The Riverina is an inland region in the south of New South Wales, producing a good deal of the nation's agriculture.
- 1 Albury-Wodonga – city on the Victorian border
- 2 Coleambally
- 3 Cootamundra
- 4 Corowa
- 5 Darlington Point
- 6 Deniliquin
- 7 Echuca-Moama – A border town separated from Victorian by the Murray River
- 8 Ganmain
- 9 Gundagai – Popular small town for writers
- 10 Griffith – The "food bowl of Australia"
- 11 Hay
- 12 Henty – known for its annual agricultural machinery field days
- 13 Holbrook – Small town known for its Merino wool
- 14 Junee
- 15 Leeton
- 16 Lockhart
- 17 Narrandera
- 18 Tarcutta – small town that's primarily used as a rest stop by travellers travelling along the Hume
- 19 Tocumwal
- 20 Tumut – entry to the Snowy Mountains
- 21 Tooleybuc
- 22 Urana
- 23 Wagga Wagga – the largest inland city in New South Wales
- 24 Whitton – known for its malt production factory
- 25 Yarrawonga-Mulwala – another Victorian bordertown
- 26 Young – a not so young town
The inland and rural Riverina region is known as a source of a significant amount of the fruit and vegetable production of the country.
Aboriginal people are thought to have inhabited the Riverina for at least 40,000 years. The Wiradjuri people were the original inhabitants of much of south western New South Wales including most of the Riverina region along the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers. British exploration of the Riverina began in 1817. Cattle raising was the major industry in the 1840s with sheep becoming predominant in the 1860s.
The Riverina's economic and cultural ties with Victoria provided a major impetus to the Australian federation movements in the late 1800s as crossing the New South Wales-Victorian border was not an easy thing to do and having to pay tariffs when getting goods from Melbourne was very frustrating. The cultural connections have continued, with the Riverina being the one region of New South Wales where the sport of Australian Rules Football is more popular than NRL (much like Victoria).
The main routes throughout the Riverina are:
- the Hume Highway, the main route from Sydney to Melbourne, which passes through the eastern Riverina;
- the Olympic Highway (route 41) which runs north-south and passes through some of the major Riverina centres, including the city of Wagga Wagga; and
- the Sturt Highway (route 20) which runs from the Hume Highway west through Wagga Wagga, Narrandera and other centres.
Access to the area is between 5-7 hours south of Sydney, depending on what area of the Riverina you intend to travel to.
NSW Trainlink runs twice daily XPT services between Sydney and Melbourne. In and around the Riverina area, services stop at Harden, Cootamundra, Junee, Wagga Wagga, The Rock, Henty, Culcairn and Albury on the NSW/Victorian border. Connecting coaches link with trains at Cootamundra and Wagga Wagga to other parts of the Riverina.
In addition, NSW Trainlink provide a weekly Xplorer service on Saturdays and Sundays between Sydney and Griffith. The service from Sydney runs with the morning Xplorer train to Canberra on a Saturday and splits from that service at Goulburn; the return service on a Sunday (coaches run on other days). The train stops in and around the Riverina area at Harden, Cootamundra, Junee, Coolamon, Narrandera, Leeton and Griffith.
Many people may see this area only as a drive between Sydney and Melbourne or a drive between Sydney and Adelaide. Several of the towns along the way have great alternatives to the McDonalds and other fast food available road-side.
- Hire a houseboat and power it down the Murray River.
- Catch a restored paddle-steamer along the Murray River.
- Climb The Rock (also known as Hanging Rock Hill) - the carpark is on Rock-Lockhart Road, 6km west of the town known by the same name (The Rock), which is on Olympic Highway. The monolith dominates the surrounding area, and the 6 km trail will take about 3 hours for a return walk. On a clear day you can see south to the Victorian Alps, and there are brilliant views over the Riverina. Free
By far the cities of both Wagga Wagga and Albury have the most food variety, but that can be attributed as they are on major highways, while some other cities in the Riverina such as Griffith are not.
The Riverina region is one of the most prosperous grape growing regions in Australia (particularly in Griffith), along with the Barossa Valley in South Australia. The region grows 55% of wine grapes in New South Wales and 15% of the total grape production within Australia and 80% of wine/grape production of New South Wales and hence the region is Australia's largest producer of wine. Over 50% of the Riverina's wine production is exported and as a producer of specialist wine grapes, its wine style of international importance is Botrytised Semillon and the outstanding specialty made from these grapes is a "sauternes-style" dessert wine.