A stroll round Mildura leaves the visitor in no doubt on what the Murray River town depends for its wealth. The street names pay due tribute to the fruits of the soil which have contributed
to Mildura’s good fortune: Avocado, Cherry, Lemon, Lime, Muscat, Olive, Valencia, Vineyard.
Tourism, too, plays its part as more and more visitors are drawn by a comfortable climate, the river sport and, perhaps, a leisurely paddle-steamer cruise on the river on which these stately old craft once held sovereignty.
Rio Vista, the family home of one of the Canadian brothers who brought irrigation to the region, William Chaffey, provides a direct link with the town’s beginnings. Completed in 1890, the home’s interior is finished in Murray pine, red gum and jarrah, Italian tiles and stained glass windows.
Fish are alive and biting in the river and, 58km to the west, in Lake Cullulleraine, which is also a popular regional boating, swimming, camping and picnicking spot. The Golden River Zoo, just a couple of kilometres out of town on the road to nearby Merbein, displays 3500 exotic and native birds and a swag of animals ranging from camels to wombats, monkeys to kangaroos.
: Arts Festival (March), International Balloon Fiesta (July), Country Music Festival (September), Sunraysia Jazz and Wine Festival, World Jet Sprint Boat Championships (November)
Mildura is about 560 km north of Melbourne.
Things to do:
Alfred Deakin Centre - Visitor information, with exhibitions and displays of the region, Deakin Avenue
Rio Vista - original home of the Chaffey brothers
Paddle Steamers - for Murray River trips from Mildura Wharf, Madden Ave
Family Attractions - Snakes and Ladders fun park, Aquacoaster water slide, Dolls on the Avenue,
Stephano's - Italian Restaurant in the Grand Hotel is run by the celebrity TV Chef Stephano di Pieri
In the area:
Vineyards - including Lindemans Karadoc Winery, 20 km S
Dried Fruits Tours at the Sunbeam Dried Fruits factory, Angas Park Promotion Centre
Big Lizzie - steam traction engine
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park - for bushwalking and bird-watching, 70 km south
Golden River Fauna Park - native and exotic species 5 km NW
Mungo National Park - a World Heritage listed area, with the Walls of China tours.
Self Guide Tours - available from Tourist Centre in Mildura