Return keys to the counter located at the left side of the multi business building.
Imagine twin cities with a state line and a river flowing between them. That’s Albury Wodonga – their names often said in the same breath, in order of north to south – straddling the New South Wales and Victorian borders. Wodonga, on the Victorian side, is a 300-kilometre drive from Melbourne. If you’re taking a road trip to Sydney from the southern state capital, the shortest route would be on the Hume Highway that passes through both regional centres.
Connected to its twin by the meandering Murray River, Wodonga still has its own distinct character while sharing many of the same features. Lake Hume is a crystal-clear reservoir in Victoria that flings its winding tail into New South Wales. Reported to hold six times the water of Sydney Harbour, its dazzling waters are also the site of a hydro-power dam just over the northern border. Easily accessed when you pick up your hire car from downtown Wodonga, Lake Hume is a favourite destination made for a swag of recreational activities. Boating, sightseeing and camping are all drawcards with locals and visitors, but the most popular pastime here is fishing. The Lake is stocked yearly with a rich supply of rainbow and brown trout, Murray cod, golden perch and more. To fully appreciate its delightful vistas, why not cycle or walk the High Country Rail Trail around the scenic foreshore. There’s also a separate track for those on horseback. Break for a picnic and enjoy the renowned 30-kilometre trail at your leisure. You’ll be rewarded with a tranquil holiday experience, enhanced by the presence of birdlife visiting the shores from nearby woodlands.
For three more great walking trails, head to the nearby Gateway Island Parklands near the Gateway Village. Find wetlands and lush green spaces stretching over 10-kilometres of the Murray riverfront. Nestled on the Lincoln Causeway, the vibrant Village offers plenty of attractions all in one place – food, arts and culture, as well as entertainment. Gateway Village is also host to the Wodonga Farmers’ Market, held here every fortnight. Wander through an exciting collection of public art and galleries – a highlight of these being Burraja (an indigenous cultural centre), showcasing contemporary Aboriginal work. Visit the artist-in-residence; see a performance at the Buttery Factory Theatre; or come for live music at the Jazz Basement. This is a great place to eat well, find ways to be merry, and enrich your stay in Wodonga.
The Murray River precinct is the perfect place to unwind. Plane tree canopies blend with iconic red river gums lining the banks to paint a classic Australian backdrop for sunset picnics or simply lazing on the grass. If you’re feeling more active, there are stacks of activities you can throw yourself into. The Murray is a nature playground for kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing, swimming, running, biking and fishing. It’s also a place of significance for its traditional owners.
To learn about the local Aboriginal history, jump in the hire car and nip over to Albury’s Wonga Wetlands – a thriving environment of lagoons, billabongs and wildlife – and stroll the riverside Wagirra Trail. Check out the striking artworks along the five-kilometre Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk and interact with displays to immerse in the heritage and culture of the Wiradjuri people. For more First People stories, the Artspace Gallery at Hyphen in Wodonga is another good place to visit.
Further explore the fascinating heritage of Albury Wodonga, from its indigenous roots to today, at the Crossing Place exhibition at Albury’s LibraryMuseum. Another side excursion that should appeal to history buffs would be Wodonga’s Bonegilla Migrant Experience. Built in 1947, Australia’s first migrant reception centre processed 320,000 new arrivals from the post-war era until 1971.
While you’re in the mood for wandering galleries and museums, put a visit to Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) on your holiday must-do list. Besides exhibitions, programs and events, you can also get stuck into some art classes and enjoy free recipe demonstrations from local chefs.
This will whet your appetite for some of the culinary pleasures in store for you on both sides of the border. Enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner at The Bended Elbow, a stylish award-winning hotel, featuring a casual laneway eatery, a bistro, and Albury’s only rooftop bar. Dine a little finer at Amelie, Wodonga’s acclaimed white table affair, featuring European flavours and an impressive wine list. Whether ordering degustation or just popping in for freshly shucked oysters and cocktails, enjoy a luxe experience to top off your holiday with Wodonga’s typical friendly welcome.