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Top places to camp along the Murray River

Those who know, tend to keep it to themselves; that the Murray River region is the perfect place to escape the harsh Melbourne weather. To help you plan your escape we’ve listed some of our favourite places for setting up camp.

Ulupna Island

Around 20 min north of Strathmerton is Ulupna Island formed between the Murray River and Ulupna Creek. It’s an absolute haven for wildlife like koalas and eastern grey kangaroos and the birdlife will have you craning your neck to get a good look. 

This section of Barmah National Park has some premium beach front free camps including Ulupna Beach Camping ground and Carters Beach. There are extra camping sites at The Paddock retreat which is set on 180 acres of prime bushland. They also have 8 self-contained cabins for those looking to upgrade from a campsite.

Koondrook Retreat

The newest addition to upmarket glamping experiences in Victoria is Koondrook Retreat. Launched in 2020, on the bank of Gunbower Creek, the retreat consists of six luxury tents, each of which can accommodate up to four guests. The tents are fully self-contained and feature all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, including a queen-size bed, a private bathroom, a kitchenette, and a deck with stunning views of the creek.

There are plenty of  activities available for guests to enjoy, including fishing, kayaking, bushwalking, and birdwatching. The retreat also has a communal area with a barbecue, a fire pit, and a games room. It’s a short walk into the town of Koondrook for coffee and the border town of Barham even has an excellent wine bar for those really missing home!

Lake Boga Caravan Park

Lake Boga was constructed in the 1880’s as a source of irrigation for the surrounding farms and these days is a place of recreation for locals and visitors alike. The caravan park itself includes powered and unpowered sites, cabins, and even a 10 room motel. Campers have access to a camp kitchen, laundry facilities, a swimming pool, and a playground.

Take the kids out in a kayak, set up a picnic spot or throw in a line for a chance to catch dinner.  Other activities close by include the Catalina Flying Boat Museum, the Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement, and the Murray Valley Discovery Centre.

Lake Mulwala

Lake Mulwala has been drawing visitors to its shoreline for decades and over the years the twin towns of Yarrawonga and Mulwala have turned into a thriving holiday hotspot. It’s not just the boating and fishing that draw people to the area either, there’s fantastic food and wine and two excellent golf courses. There are plenty of camping and caravanning options to suit every type of traveller.

NRMA Yarrawonga Mulwala Holiday Park and Lake Mulwala Caravan Park both have powered and unpowered sites as well as self-contained cabins. Both options are well suited to families with swimming pools, games rooms and playground equipment.

For those seeking a more authentic camping experience, there’s plenty of camping sites around the lake too. It’s hardly roughing it when you are just 5 minutes from town, but Yarrawonga Regional Park has a number of campsite on the riverbank or amongst the river red gum where you can light a fire and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. A bit more isolated is the Kyffins Reserve, which is a 10min drive from Mulwala and offers free bush camping along more than one kilometre of shoreline.

©Murray Regional Tourism
©Murray Regional Tourism

Mildura River Frontage

Mildura has long been known as one of Victoria’s great river towns. One of it’s biggest draw cards is the network of caravan parks with direct river access. Some of these parks have boat access to the Murray as well, meaning it takes only minutes before you are on the water each day for a full day of water skiing, wakeboarding and fishing. There is plenty to do on a rest day as well, with easy access to the Mildura township as well as the Mildura Golf Course and some spectacular walking trails.

Hattah – Kulkyne National Park

Hattah – Kulkyne National Park isn’t on the Murray River, but with such a unique landscape, we felt it had to be included.  The park is over 48,000 hectares in size and perfect for those who want to find a spot for themselves. Campers can choose from powered and unpowered sites, as well as group sites. Many of the camping areas have access to toilets, showers, and drinking water. 

There are also a number of walking trails that start from the camping areas, providing opportunities to seek out a variety off wildlife, including kangaroos, emus, pelicans, and waterbirds. The park is also a great place to stargaze, as the night skies are dark and free from light pollution.

Photo credit: Michael Rolph – Girt By Sea Photography
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