The twin cities of Albury-Wodonga sit astride the magnificent Murray River,
touching the edges of the Upper Murray, North-East Victoria, the Riverina,
the South-West Slopes of NSW and the Murray Valley. Distance from Sydney
592km (368 miles), from Canberra 195km (121 miles), and from Melbourne 300km
Average temperatures: January max 32C (90F) - min 15C (55F); June max 14C
(57F) - min 2C (36F). Average annual rainfall: 796mm (31 ins) - wettest
month August. Elevation - 195m (640 ft) above sea level.
Hume and Hovell carved their names in trees beside the Murray in 1824 and
Hovell's still stands today. In 1836, Robert Brown arrived and constructed
a punt to cross the river, built an inn, and the settlement was born.
In 1974 Albury-Wodonga was designated the national growth centre.
How to Get There By Bus
Greyhound Pioneer travel to/from Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.
Albury-Wodonga is three hours by train from Melbourne on the Sydney/Melbourne
From Sydney and Melbourne via the Hume Highway; from Mildura along the
Murray Valley Highway; from Brisbane via the Newell Highway and the Riverina
Tourist Albury Wodonga Gateway Information Centre, is in Lincoln Causeway,
6041 3875, freecall 1800 800 743.
The twin towns have 50 quality hotels and motels and 7 caravan parks. Here
is a selection with prices for a double room per night, which should
be used as a guide only. The telephone area code is 02.
Country Comfort Albury, Dean Street, 6021 5366. 140 rooms, licensed restaurant,
heated swimming pool, spa, sauna - $130.
Sundowner Chain Motor Inns, Hovell Tree, cnr Hume Highway and Hovell Streets,
6041 2666. 40 units, licensed restaurant, swimming pool, spa, sauna, gym,
undercover parking - $115-205.
Elm Court Motel, 435 Townsend Street, 6021 8077. 31 units, indoor heated
swimming pool, spa, barbecue - $80-85.
Matador Motor Inn, 617 Young Street, 6021 1877. 60 units, licensed restaurant,
indoor heated swimming pool, spa, gym, sauna, barbecue - $85-100.
Commodore, 515 Kiewa Street, 6021 3344. 40 units, licensed restaurant (closed
Sunday) - $80-85.
Sodens Australia Hotel/Motel, cnr David & Wilson Street, 6021 2400.
50 units, licensed restaurant, barbecue - $40-45.
Trek-31 Tourist Park, cnr Wagga Road & Catherine Crescent, 6025 4051.
(No pets allowed)119 sites, excellent facilities, pool, barbecue - powered
sites $19-22 for two, cabins $45-75 for two.
Albury Central Tourist Park, North Street, 6021 8420. (Pets allowed under
control) 127 sites, barbecue, tennis, playground, pool - powered sites
$16 for two, cabins $45-55 for two.
Albury-Wodonga offers a diverse range of cuisine styles from fine dining
to fast service takeaway. Here are a few you might like to try.
Santino's Licensed Family Bistro, 14 City Walk, Dean Street, 6041 1997
- caters for all seven days and nights.
Il Sogno Restaurant, 639 Dean Street, 6023 4585 - proclaim themselves 'The
Flavour of Italy'.
Puti Vegetarian Restaurant, 1083 Mate Street, 6025 0086 - takeaway available.
One Six Eight, 1081 Mate Street, 6025 9816 - Chinese cuisine.
Gourmet Inn Restaurant, 473b Dean Street, 6021 4321.
Thai Grand Palace Restaurant, 592 Kiewa Street, 6041 1238.
Indian Tandoori Restaurant, 449a Dean Street, 6041 4705.
Beefeater's Bistro, 324 Wodonga Place, 6041 1711.
Points of Interest
The most famous attraction is, of course, the Murray River, which starts
as a tiny stream fed by melting snow high on the Australians Alps, near
the NSW-Victorian border. Slowed by Lake Hume, the river's twists and
turns divide the two cities of Albury and Wodonga. It then flows on to
enter the Southern Ocean through Lake Alexandrina in South Australia,
2500km (1553 miles) from its source. The total Murray system, including
the Darling and Murrumbidgee rivers and their tributaries, drains a seventh
of the total area of Australia. The Murray supplies 49% of SA's domestic
and industrial requirements, and almost all the water for irrigation.
