Straddling the Murray River and the NSW-Victoria border, the twin cities of Albury and Wodonga make the perfect halfway stopover on the Hume Highway run between Sydney and Melbourne. Mind you, there’s enough to see and do in and around the two cities to persuade most tourists to drop anchor for at least a couple of days.
There’s a wealth of history to be absorbed, the bar to be breasted in Australia’s zaniest and best-known watering hole, the Ettamogah Pub, and trout to be caught and barbecued on the banks of the Hume Weir.
The completion of the weir at the height of the Great Depression created the massive Lake Hume, which is often described as Australia’s most beautiful man-made waterway. Covering two and a half times the area of Sydney Harbour, this stunningly beautiful lake attracts thousands of visitors to swim, sail, paddle, ski, wind-surf and fish its expansive waters.
Downstream from Albury, the Wonga Wetlands are an emerging environmental initiative designed to bring new life to the Murray floodplain. The fountainhead is the outflow from wastewater treatment works which will be used for irrigation in the warmer months and to sustain the wetlands for the rest of the year. The water will revive long dead wetlands and billabongs which will restore bird and fish breeding grounds.
Albury and Wodonga, its sister city on the Victorian side of the river, have been at the crossroads of history for almost 200 years, and this heritage is faithfully recorded in the Regional Museum.
- Food & Wine Festival (October), Ngangirra Festival (November)
Things to do
Albury Regional Museum - in former Turk's Head Inn
Murray River Cruises - departure point from Noreuil Park
Albury Regional Art Centre - one of the finest regional galleries in Australia. Its major planks include the Russell Drysdale and Australian photographic collections. It also owns significant French etchings and priceless Chinese and Tibetan artefacts
In the area:
Lake Hume - for water sports and Hume Weir Trout Farm for fishing and feeding
Ettamogah Wildlife Sanctuary - free-roaming native wildlife
Ettamogah Pub - in the style of Ken Maynards cartoon pub
Linbrae Camel Farm - for winery and river treks
Jindera Pioneer Museum - heritage buildings, old-style blacksmiths shop, machinery display
Hume and Hovell Walking Track - from Albury to Gunning, a 23 day (440 km) walk