everyone. Located in the southern inland area of New South Wales and encompassing so many charming towns, it’s the perfect destination for a road tripping adventure. We enjoyed 7 days here, stopping for 1 or 2 nights along the way, we saw so much and share our favourite places below.
Top things to see in the Riverina:
Narrandera Nature Reserve
Known to locals as Koala Reserve, Narrandera Nature Reserve is part of the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park and home to over 200 koalas. We had the best time here walking along the trails and spotting Koalas in the trees. We managed to see 2, one of which was above us snoozing in a tree all day as we parked up at the water’s edge to enjoy a swim and a fish.
We loved this spot so much (which was called Second Beach), that we returned later that night to enjoy a campfire and cook our dinner on the sandy banks of the Murrumbidgee, listening to the sounds of the bush, it was just magic.
Altina Wildlife Park ‘Zoo-fari’
This is one of, if not THE BEST, zoo experience we’ve ever had – and we’ve had a few. Located in Darlington Point, Altina Wildlife Park specialises in the conservation of endangered species and features a diverse range of Australian native and exotic animals. It operates with horse-drawn cart tours where a dedicated tour guide takes you around to each animal enclosure and provides you with loads of details and insights. The tour was very entertaining and we all learnt so much. It was also great to be able to ask questions and hear about all the species they have helped from all over the world with their very impressive breeding rates.
The lion experience is pretty insane and one we are still talking about as you get a VERY close-up encounter sitting only a metre away!! This is definitely one to pop on your ‘to do’ list when visiting, but note, bookings are essential – PH: 0412 060 342
Located in Hay, Shear Outback is an interpretive centre that showcases the vibrant and colourful shearing culture in Australia. With loads of hands-on displays for the kids and a live shearing demonstration, we learnt so much about the wool industry and what life is like for farmers now, but also ‘back in the day’. The huge sheep maze was a hit with the kids and so was the onsite cafe.
Whitton Malt House
The Whitton Malt House is a one stop shop for food and fun! Partnering with farmers, malting experts, leading brewers and distillers, they offer a range of tasty ales for you to try as well as delicious regional food, outdoor activities and accommodation – we didn’t want to leave!
After enjoying a tasty lunch and beer tasting paddle we tried our luck at catching a Murry Cod in the stocked lagoon. You can hire all the gear here on site, so armed with pieces of cheese for bait, we tried our luck at catching one of these famous freshwater fish. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we tried they were not biting so we moved on to a few games of Aqua Golf. This was also loads of fun and something new for the kids to try. A walk around the beautiful grounds and a visit to the play park is also a must.
With our headsets on we stepped back in history and listened to the explanations and stories on a self guided tour at Gundagai Gaol. As we explored each room we imagined what life was really like back in 1859 – 1909 when the gaol was operational. The kids loved having their own headsets and listened intently as they explored each room and cell.
Make sure you call into the Gundagai Visitor Information Centre to pick up the key and your audio headsets.
Bidgee Riverside Trail, Hay
This was super fun. We hired our free bikes from the information centre in Hay and explored the trail along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, taking in the amazing views and the adjacent red gum forest. A well maintained track led us through a collection of Long Paddock Sculptures and Warakirri Murals which provides a unique interpretation of the stories and history of Hay.
Coolamon Fire Museum
With over three decades of firefighting memorabilia the free Fire Museum at Coolamon is a great place to visit for young and old. The display shares stories of many brave fire fighters from all over the world, along with the equipment they used through the years. We had a great time and especially loved the huge wall of different helmets from fire fighters from all over the world. The kids tried on a fire suit and were also gifted some activity books and fun fire hats which they LOVE!
For all the foodie lovers this one is for you! The amazing cheese from Coolamon Cheese Factory is A-mazing! The factory provides viewing windows that allow you to see how they make their handcrafted creations. It is also attached to a yummy cafe making it a great place to stop for lunch.
Temora Aviation Museum
The Temora Aviation Museum has one of the world’s finest collections of flying historic aircraft. Their impressive displays showcase Australia’s aviation history, as well as pay tribute to the efforts of the brave men and women who flew them during times of conflict.
What’s most impressive about this display of aircraft is that they are all still in flying condition – so much so that you can smell the oil and grease and see how well looked after they are. The Museum holds an Aircraft Showcase throughout the year where the aircraft take to the sky, accompanied by commentary and music.
A feast for the eyes
Don’t forget when travelling this region to stop and take in the delights you see along the way. With rows and rows of cotton farms and other produce it’s so good for the kids to see first hand on where our food and our clothes come from.
Another standout for the Riverina is the amazing silo and water tower murals. These giant artworks are painted at such a grand scale you can’t help but be impressed and stop for a photo. The details are amazing and certainly bring to life these otherwise boring towers.
Map of the Riverina, NSW
Phew! Like we said, there’s loads to see and do here and the one thing that always stands out when visiting the Aussie country is the friendly hospitality. You are always greeted with a warm welcome, friendly smile and lovely conversation. For more info head to the Riverina website and if you have any questions or places we have missed, please drop them in the comments below. Thanks Guys – see you out there!
Watch the video –
Exploring the Riverina
- See our Instagram story highlights from The Riverina here @theblondenomads/Riverina