The first industry of the area was established by Robert Brown in 1838,
when he built a rough punt at the Crossing Place, followed by an accommodation
house for travellers. This established a tradition for the district, and
Albury-Wodonga today has more 'accommodation houses' than any other Australian
Albury-Wodonga's river queen, the PS Cumberoona, was modelled on a former
steamer of the same name that chugged up and down the Murray in the heyday
of the paddelsteamer trade, and was the flagship of the Albury Steam Navigation
Co. The new paddlesteamer operates daily from October through to May, depending
on water flow and water level, which depends on the release of irrigation
water from Lake Hume.
Other attractions are: Kinross Woolshed, which hosts bush dances and jazz
nights; Frog Hollow, complete with a maze, minature golf and Mr F. Frog;
Hume Weir Trout Farm, the largest trout farm in the area; and the restored
Cobb & Co coaches that provide an alternative method of transport.
15km (9 miles) north of Albury is the original Ettamogah Pub. As their
ad says, "the Ettamogah Mob needed a good excuse to work up a thirst...so
we built a town around our Pub", and the end result is a complex which
will keep every member of the family occupied for hours.
For the kids, there is the Comedy Cop Shop (police station), dodgem cars,
and a lock up if they misbehave. For the parents, there's a pottery and
a bladesmith's, a souvenir shop selling only Aussie made, and the Winery
with good quality wine at cellar door prices. For all, there is good Aussie
tucker at the pub, and at the Ettamogah Cafe, or you might prefer Coopers
Courtyard Restaurant next to the Winery. The Pub, 6026 2366, is hopen daily
9am-midnight, and the Winery is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun
At Albury Pottery, Lincoln Causeway, Wodonga, 6041 6835, you can
take a self-guiding tour and watch the potters at work - hopen daily. If
it's culture you seek, the Albury Regional Art Centre, 546 Dean Street,
Albury, the Museum, 66 South Street, Wodonga, the Pioneer Museum in Urana
Street, Jindera, and the Albury Botanical Gardens will get you off to a
Albury's licensed Clubs provide meals, entertainment and, of course, poker
machines. Thousands of people from Victoria travel to Albury to try and
win the big one at the "pokies".
For aquatic sport, head for Lake Hume, only 12km (7 miles) upstream from
town. It has 320km (199 miles) of shoreline, and is ideal for sailing,
swimming, water skiing, canoeing, windsurfing, pedal boating and fishing.
If you intend to fish, make sure you have both a NSW and Victorian Fishing
Licence. The Wyamah ferry links NSW with Victoria, and is operated by friendly
folk. At Dora Dora there is a 130-year-old hotel which is more like an
entertainment centre than a pub.
There is a lovely Riverbank Walk at Albury (Travel Centre has leaflets).
The 7.5km (5 miles) marked trails from Nail Can Hill go along the river,
over Monument Hill and past old gold diggings.
A visit to the Flying Fruit Fly Circus is a must - for booking and details,
The area has 14 licensed lawn bowls clubs. Canoes can be hired, and water
skiing tuition is available on Lake Hume. Regular horse racing meetings
are held in Albury/Wodonga. Other facilities include golf, tennis, fishing
(cod, perch and trout) and swimming (pool and river).
Winery Walkabout is held over the long weekend in June. and the Golden
Horseshoe Festival is held at Easter.
Outlying Attractions Howlong
A typical Murray River township, Howlong is 26km (16 miles) west of Albury
on the Riverina Highway. The town's river frontages are ideal for walking,
horseriding and photography, and the river offers boating, fishing and
swimming. The town gets its name, which means 'the beginning of the plain',
from the Howlong run, a property of 20,000ha (49,400 acres) that fronts
Corowa is 56km (35 miles) west of Albury, and its wide main street extends
to the Murray River's banks. The Tourist Information Centre is
in Sanger Street, 6033 3221, and they have information on accommodation,
and the many buildings of historical and architectural interest. They
are hopen 9am-5pm daily and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information is available on the internet at www.corowa.
Corowa is known as the birthplace of Australian federation. When Victoria
broke away from NSW in 1835 to become a separate colony, it caused the
constant irritation of dealing with customs officers stationed at every
crossing place along the Murray River, the convenient natural border between
the two colonies. The citizens of Corowa and Wahgunyah on the other side
of the river, were particularly affected, and the first Border Federation
League was established in Corowa in January, 1893. The historic conference
of the various border leagues was held in July of that year, and together
they continued to agitate until the referendum of 1898, when the decision
in favour of federation was carried.
