Albury and Wodonga can no longer be overlooked. Nestled along the seductive curves of the mighty Murray, the twin cities of Albury and Wodonga are beating the winter blues and reinventing the term ‘country cool’.
The two cities, one in NSW and one in Victoria, are geographically separated by one of the world’s longest navigable rivers, but they act together as one thriving urban community. The outcome is a perfect holiday destination that balances serenity of the untamed countryside with a sophisticated urban scene.
Albury-Wodonga has everything: the pink and purple hues of the evening sky, riverbanks alive with nestling ducklings, a water lover’s playground, boutique stores with locally crafted accessories, hipster vibes in a historic railway station, fresh seasonal produce and roasted coffee, celebrity chefs, public sculptures and a strong local art scene.
Opened in 2015, Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) in Albury is the new Australian home for contemporary art. This museum that stands proudly among the ranks of Australia’s leading contemporary art museums is doing much more than guarding the city’s art collection and showcasing regional cultural identity. MAMA’s team of talented curators and passionate and knowledgeable hosts stimulate the imagination of their visitors with innovative, self-curated exhibitions, ongoing museum programs and immersive cultural activities. But, if you prefer your art less formal, there are several small galleries and museums across both cities as well as a growing number of sculptures and street art all around.
MAMA’s flagship restaurant, Canvas Eatery, offers a sun-dappled terrace with a refined interior and modern Australian menu that features both sensational vegan dishes and sophisticated cocktail offering.
Nearby, on a path that bridges Albury and Wodonga, eleven contemporary sculptures created by local Aboriginal artists are scattered along the five kilometres of the Wagirra trail. The sounds of falling leaves and the gentle murmuring of the water wind their way along the stunning Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk whose pieces include Bogong Moth Migration by Ruth Davys and The Bigger Picture by Katrina Weston.
Getting up close and personal with the Murray is also possible. For an epic water voyage and a different perspective, one can explore the river by paddleboard, kayak or canoe. For more heart-racing water sports, Lake Hume is only fifteen minutes away.
In the vicinity of Lake Hume, the Bonegilla Migrant Experience offers an intimate glimpse into the hopes and dreams of Australia’s post-war migrants. One in twenty Australians has links to the camp which more than 300,00 migrants calling it home between 1947 and 1971.
Lunch is a hipster experience at Junction Place Wodonga. Andiamo Street Food is an old shipping container transformed into a chic alfresco eatery with delicious handmade food. Their menu reflects love for simple, great quality artisan-style food. On the other side of the river, in Albury’s picturesque Noreuil Park, an award-winning destination, The River Deck, balances sophisticated dining and cosy atmosphere with sweeping river views framed by mature Red Gums, Dutch Elm and London Plane trees. It’s a place of sensory discovery, authentic textures and flavours with an uncomplicated approach to freshly foraged food.
Glamming up for dinner is a fitting thing to do in both cities. In Albury, the dynamic duo behind the Bistro Selle, Mathew and Tara, spoil their guests with their professionalism and attention to details in a European bistro-style atmosphere. Their menu has a modern approach that champions and enhances current seasonal produce.
Set inside the historic former Wodonga railway station, chef David Kapay, formerly of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London, is at the helm of Miss Amelie. His effortless craftsmanship and storytelling are woven into creative and innovative dining concepts of contemporary harmony and refined cuisine. A must visit for sure.
The Atura Hotel offers bright artwork a laid-back lobby and friendly staff. There is a heated pool, bar and even fluro retro bikes to explore the surrounding area. Rail trails are big in this part of the world. This former Rydges Hotel has been refurbished to offer an industrial and art inspired hotel with open plan spaces winning it the Luxury Travel Guide Global Awards 2015 Luxury Business Hotel NSW.
Josipa was a guest of Visit Albury Wodonga.
Atura Albury 648 Dean Street, Albury P. 02 6021 5366
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.