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Eat Drink and Be Merry in the Murray

Corowa Whisky & Chocolate, CorowaCredit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a visit to Corowa Whisky & Chocolate, Corowa.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Eat Drink and Be Merry in the Murray

Corowa Whisky & Chocolate, Corowa Credit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying a visit to Corowa Whisky & Chocolate, Corowa.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #feelnsw #newsouthwales

Feast on the riches of one of Australia’s most important food bowls on a road trip through the Murray, named after the mighty river that flows through this southwest area of New South Wales. Float down the river on a historic paddlesteamer wine cruise, stop by farm gates to sample incredible fresh produce, and dine at chic restaurants and bars in this unique culinary playground.

Take the back roads for gourmet treats

Head off the beaten path along The Backroads Trail, a 250km driving route that passes through the small pastoral towns of Barham, Moama, Mathoura and Deniliquin on the upper reaches of the Murray River. Sink your teeth into fresh olives, avocados, free-range pork, honey and citrus fruit from farm gates along its loops and trails, and taste the region’s wines at vineyards such as Restdown Wines. While you’re at this winery, venture out along the Restdown Wetland Walk to encounter Aboriginal cooking hearths and an old sheep camp.

Cruise along to The Old School Winery & Meadery in Womboota to pick up wine, pottery and honey mead. Or seek out Ivy Joyce in Barham to indulge in a warm space, offering local produce from farms for a truly paddock to plate experience in the heart of Murray River country. For more snacks and meaty fare such as British-style pork pies and sausages, head to Pacdon Park’s factory shop in Moama.

You can work up an appetite as you build your own itinerary on the theme of food, paddocks and produce, and find suggested routes and maps to Murray River farm gates, at the Echuca Moama Visitor Centre

Wine and dine along the river

Embark on a wine tour by water in Moama, where the first steamboats made their way up the Murray in 1853. Take a Murray River Paddlesteamers Wharf to Winery Cruise from the town to Morrisons Riverview Winery for a leisurely lunch. Or drive along the river, stopping in at Three Black Sheep for risotto and woodfired pizzas, and tasting crisp dry whites and full-flavoured reds at St Anne’s Vineyards, where you can nibble on a cheese platter overlooking a scenic lake. 

Head east along the riverside roads to rest and recharge in the town of Tocumwal, known for its riverside beaches, golf courses, glider flying and iconic Big Murray Cod statue. Start the following day with a solid foundation of breakfast pizza (topped with bacon, eggs and a hash brown) at The Old Bank and indulge in a scoop of ice-cream or sorbet from Tocumwal Ice Creamery – flavours include rocky road, green apple or macadamia. If you’re in town on a Saturday, pick up honey, fruit, vegetables, olive oil, dressings and other condiments made by local producers at the Tocumwal Foreshore Markets

Continue your odyssey along the river to Corowa, the birthplace of Australian Federation. Immerse in the town’s rich turn-of-the-20th-century colonial heritage as you make your way to the former 1920s flour mill housing Corowa Distilling Co. Here you can book a whisky tasting and behind-the-scenes tour and buy locally made chocolates and sweets from sister shop Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory. Work off an indulgent afternoon with a walk along the river before settling into the stylish Circa 1936 hotel, which is housed in an Art Deco former bank on the main street of Corowa.

Celebrate regional ingredients in Albury

From Corowa, follow the Riverina Highway eastward to the city of Albury, a food, wine and culture hub. Taste how seasonality and locality are expressed at The Proprietor, a former butcher shop turned cafe offering brunch treats such as fruit toast with Beechworth honey and whipped ricotta, and banana waffles with Gundowring vanilla ice-cream. Or try the all-day breakfast offering at Mr Benedict, from cheesy bacon waffle with popcorn chicken to one of its signature eggs benedicts, including one with cider-braised ham hock.

At The River Deck restaurant, local ingredients are celebrated alongside stunning river views, and dishes may include chicken Caesar salad with Milawa eggs or beef brisket braised in coffee by Albury roaster The Brothers Cup. At tiny and elegant Bistro Selle, complement warm Gooramadda olives with a buttery Australian chardonnay and fresh market fish. Yardbird offers a bold-flavoured menu featuring dishes like scorched Albacore tuna, along with meats grilled in a Spanish woodfired oven.   

In between meals, stroll along the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk and take in the contemporary artworks by Aboriginal artists that line the Wagirra Trail. Meander through the Murray Art Museum Albury’s contemporary photographic collection, Aboriginal art and works by renowned Australian artist Sir Russell Drysdale. Afterwards, order lunch or dinner at the museum’s excellent Canvas Eatery – try the saltbush lamb rump or one of their Neapolitan-style pizzas.

The Old School Winery & Meadery, Womboota Credit: Destination NSW

Couple taste tasting mead at The Old School Winery & Meadery, Womboota

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

The Old School Winery & Meadery, Womboota Credit: Destination NSW

Couple taste tasting mead at The Old School Winery & Meadery, Womboota

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Morrison's Riverview Winery and Restaurant, Moama Credit: Destination NSW

Food and wine available from Morrison's Riverview Winery and Restaurant, Moama.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Morrison's Riverview Winery and Restaurant, Moama Credit: Destination NSW

Food and wine available from Morrison's Riverview Winery and Restaurant, Moama.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Corowa Whisky & Chocolate, Corowa Credit: Destination NSW

Corowa Whisky & Chocolate located in a 1920’s old flour mill in Corowa.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Corowa Whisky & Chocolate, Corowa Credit: Destination NSW

Corowa Whisky & Chocolate located in a 1920’s old flour mill in Corowa.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Canvas Eatery, Albury Credit: Destination NSW

Food and wine available at Canvas Eatery in Albury.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Canvas Eatery, Albury Credit: Destination NSW

Food and wine available at Canvas Eatery in Albury.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

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