Anyone interested in Australian history should visit Corowa's Federation
Museum in Queen Street, 6033 1568.
The town of Mulwala is 40km (25 miles) west of Corowa, and is renowned
for its year-round mild climate. Nearby Lake Mulwala offers swimming,
sailing and cruising.
Mulwala is often linked with Yarrawonga, on the other side of the river,
and the Tourist Information is there on the corner of Irvine & Blemore
Streets, 5744 1989 or 1800 062 260. There is a website at www.yarrawongamulwalainfo.
com and their email address is email@example.com
Only about 20km (12 miles) north-west of Albury, Jindera has a Pioneer
Museum that is rated a world-class attraction. It is housed in an old
store and home that belonged to the pioneering Wagner family, and the store
is stocked with authentic goods of the 19th century. The Museum is hopen
daily 10am-4.30pm, 6026 3622.
The Jindera district was settled in the 1860s by German migrants, the township
was gazetted in 1869, and a century later a cairn was erected to honour
these pioneering families.
Culcairn is 53km (33 miles) north of Albury-Wodonga, in the heart of 'Morgan'
country. Other towns in the area are Henty, Walla, Jindera, Gerogery,
Cookardinia, Morven and Walbundrie. Bushranger Dan Morgan began his criminal
career at Round Hill at Culcairn in June, 1864. Events surrounding the
incident can be read at a site overlooking Round Hill, about 3km east
on the Holbrook Road.
On August 28, 1864, Dan Morgan raided a police camp at Doodle Cooma, now
Henty. Four policemen and a blacktracker who had spent all day searching
for Morgan had retired to bed. When Sen-Sgt Smyth lit a candle after 11pm
to read the Border Post newspaper, Trooper O'Connor pointed out the serious
risk of having a light in the tent at such a late hour. Even before the
candle could be extinguished, a bullet whistled through the tent. As the
five men rushed outside a further six bullets tore through the canvas,
and Smyth was hit. He died at Albury, and a magisterial inquiry found his
death was wilful murder, recorded against Daniel Morgan.
A life-sized effigy of Dan Morgan is displayed in the Billabong Art
and Crafts Centre's 'Mad Dog Morgan' art cellar. The effigy was made
for the movie of the same name, filmed in the district in 1975, and the
first Australian film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Tourist Information Office is in the Woolpack Inn Museum, (02)
60 36 2131, email woolpack @dragnet.com.au, open daily 9.30am-4.30pm. Behind
the museum is an enclosed area with a vast array of horse-drawn vehicles
and farming equipment. The museum also has a section devoted to the exploits
of Cdr Norman Holbrook, after whom the town was named. In December, 1914,
British submarine commander Lt Norman Holbrook guided a B11 submarine below
a minefield to torpedo an enemy Turkish battleship, the Messudiya. The
submarine was immediately attacked by destroyers and on-shore forts, and
during the trip back through the minefields Holbrook and his crew were
forced to stay submerged for nine hours, an incredible feat for a 1914
At this time the town was called Germanton, but the wave of anti-German
feelings caused by World War I had the citizens searching for a new name.
The news of the extraordinary bravery exhibited by the British submarine
crew ended their search, and the town became Holbrook. Holbrook is midway
between Sydney and Melbourne on the Hume Highway, and still provides a
resting point for travellers, as it did in its early days as a staging
post. Ten Mile Creek park divides the town, providing restful, attractive
areas merging into a flora and fauna reserve.
It should be noted that the towns in the rest of this
section are south of the New South Wales/Victorian border,
and are therefore all in the state of Victoria.
The heart of the North-East Winery centre, Rutherglen has thirteen wineries
in the immediate area, that are well known for their fortified wines,
and have wine tastings and cellar door sales. You can pick up a pamphlet
in the town called 'Winemakers of Rutherglen', which shows where
all the wineries are.
Special events in the town are: The Tastes of Rutherglen,
held over the Victorian Labour Day Weekend in March; Winery
Walkabout, held over the Queen's Birthday Weekend in June;
and Rutherglen Wine Show, in September. If you are visiting
at these times, it is wise to book ahead.
Rutherglen is 42km (26 miles) from Wodonga, on the Valley Highway.
Lake Moodemere, 8km (5 miles) west of Rutherglen, is classified as a Wildlife
Reserve, and is suitable for small boats and fishing. Picnic spots are
The Rutherglen Visitor Information Centre is at 13 -27 Drummond
Street, (02) 6032 9166 or freecall 1800 622 871.
