Suites Blazing Stump
With Albury part of New South Wales and Wodonga part of Victoria, you’d be forgiven for thinking that these two cities are worlds apart. In truth, they are separated only by the Murray River, the world’s third largest navigable river, and connected by not only the Hume Highway but also by mutual respect. Motels and motor inns are more prevalent than hotels here although other accommodation options include self-contained apartments, B&Bs, and holiday parks. No matter where you choose to call home during your stay, you’ll have two vibrant cities on your doorstep.
Albury Wodonga is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors. From manicured gardens to natural woodlands, opportunities to experience outdoor fun are plentiful. Many activities, as you might expect, take place in and around the water. Noreuil Park on the Albury foreshore is a good place to start; here you can enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming (the Murray is croc free!). Nearby, you’ll find the Albury Botanic Gardens as well as the Wagirra Trail. Lake Hume, just 15 minutes’ drive from either Albury or Wodonga, is another popular destination and where canoe hire and sailing lessons are readily available. Fishing is a popular pastime here but remember that you’ll need a licence (sold online and at local tackle shops). Visit in October to take part in the Lake Hume Fishing Classic (spectators also welcome). Be sure to leave time to check out the views from Monument Hill and the Eastern Hill Rotary Lookout.
When you’re not soaking up the sun, Albury Wodonga provides plenty of chances for you to soak up a little culture. The area features numerous art galleries although popular destinations include Arts Space Wodonga and the Murray Art Museum Albury. Arts and culture, of course, come in many different forms so you won’t be limited to browsing art galleries. Take time to meander along the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, a trail featuring art created by indigenous artists and perhaps best experienced when using APositive, a guided augmented reality app. Catch a show at performing art venues such as the Hothouse Theatre at The Butter Factory, The Cube Wodonga, and the Albury Entertainment Centre. And, for something a little different, check out the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, the Bonegilla Migrant Experience, and Gateway Village, the latter situated on the Lincoln Causeway and playing host to several wood crafting studios, artists galleries, and live jazz performances.
Food options are plentiful here. Café culture and street food play a big part of the dining scene here although there are just as many opportunities to dine in a top-rated restaurant or swanky hotel. Wherever you choose to enjoy lunch, be sure to squeeze in a visit to the iconic Ettamogah Pub. You might also head to one of the local farmers’ markets to stock up on fresh goodies; popular markets include the Murray River Farmers Market in Albury and the Gateway Village Farmers Market in Wodonga. Tuck into your spoils at the gorgeous picnic spots at Jackson and Kookaburra Points or hire a barbecue boat to enjoy your meal on Lake Hume. As well as great food, you can enjoy great wine in this area. The Watchbox Winery and Schmidt’s Strawberry Winery are both within a 25-minute drive. Retail enthusiasts can also enjoy the area’s great choice of shopping destinations. You’ll find that complexes such as Lavington Square and Birallee Village perfectly complement the area’s selection of unique independent stores.
Albury Wodonga is a destination for the entire family. Younger visitors will enjoy a visit to the Belvoir Park Playground and Oddies Creek Adventure Playspace, the latter set amid mature gum trees and featuring a 30-metre flying fox. Older children might like to spend some time at the James Memorial Skate Park where facilities include ramps for BMXs, scooters, and skateboards as well as a half-court basketball area. The whole family can enjoy water-based fun at WAVES in Wodonga and the Albury Swim Centre, both of which offer aquatic play equipment, or visit wide open spaces such as the Wonga Wetlands, the Huon Hill Parklands, and the Mungabareena Reserve. Additional highlights for families include trips to Beechworth Honey Discovery, the Wodonga Creek Miniature Railway, and the Murray 1 Power Centre. Active families will enjoy mountain biking in Padman Park and Hunchback Hill.
Although there’s plenty to keep you entertained within the boundaries of Albury Wodonga, longer stays may see you wanting to explore a little further afield. Antique enthusiasts will enjoy visiting nearby Chiltern where Main and Conness Streets provide many opportunities to pick up bric-a-brac and collectibles. A trip to Beechworth presents visitors with the chance to see the courthouse where notorious outlaw Ned Kelly stood trial and nearby Woodshed Falls is the perfect place to try your hand at panning for gold. Yackandandah is great for picking up some artisan products while a visit to Rutherglen is a must, if only to try one of the award-winning pies sold on Main Street. A one-hour flight can get you to Melbourne, so a trip to Australia’s cultural capital is not out of the question.
Albury Wodonga: Where two cities combine to create one great destination.