Located in Southern NSW, the Riverina is a rich agricultural region endowed with scenic landscapes and rolling plains. It is home to some of Australia’s most famous wineries, as well as being the location of quaint country towns such as Leeton and larger cities like Wagga Wagga. Whatever your interests, there are plenty of things to see and do in the Riverina. From camping and fishing to bushwalking and hiking, the Riverina is bursting with outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Livingstone National Park and State Conservation Area
Nestled on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, Wagga Wagga is NSW’s largest inland city and is the perfect place to base yourself whilst you explore the Riverina region. From Wagga Wagga, take a drive to Livingstone National Park and State Conservation Area. Located 30 kms south of Wagga Wagga, this heritage bushland is home to 60 plant species and 126 native fauna. It is the perfect place to set up a campsite and explore the wilderness. It is also home to the only multi-use track in the region so visitors can enjoy exploring the area however they choose -whether it is mountain biking, bush walking or hiking. For those new to mountain biking, the trail is suitable for beginners as well as seasonal bikers. As you follow the trail, take note of the many native flora including cypress pines and scribbly gums as well as the rusty spider flowers dotted throughout the open woodlands. If you are lucky enough to visit in the springtime, you will see the blooming wildflowers including the yellow flowering kangaroo.
There are lots of fun things to do in Wagga Wagga including visiting the delightful Botanic Gardens. With its mini zoo, children’s adventure playground, and rainforest area, this attraction will be sure to capture the imagination of young and old alike. Kids will love the Willans Hill Miniature Railway which runs through the Botanic Gardens passing through the stunning woodlands.
Museum of the Riverina
Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of the Riverina with a trip to the Museum of the Riverina. Located in the heart of Wagga Wagga in the city’s 1881 Council Chambers, the museum runs exhibitions all year long. Learn about the people and places that shaped Wagga Wagga’s social, cultural and economic development from the time of the Wiradjuri people to the early 20th century.
Narrandera Bike and Hike Track
Narrandera is a small town located near the Murrumbidgee River in the Riverina region. The Narrandera Bike and Hike Track is a meandering 23km trail which begins in Narrandera and passes through wetlands and forests along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Of course, bikers and hikers can also choose to take any of the individual tracks instead of the full length 23km trail. Biking and hiking is one of the best ways to explore the quaint town of Narrandera. With the perfect blend of historic buildings and natural surroundings, the bike and hike track offers visitors a chance to discover the charms of this unique region.
The Murrumbidgee River is the second largest river in Australia and flows through the Murray Darling basin. As a significant waterway, it supports many different species of wildlife including the murray cray, the southern boobook, and the ringtail possum. There are plenty of camping spots to enjoy along the Murrumbidgee River including the sandy Middle Beach. Middle Beach is a great location to set up a camp spot and go canoeing, kayaking, fishing or swimming. The Murrumbidgee River is a haven for trout or yellow belly and bird watchers will enjoy spotting corellas and yellow rosellas. Another spot for bird watching is McCaugheys Lagoon which is situated within the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. It is a great place to have a picnic and observe how the lagoon is managed as part of the broader wetland rehabilitation project.
Lovers of waterskiing will enjoy Lake Talbot, an artificial lake which adjoins the Lake Talbot Aquatic Centre and Lake Talbot Caravan Park. As well as water skiing, visitors can experience boating and canoeing. If visiting in February, don’t miss the Malibu Series Waterski Tournament where waterskiers from across the state flock to Lake Talbot for the annual competition.
The Riverina is a region in South-Western NSW which boasts some of the country’s finest food and wine. Described as the nation’s “food bowl,” wine-lovers and foodies alike will be amazed at the abundance of fresh produce available and the endless opportunities for wine-tasting. Amongst the many Riverina wineries to visit, Casella Wines, McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate and De Bortoli Wines Bilbul are known for their outstanding cool-climate wines. With its rich soil, and Mediterranean climate, these cellar doors are a testament to the Riverina’s decadent wine heritage. Casella Wines for instance is famous for its signature yellow tail wine, whilst McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate, an iconic Australian winery, received Australia’s Best Cellar Door Awards for 2018. Just a few kilometres away from Griffith and steeped in its Italian heritage, De Bortoli Wines is famous for its internationally acclaimed De Bortoli Noble One Botyris Semillon, first created in 1982. Lovers of architecture will marvel at the design of these wine cellars from rustic cellars such as Lillypilly Estate Wines to the charming, Tuscan-inspired Calabria Family Wines cellar, with its grand double door entry and oak panelling. All of this whilst enjoying the idyllic beauty of the Riverina landscape.
Designed by famous architect Walter Burley Griffin, the quaint country town of Leeton is well-known for its art deco buildings, 35 of which are listed in the Australian Institute of Architects’ Register of Significant 20th century buildings. The most significant of these is the Roxy Theatre. A quintessential art deco building, the Roxy Theatre began screening films when it first opened in 1930 and now holds concerts, live theatre, films and community events.
Fivebough and Tuckerbil wetlands
Leeton was built as part ot the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, and therefore water is important to the surrounding wildlife. The Ramsar-listed Fivebough and Tuckerbil wetlands are home to approximately 174 bird species, many of which migrate from the northern hemisphere during the summertime. Bird-watching enthusiasts will love the elevated bird watching platforms. See if you can spot the many species of birds which inhabit the Fivebough Wetlands including the Brolga, Glossy Ibis and Australian Bittern.
Take a walk through the Fivebough wetlands with a choice of the Wiradjuri Walk or the Wetlands Walk. Learn about the traditional owners of the land, the Wiradjuri people and the replicated structures such as totem poles, rock art and stone work. Visitors can explore the main parts of the wetland with the Wetlands Walk, a 2.8km track which starts from the Budyaan Bamirra Picnic Area and wind its way through bird shelters and water basins. Wildlife is abundant in the area with many different species of water birds flocking to the wetlands. If visiting in the summertime be careful of reptiles such as the Brown snake and the Red-belly black snake, which are both venomous.
When making your way back to Leeton, make sure to stop by the ‘Tastes of Leeton’ Presentation. Available Monday to Friday, this presentation offers tourists as well as locals a chance to taste some of the amazing locally grown produce including rice, walnuts and citrus fruit.
With its rich agricultural heritage and stunning scenery, the Riverina will spoil you for choice when it comes to activities. Explore this idyllic region and see for yourself why it remains such a popular destination for travellers and adventure seekers.
Image Source: Wikipedia