Return keys to the counter located inside the portable building.
Find the sweet spot on the Goulburn Valley Highway, 190-kilometres from Melbourne, where two northerly rivers meet. Nestled on the banks of the Goulburn River, Shepparton sits on the floodplains of fertile farming country – rich in dairy, berries, olives, vineyards and flourishing fruit orchards. Yet while it may be a land of plenty, vibrant Shepparton also offers a quality holiday experience beyond its prime position in Australia’s food bowl. Indulge in local specialties, from chocolate-caramel apples to luscious organic strawberries, and secret cellar doors. But also keep an eye out for the many family-friendly attractions, the mosaic of cultural influences, plus wonderful nature experiences waiting in store for every visitor to ‘Shepp’.
Once you’ve picked up your hire car, set out on the self-drive Food, Wine and Farm Gate Trail. Follow your taste buds in a leisurely fashion and uncover the gourmet hotspots around the Greater Shepparton area. This culinary excursion allows you to take in a swag of delis, wine producers, fine food emporiums, cafés, bakeries and more, while getting your bearings around the peaceful countryside. Embrace nearby villages like Dookie and Tatura to wine and dine away your time here. Your fab range of options spans from indigenous-inspired bites at Saltbush, to classic country pub fare at local favourite, The Aussie Hotel.
Diversity and community are indeed Shepparton’s strong suits. Home to one of Victoria’s largest indigenous populations, ‘Shepp’ has also welcomed waves of migration from post-war Italian to recent arrivals from Afghanistan, India and Africa. Greater Shepparton has a rich heritage to soak in, from Aboriginal to colonial and military history (including POW Wartime Camps in Tatura). Visit the Shepparton Historical Precinct to learn more. Wander the streets to see striking Aboriginal art murals depicting portraits of Yorta Yorta elders and indigenous soldiers. And view exhibits of art, artefacts and dioramas presented at the Bangerang Cultural Centre.
Shepparton has everything you’ll need to enjoy yourself in a thriving regional hub. Shopping in Shepp is easy-breezy with arcades, malls, bustling shopping strips, and some of the biggest factory outlets in the state. The littlies will love it here. An ice-creamery with over 3,000 flavour combos has got to be kid heaven! A scoop or two will fuel their afternoon of fun at KidsTown – Australia’s largest adventure playground, complete with flying fox, a miniature railway, giant slides and tree houses.
One feature around town you can’t miss is the Moooving Art Herd – an iconic series of fibreglass cows that shift position around Shepparton. This popular transitory public art exhibit adds a burst of coour to the downtown landscape. Arts and culture certainly add a richness to the Shepparton experience. While you’re in the mood, pay a visit to the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), an award-winning gallery which features a major collection of historical and contemporary Australian ceramics. Both the prestigious Sidney Myer Ceramic and Indigenous Ceramic Awards are hosted by SAM. It also houses Sam Jinks’ renowned sculpture ‘Woman and Child’. Immerse further in Shepparton’s art and cultural attractions along the self-guided Art and Culture Touring Route.
If you’re looking to unwind in a relaxed rural getaway, then outdoorsy Shepparton will hit the spot. With parks, reserves, native bushland, forests and rivers, Shepparton has its fair share of natural beauty. Take a long, scenic cycle ride or walk the many nature trails. Grab some picnic supplies, head riverside and roll out a rug under the giant gums. Jump in a canoe and drift the tranquil waterways of the Goulburn and Broken Rivers. If you fancy a bit of boating and fishing, stay overnight at a cabin along the waterfront of Victoria Park Lake, moments south of the heart of Shepparton. This popular precinct is also great for bird watchers, skaters and joggers. A few minutes to the north, find Reedy Swamp – a wetland of national significance with a landscape of mature red gums.
End your stay in Shepparton with a visit to the Australian Botanic Gardens, with its grassy bushlands and evolving installations. Walk to the top of Honeysuckle Rise: the view from this 30-metre-high lookout comes courtesy of reclaimed landfill. Delight in seven-hectares of distinctive themed gardens. Designed with local native plants, each thoughtfully reflects the land and history of Shepparton’s many diverse facets. A fitting close to a fascinating destination.