Chiltern, in 1974, was the scene of the Walt Disney film Ride Wild Pony
and the appearance of the town's centre was transformed to a 1920s setting.
It was also the location for Crawford Productions mini-series My Brother
Tom. Its other claim to fame was that the famous author Henry Handel
(Florence Ethel) Richardson, who wrote among other titles, The Getting
of Wisdom and The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, spent her childhood in
Chiltern and described her experiences in Ultima Thule. Her home, Lake
View, has been restored by the National Trust.
First settled in the 1840s by miners, this old gold town, together with
the surrounding hills, are classified by the National Trust. The appearance
and pace of life in the town has changed little in the past hundred years.
Today the centre of a renowned grazing district, the houses along the
main street have a 19th century appearance and charm.
The surrounding countryside is very pretty with streams and valleys nestling
between bush clad hills. There are plenty of places for fishermen to throw
in a line.
Beechworth is 40km (25 miles) south-west of Albury, and 35km (22 miles)
east of Wangaratta, and is Victoria's best preserved gold town, with
32 buildings classified by the National Trust. The Golden Horseshoe
Festival held each Easter, recalls the early days. It gets its name
from an incident in 1855 when, caught up in the excitement of their first
parliamentary election, the Beechworth miners shod their new representative
Daniel Cam-eron's horse with shoes made of pure gold. Cameron then rode
through the town to the Star Hotel, and gave his policy speech from the
balcony. A monument in Sydney Road marks the spot where the horse was
The town also lays claim to being at the heart of Kelly Country. (Ned Kelly
is Australia's best known Bushranger of the 19th century.) Ned made three
appearances in the Court House, the last being on the charge of murder
for which he was subsequently hanged. The journey from Wodonga to Wangaratta,
via Beechworth, along the 'Kelly Way', is only 5km (3 miles) longer than
by the Hume Highway.
Local attractions include: Beech-worth Cemetery with its Chinese Burning
Towers and Prayer Altar, and a plaque dedicated to Dame Jean MacNamara,
who introduced Myxamatosis to Australia in an effort to control the rabbit
plague; But-But Tree, cnr Tanswell & Anderson Streets, one of Australia's
largest trees; Fletcher's Dam; HM Training Prison that once hosted Ned
Kelly; the Burke Museum, named after Captain Robert O'Hara Burke, of Burke
and Wills fame who had been the superintendent of police in Beechworth;
Gorge Road and One Tree Hill Scenic Drive, starts from the Golden Horseshoe's
Monument, and a box near there has notes on the rest of the drive.
The Beechworth Tourist Information Centre is in 36 Camp Street,
(03) 5728 1374, email binfo@ dragnet.com.au. The website to visit is www.beechworth.com
Located at the junction of the Ovens and King Rivers, Wangaratta is a good
base from which to explore the Wine and High Mountain Country. The town
was founded in 1838, and originally known as Ovens Crossing. The name
was changed in 1863 to Wangaratta, which means 'Resting Place of the
Cormorant'. Today it is a thriving town of around 17,000 people, with
colonial style buildings side by side with recent designs.
The Wangaratta & Region Visitor Information Centre is on the
corner of Tone Road (Hume Highway) and Handley Street, (03) 5721 5711,
and is hopen seven days. There is a website at www.
wangarattaunlimited.vic.gov.au. The Centre has information on accommodation
and restaurants, as well as sightseeing.
Attractions include: Bushranger Dan (Mad Dog) Morgan's
grave, in the South Wangaratta Cemetery on the Hume Highway.
Only his body is here, his head was sent to Melbourne for
analysis after his execution!; the Pioneer Cemetery on the
banks of the King River; Airworld, 7km (4 miles) south of
town, the largest collection of flying antique civil aircraft
in the world, with other collections of antique bicycles
and Holden cars; Warby Range State Park; the Fire Station
Museum in Ford Street; and Eldorado Dredge, the last remaining
gold dredge in Victoria.
The scene of Ned Kelly's last stand is 14km (9 miles) south of Wan-garatta,
and even if you haven't been caught up in the almost hero-worship of
Ned, you can't help but be impressed by this town which is almost entirely
devoted to his memorabilia.
There are seven wineries in the area as well, so why not pop in, taste
some wine, and discuss the rights and wrongs of the 1880 execution.
The Glenrowan Tourist Centre is in the tourist attraction theme park on
the Hume Hwy, (03) 5766 2367.