Mildura is on the Murray River in the north west corner of Victoria. With a population of just under 57,000 the regional population is growing at around 1.5% annually.
Mildura and the surrounding area is a large fruit growing region. Local produce include most varieties of citrus, grapes, avocados and almonds. The quality of local produce and the growing wine industry have helped Mildura develop a reputation for great food and wine. Mildura has become popular with backpackers drawn by the availability of farm work.
- 1 Mildura Airport (MQL IATA). One of the largest in regional Australia. The airport services regular flights from Melbourne. There are flights connecting Mildura with Adelaide, Melbourne and Broken Hill, but be sure to book ahead of time as they may not run on the day (or even in the week) that you want to travel.
The Mildura train station is on the corner of Langtree Avenue and 7th St. No passenger trains arrive or depart from Mildura.
The bus station is next to the train station. Buses to and from Melbourne depart daily and also run direct to Swan Hill (2.5 hours) or Bendigo (6 hours) to connect with train services. The entire journey from Melbourne takes 7.5 hours via Swan Hill, 8 hours via Bendigo or 10 hours direct from Melbourne.
From Melbourne the journey time is 6-7 hours along the Calder Highway. Journey time from Adelaide is 4½-5 hours. From Sydney you will be travelling via Wagga Wagga and Hay, and be prepared for a long straight drive through the Murray Outback for the best part of 12 hours (not allowing for breaks). Best to allow at least two days. The roads in and out of Mildura are generally uninteresting, and dotted with small towns with little to see or do. Be prepared for a long and potentially boring drive.
Local buses connect Mildura with surrounding smaller towns. Buses run on weekdays during business hours between Ransoms (Deakin Avenue & Eighth Street) and Centro (Deakin Avenue & Fifteenth Street) every half hour. For most attractions a car is necessary - major rental companies operate from the airport. Mildura is largely flat, making it ideal for cycling - several trails run around the city and along the river. Bicycle Hire is available from a local bike shop.
Driving to Wentworth takes around 30 minutes, but by bus it can take 1.5 hours.
- 1 Murray River. Still flowing strong despite drought, the Mighty Murray winds its way through the region, with the Rowing Club just a few minutes walk from the Langtree and Deakin Avenue food and entertainment district.
- 2 Lock 11 - Lock and Weir and Lock Island. A man made island with easy walking tracks and native bushland. Camping is not permitted, but there are some good swimming sand bars. Great place to watch the big Paddle Steamers as they go through the complex Lock & Weir system. Also a good place to sit back and fish, catching stunned carp as they come through the Weir (though you're not allowed to fish too close to the weir for the unfair advantage it gives!)
- 3 Apex Park. Apparently Australia's (or at least Victoria's) largest inland beach, Apex is a great place to swim. Its easy to find, has a huge sandbar (beach) and occasionally is even manned by lifeguards.
- 4 Wentworth - The Meeting Of The Waters (20km west of Mildura). The location where the Murray and Darling Rivers meet - a riverside park provides good views of the rivers.
- 5 Perry Sandhills (a bit west of Wentworth, past the airport). Large set of red sandhills.
- 6 Woodsies Gem Shop, Cnr Morpung and Cureton Ave, Nichols Point (southeast of town). A great place for adults and kids. It has a garden maze to get lost in, "Aladdin's cave" with an extensive display of fossils, precious stones, and rocks that glow in the dark, as well as a cafe, jewellery store, and jewellery-making displays.
- Murray Sunset National Park
- Visit wineries including Trentham Estate, Oak Valley Estate and Lindemans or one of the growing number of boutique producers.
- Cruise the Murray River on the Paddlesteamer Melbourne or a chartered houseboat.
- Watch the Speedway races. Oval, flat track motorbike racing.
- Time your visit to coincide with the annual jazz, country music or arts festivals.
- Go camping! Free camping is still available almost anywhere on the banks of the picturesque Murray River. It is easy to find a private campsite with good river access for swimming, water skiing, fishing, or just looking. Birdlife on the Murray is abundant (you will likely be woken up by the kookaburras) and you may spot the odd goanna or kangaroo.
- Local bands at gigs around town. Check out Thursday's Sunraysia Daily (local newspaper) for the gig guide. Usual venues include the Sandbar and The Sett's.
- Visit the tourist information center. The tourist information center is at 180-190 Deakin Avenue (corner of Twelfth Street), and if calling within Australia can be contacted on the following toll-free number 1800 039 043. The tourist info area also has a small museum area containing quick-info about the region. The complex also contains the local Library, which as well as regular library functions has free wifi and computer terminals. Also within the complex is a gym, and pools (Mildura Waves) with one out-door full sized lap-pool, an outdoor diving pool (up to 20m), an indoor lap-pool, an in-door pool with wave generators (locally known as the "wave pool"), and showers, a children's pool, spa and sauna. The main 'lobby' area as you also has a cafeteria and plenty of seating.
- The Mungo National Park is about 2 hours away and can be seen in a day trip.
- Some superb Murray pink salt from the visitor centre. These salts also help farmers who have lost their fertile soil to salinity problems.
- Local dried fruit produce from the Australian Dried Fruits Association on Deakin Avenue.
- Locally grown fruit and veggies such as oranges, grapes, avocados, mandarins, rockmelon, watermelon, tomatoes, mulberries, and onions from the roadside stalls. All stalls have an 'honesty box' system and charge very reasonable rates well below local supermarkets. Local Coles & Woolworths supermarkets may buy their produce locally, but they are not permitted by company policy to negotiate their own price with growers. The supermarkets also end up having to buy their fruit from local growers at wholesale markets in Adelaide or Melbourne, meaning the carbon footprint is massive after two approx 5 hour trips in B Double trucks, and fruit at supermarkets is not as fresh as you would expect.
- Merbein Street Market, Commercial St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Third Sunday of every month 8AM-1PM.
- Make a booking at Stefano's at the Grand Hotel, considered to be one of the best restaurants in Victoria. The Grand Hotel has a number of other restaurants, including the Pizza Cafe.
- Visit the restaurant strip in Langtree Avenue.
- 1 Brass Monkey, 32 Carter Lane (behind Hog's Breath Cafe). Funky restaurant with live music nights. $20+.
- Italian restaurants are by far the most common in Mildura, but there are a handful of other cuisines available, especially a few Asian restaurants.
- The Mildura Brewery at the Grand Hotel serves its own boutique beer in the old Astor Theatre.
- For live bands check out O'Malleys Irish pub on the corner of Deakin Avenue and 8th Street, The Sandbar on the corner of 8th St. and Langtree Ave, or the Setts.
- The Sandbar becomes the popular nightspot "Heaven" on Saturday nights, with a live DJ. Other clubs can be found at Dom's Nightclub in Langtree Mall, and Our House at O'Malleys.
- Aarinda Holiday Apartments, toll-free: 1800 637 269. Self-contained apartments at reasonable prices.
- Sunraysia Motel & Holiday Apartments, 441 Deakin Ave, ☏ , fax: . 12 fully renovated motel rooms and 4 self-contained holiday apartments. Best rates online start at $84.
- Murray Darling River Holidays, 452 Benetook Ave, ☏ . Riverfront holiday accommodation. Suitable for large groups.