Albury-Wodonga has experienced a cultural and culinary renaissance in recent years. With the opening of MAMA in 2015, the twin cities on the banks of the mighty Murray have become a regional must-visit…
These days Albury-Wodonga is all about culture, creativity and country cool, and is no longer just a handy stop-over option on the drive between Melbourne and Sydney.
Straddling the iconic Murray River (which marks the border between NSW and Victoria), the twin cities form one unique and very special destination.
Looking for ideas for how to spend 48 hours in Albury-Wodonga? There’s plenty to see and do in the ‘big little city’ that boasts loads of character.
10am – Lake Hume is a water playground located just a 15-minute drive from Albury-Wodonga. You can fish, water ski and swim. The dam took 17 years to build and holds five times the water volume of Sydney Harbour. Walk across the top of the dam wall for a spectacular view.
Noon – Feeling peckish? Head to River Deck Cafe for lunch beside the Murray River in Albury’s Noreuil Park. The park is named after the French village that was liberated in 1917 during WWI with the support of soldiers from the ‘Albury Battery’. You might opt to explore the river by kayak. Picnics under the towering elm and plane trees are also popular.
4pm – Delve into Albury’s past. Download the CBD Historic Walking Tour that showcases 21 points of interest spread over 13 locations. You’ll visit the Albury Railway Station, which has the longest undercover platform in the southern hemisphere (great for photos).
6pm – To catch a spectacular sunset, lace up your runners, grab a water bottle and climb the steps to the Albury War Memorial – a tribute to the fallen soldiers of Albury. The Monument (as it’s known locally) looks directly down Dean Street – Albury’s main thoroughfare. From that vantage point you’ll get a great bird’s eye view of the city.
8pm – Dine at Bistro Selle Albury – a European-style bistro with a wine list that perfectly matches the contemporary bistro fare.
10am – Combine art and exercise on Albury’s Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk – a 5 kilometre trail from Kremur Street in West Albury to the Wonga Wetlands. There are eleven sculptures created by local Aboriginal artists, each one accompanied by an interpretive panel.
Noon – Enjoy some great street food at Wodonga’s Andiamo Street Kitchen, which calls a converted shipping container home. Tucked inside this quirky bolthole you will find amazing Italian and European-style street eats, gelato and juices.
2pm – Step back in time at the Bonegilla Migrant Experience – a 15-minute drive from Albury-Wodonga. One in 20 Australians have links to this former camp, where more than 300,000 migrants were housed between 1947 and 1971. Once made up of 24 blocks, and with its own churches, banks, sporting fields, cinema, hospital, police station and railway platform, only Block 19 remains. Prepare for colourful stories and poignant memorabilia.
4pm – Hire a bike and explore Albury-Wodonga on two wheels. There are more than 50 kilometres of interlinked on and off-road trails for walkers and cyclists of all ages. Café Musette at Cycle Station, opposite the Albury Railway Station, offers the perfect ‘pick-me-up’ after a ride.
6pm – Enjoy a culinary feast at Miss Amelie in Wodonga. Owner and chef David Kapay was inspired to name it after an encounter with a whimsical Amelie on a French/Swiss train. Housed in the repurposed Wodonga Railway Station precinct, Miss Amelie offers a contemporary take on European classics and a great decor.
8pm – Wrap up your stay by catching one of HotHouse Theatre’s compelling productions. They are staged in the rustic Butter Factory Theatre – part of a dairy built in 1928.
Need a place to stay?
Located a short drive from the Albury town centre, the 4.5 star Quality Resort Siesta offers a fabulous resort-style base from which to explore everything the region has to offer. However, when you just want to spend a day relaxing, the resort offers an outdoor saltwater pool, heated indoor pool, spa, sauna, half-tennis court, squash court, chess set, mini golf and a children’s playground. Wine and dine at the Cactus Cantina Bistro or Bullring Restaurant.
If you’re looking for a budget stay, book your accommodation at the Econo Lodge Border Gateway Wodonga. Enjoy the quiet setting amongst landscaped gardens on the western side of Wodonga.
Cover image courtesy of Visit Albury-Wodonga
About the writer
Sue Wallace is a freelance travel writer from Albury and a regular contributor to The Big Bus tour and travel guide. She has bunkered down in luxury hotels, sailed on impressive boats, stood in awe of exotic blood-red sunsets and made the first footprints on pristine beaches at sunrise — but it’s the people she meets along the way that make the story.