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Where to find the best country pubs along the Murray River

Jay Dillon

Touring the Murray River region is one of Victoria’s great adventures, but it sure is thirsty work!

After all that walking amongst the river gums, kayaking the river shoreline or exploring the endless range of gift shops, providores, galleries and museums you are surely going to be in need of a drink and a good old-fashioned pub feed!

Here’s our list of top places to wet the whistle, find some great food and take a well-deserved break.

Woomargama Hotel

Just off the Hume Highway, about 30min north of Albury sits the Woomargama Hotel. This classic country pub is as popular with the locals as it is with travellers looking for a proper bistro feed off the highway. Keep an eye on their social media feed for specials like locals’ night on Tuesdays and Sunday pizza specials.

It’s well worth staying a night or two to explore the nearby Woomargama National Park and Tabletop Mountain with endless hiking trails, waterfalls and fishing. Accommodation at the hotel itself includes well-kept rooms, motel units, and camping options.

Book here.

Table Top Hotel

Formerly known as the Ettamogah Pub, the distinctive design of this hotel on the side of the Hume Highway is based on a popular cartoon by Ken Maynard that was once a regular feature of the Australasian Post magazine.

Today, it is known as the Table Top Hotel and is a fantastic drop-in for a family feed of pizza, burgers and pub classics like chicken parma.

For those wanting to break up a long drive up the Hume, the hotel also offers free unpowered caravan and tent sites.

Make a booking.

Criterion Hotel

The Criterion captures one of the best views of Lake Mulwala and people come from far and wide to sit out on the sunny deck to enjoy a cold beer or refreshing cocktail. 

The menu has been designed to capture the same casual vibe, with a full range of pizzas and other classic pub dishes like chicken or eggplant parma. We recommend the generously sized ploughman’s plate that easily satisfies two for a lunchtime feast.

Book a table here.

The Telegraph Hotel

Inland from the Murray River is the town of Numurkah, centred on the rich soils of the broken creek floodplains. The ‘Graph’ as the locals affectionately know it has been quenching the thirst of farmers since the early 1900’s, with the Morris family acting as publicans for the past 14 years.

In 2019, the Morris’ started brewing their own beer and the inaugural Murray River Pale Ale has become the beer of choice for not just guests of the Graph, but for dedicated beer lovers right across the Murray region.

The Telegraph Hotel bistro is a warm and friendly place to take the family, serving up farmer-sized parmi and prime-cut steaks with salad and chips. Other mains include duck risotto, an Asian stir-fry (with a vegan option) and soft pillow-like gnocchi with bacon, mixed with locally sourced mushrooms and a creamy spinach sauce. There’s plenty to please the little ones with a generous kids menu and we recommend the local Messina trio ice cream for dessert.

All the details here.

American Hotel

Affectionately known by locals as ‘The Yank’, this hotel set right in the middle of Echuca always has something happening. It’s a beautiful space, paying homage to the history of the region through the use of recycled timber from the old Echuca wharf.

The rooftop bar and lounge serves up classic pub meals with a contemporary twist. There’s a large sports bar to gather to watch the footy, and room to continue on the night with a regular schedule of live music. From spring to autumn Harry O’s Barbecue is cooking premium meats on the bbq smoker & rotisserie.

Check out the full facilities here.

Shamrock Hotel

A pumping Irish pub in the middle of town with a regular schedule of live music, a cosy sports bar and cocktails starting at $10. These are just some of the reasons that visitors to Echuca flock to the Shamrock Hotel.

The food offering at the Shamrock is incredible. There are some fantastic pub snacks to compliment a cold beer and a whole list of main-sized salads like a taco beef salad, Thai noodle salad and a creamy chicken caesar salad.  Off the grill, you can order generously sized aged fillet, porterhouse or grain-fed scotch fillet.

However, it’s the famous 101 parmas menu that people line up for at the Shamrock. Think chilli prawn parma, a cheeseburger parma, an apricot delight parma and as befitting an Irish pub; the St Pat’s parma with potato mash, bacon, butter wilted cabbage, garden peas, cheese and gravy.

Work up an appetite here.

Gunbower Hotel

Ask anyone in the region where to get a good pub feed and you will hear the Gunbower Hotel come up again and again. 

Richard McGillivray has run the pub for as long as anyone can remember and his steaks are legendary in these parts. That’s what happens when you not only cook the steaks but the meat comes off your own cattle farm just up the road.

The interior was always rough and ready, however during the Covid lockdowns Richard and partner Susi spent the downtime doing a beautiful renovation to the 82-year old pub.

Book a table here.

Corporate Moose

You could be forgiven for thinking you had inadvertently taken a trans-pacific flight when you enter Mildura’s Corporate Moose, with the venue tastefully fitted out with American and Canadian paraphernalia from top to bottom.

At the centre of the American street food menu are the premium smoked pork ribs, beef brisket and chicken wings all slowly smoked on the Kansas made Yoder Smoker. American mid-west inspired starters include maple bacon loaded chips, grilled corn and smoked buffalo cauliflower and the burgers are just like you’d find in the States with juicy house-made patties topped with pickles, mustard, ketchup and American cheese.

American craft brews sit alongside Aussie beers including hometown favourites from Mildura Brewery. There’s an extensive list of whisky, bourbon, liquors and cocktails for those kicking on through the night with the live music or taking a comfy spot near the fire.

See what’s coming up here.

Mildura Brewery

Like most things gastronomical in Mildura, the old Astor Theatre in Mildura was converted into a microbrewery by chef Stefano di Pieri and partner Donata Carrazza.

The brewery draws a regular crowd throughout the day, who come for a pint of the regular brews like a moderately bitter pale ale, a crisp clean blond ale or for the more adventurous, a mango & passionfruit sour.

The menu is everything you would hope for in a gastro-brewery with generous sized burgers, quality steaks and vegetarian crowd-pleasers like a mushroom and spinach tortellini.

All you need to know here.

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