The twin border towns of Albury and Wodonga, which straddle both sides of the beautiful Murray River, are fast becoming must-see tourist destinations for Aussies looking for a bit of country charm and some good old-fashioned hospitality.
As Australians in need of a vacation start to look for holiday destinations a little closer to home, Albury Wodonga has distinguished itself as a worthy regional hotspot.
Home to a bustling foodie scene with artisan goods and craft beers galore, a booming cultural scene and a reputation for showcasing local artists, rich indigenous heritage and a jaw-droppingly beautiful natural landscape, Albury Wodonga truly has it all.
To really see the sights and live like a local on your next holiday, check out this list of Albury Wodonga's top hidden gems and local secrets.
The traditional owners of Albury Wodonga are the Wiradjuri, Waveroo and Dhudhuroa people. The Wagirra Trail and the Yindyamarra Sculpture walk are both great ways to take in some of the region’s natural beauty and get a sense of the rich Australian Indigenous history of Albury Wodonga. The Wagirra Trail is a 15km (return) track that links the two cities and runs along the bank of the Murray.
Along the trail, between Kremur Street and Wonga Wetlands, you’ll find the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, a string of sculptures made by local Aboriginal artists that line this 5km stretch of the trail. Each sculpture is accompanied by an interactive panel which tells the story of the piece and provides insights into the Australian Indigenous history. The walk is a great way to take in some stunning artwork and learn more about the cultural significance of the Murray River.
Melbourne doesn’t have the monopoly on great local street art, in fact, rural gems like Albury Wodonga have managed to churn out some pretty impressive pieces. In Albury there’s the (slightly haunting) depiction of the Easter bunny by local artist Kade Sarte which peers into Macauley Street. Over in Wodonga you’ll find a beautiful pastel piece by local Kirrily Anderson on Sesame Lane. You also absolutely can’t miss the Porta Balls sculpture from local sculptor Ken Raff which are perched on the Lincoln Causeway and symbolically join the two towns.
Discover the parklands
The breathtaking natural beauty of the Albury Wodonga region is on spectacular display across their network of parks, playgrounds and green spaces. If you're travelling with children or teens, Willow Park should be at the top of your list with its expansive playground, and the James Scott Memorial Park on-site. For a fun day out in nature, the BBQ set up at Les Stone Park is fantastic and adventure-seekers will love the network of bush trails and mountain biking tracks at Nail Can Hill. Looking for something right on the water? Noreuil Park on the foreshore is your go-to for a riverside picnic.
Focussed on great coffee and food, with all the produce coming from their own farm, Café Musette delivers an authentic paddock to plate experience. Wolki Farm, just 8km from Albury CBD, has cows, chickens, pigs, bees, an orchard and a market garden supplies Café Musette with the freshest, seasonal ingredients. For breakfast, the passionfruit pancakes are hard to miss and at lunchtime, you need to try the kimchi fritter.
2/480 Young Street, Albury
The twin towns of Albury and Wodonga are bisected by the glorious Murray River so it makes sense that one of the best ways to spend a summer day in Albury Wodonga is swimming. These secret spots along the bank of the Murray are the perfect spot for a nice cool swim on a hot summer day. Five minutes from the Albury CBD, there’s an old wooden bridge that crosses the Murray at the Water Works bend. If you walk down to the banks of the river you’ll find a naturally calm stretch of water and ample shade from the nearby river gums. A second secret swimming spot on Lake Hume, just below the Lake Hume Resort, offers a protected bay and a sandy shore that’s perfect for a ‘beach’ day hundreds of kilometres from the shore.
Make drinking the main event by spending an afternoon checking out the Albury Wodonga regional craft beer trails. By simply following this map you’ll be led on a trail which will take you from brewery to brewery and allows you to learn the secrets behind an almost criminally delicious selection of craft beer. With 18 breweries on the list, you should grab some friends and a designated driver and try your best to get through them all.
Between the bushwalking and the birdwatching, Wonga Wetlands is a nature lover's paradise. From the second you step foot into Wonga Wetlands you’ll find yourself fully immersed in the animal kingdom with over 350 species of birds along with native mammals, reptiles and fish. Head here to check out the trails, lagoons and species list and prepare to spend the day getting back in touch with nature.
The Albury Wodonga region is a burgeoning foodie hotspot packed to the brim with local artisans. Essential Ingredient is the go-to stop for anyone looking to bring a taste of the border’s gastronomic goodness back into their own homes! They stock a major range of local artisanal products from the famous McGraths Dressing to the sweet and delicious Beechworth Honey and even naturally smoked meats from the Murray River Smokehouse (formerly known as the Butts Smokehouse). They also host a great range of live events and cooking classes that are well worth checking out.
473A Dean Street, Albury NSW
Known to Albury Wodonga locals as the perfect spot to catch some live entertainment, The Cube Wodonga always draws a crowd. From gigs and theatre shows, to stand-up comedy and children's entertainment, you'll be sure to find tickets to something you'll love.
118 Hovell Street, Wodonga VIC
The Monument Hill War Memorial has stood proud overlooking Albury's main street since Anzac Day 1925 and recognises the sacrifice of our servicemen and women. A nod to Albury's proud history, you'll come to pay tribute and marvel at the architecturally-designed monument, and stay for the panoramic views.
Memorial Drive, Albury NSW
Lake Hume is an engineering triumph, bordered by undulating hills and bisected by the Dam Wall. Pack a picnic and head to the BBQs at Kookaburra Point before going for a dip. If you’re looking for more things to do in Albury Wodonga (and you have a Victorian Fishing Licence), then this is the perfect spot to cast a line and try your luck at catching local freshwater fish such as Murray Cod, Rainbow Trout and Golden Perch.
Live Music Scene
The Albury Wodonga live music scene is a serious drawcard, with many bars, pubs and music venues boasting a year-round line-up of gigs. At BeerDeLuxe they have the Cactus Lounge and a stage in their outdoor beer garden that both host local and Aussie talent, and the next music event at The Cube Wodonga is a tribute show to The Bee Gees. Known for hosting some of Australia's biggest names like The Rubens, Bliss n Eso and Archie Roach, the SS&A Club draws a crowd for their ticketed and free music events each week.