48 hours in Shepparton

RACV RoyalAuto Magazine

Katrina Kim-Worley, shop manager at RACV Shepparton

Katrina Kim-Worley (pictured) has spent more than 31 years in Shepparton and says the city’s Goulburn River setting and lots of family-friendly activities give it a sense of having something for everyone.

Katrina regularly answers visitors’ questions and advises on where to find the best coffee and food, where to stay and what to do.

For this article, RoyalAuto asked Katrina to choose the best of her favourite places and activities in and around the city of Shepparton for visitors who might only get to spend a weekend there.

Katrina, who has been the Shepparton RACV Shop manager for the past seven years, struggled to cut her very long list to a long list, to a shorter long list and eventually to a short list.

The dilemma she faced was how to pick just few places and activities when there is so much to choose from.

Here are the results of that struggle.

Day one

Breakfast

The busy Lemon Tree Cafe (94 Fryers St) has delicious brekky burgers and great coffee.

Go shopping

Shepparton is synonymous with SPC Ardmona and you shouldn’t miss the factory outlet (197 Corio St), as much for its cut-price groceries as the company’s range of canned fruit. The Chocolate Apple Factory is another must-visit; the apples are dipped in caramel and chocolate – including such favourites as Maltesers and Cherry Ripe.

Stretch your legs

Go for a stroll along the river – or walk or cycle around Victoria Park Lake. There’s lots to see, including Aquamoves aquatic centre and a skate park. In summer, the lake and its surrounds are abuzz with locals having picnics, playing soccer, fishing or paddling. Hire canoes and kayaks from the Visitor Information Centre.

Lunch with local legends

For authentic Albanian food, head to Lutfiye’s Shish Kebab. Owners Azem and Jeihan Elmaz are amazing, because in their spare time they run soup kitchens and raise funds for emergency services such as the CFA, SES and Shepparton Search and Rescue. Oh, and their food is fantastic.

Marvellous motors

Shepparton Motor Museum is incredible – there are loads of classic and vintage cars and motorbikes on display. It gets packed in November when Shepparton revs up for the Springnats performance car festival. Also inside is the Furphy Museum, as in “telling a Furphy”. Blacksmith John Furphy made water carts that were used by the army during WW1. Just as office workers have water-cooler conversations today, back then soldiers would gather around the Furphy-branded carts and gossip, so it’s thought that’s where the Aussie slang for a rumour originated. The museum is on the Goulburn Valley Hwy, 7km south of town.

Coffee break

Find homestyle Thai food and specialty coffee in an unusual straw-bale building on a back street in Shepp. At The Last Straw, Shingo Fujimoto roasts the beans on-site and offers different blends each day.

Indigenous culture

Shepparton has Victoria’s largest indigenous population outside of Melbourne. And at the Bangerang Cultural Centre, which was developed and is managed by the community, art, artefacts and realistic dioramas of important scenes in early Victorian indigenous life tell the story of the world’s oldest living culture.

Thirsty?

For pre- or post-dinner drinks, visit classic country pub The Hotel Australia, the sleekly refurbished GV Hotel or Bohjass Restaurant & Wine Bar (276 Wyndham St).

Dinner

Some top-notch dining choices include: Cellar 47 Restaurant & Wine Bar, for steak, pasta or irresistible wood-fired pizzas; The Collective, for moreish tapas and share plates (55 Fryers St); or Parklake across from Victoria Park Lake, where you should try the slow-cooked lamb shoulder.

Lutfiye Shish Kebab
Vera  at the Chocolate Apple Factory
Lemon tree
Yiche restaurant in Mooroopna
Car museum
Mooving Art sculpture

Day two

Breakfast

For all-day breakfasts and great coffee in a comfy, relaxed space, head to Noble Monks.

For the kids

Local youth organisation Word And Mouth puts together fantastic events such as Nerdmania (a pop culture expo) and Zombie Shuffles. Young people can also hit the skate park at the lake or visit SPC Ardmona Kids Town, which has giant slides, miniature train rides and flying foxes.

Fun City at Riverside Plaza in Kialla has entertainment for kids and kids-at-heart, such as go-karts and laser tag. Or go for a scenic 4km bike ride to Shepparton’s adjoining city Mooroopna.

The Kyabram Fauna Park is a 20-minute drive west of Shepparton and houses a huge collection of native flora and fauna, including Tasmanian devils and a 3m saltwater crocodile.

In Shepp the wildlife is a bit tamer: called Moooving­Art, it’s a series of creatively decorated life-sized cow statues displayed throughout town.

Lunch

Housed in a delightful old converted church, The Friars Cafe is a popular lunch spot. Or stock up on delicious Italian pastries or bread at Fiores Bakery Cafe (34 Vaughan St) and then head to the lake for a Picnic.

Art of the town

Known as SAM, the Shepparton Art Museum has one of the country’s leading collections of Australian ceramics, plus paintings and contemporary art. The showstopper of the permanent collection is Woman And Child by Sam Jinks.

Coffee break

Sweet tooths should take a 20-minute drive west to Tatura Hot Bread to try its decadent, award-winning vanilla slice.

Wine time

A 35-minute drive north of Shepparton leads to Monichino Wine’s cellar door. The family winery, on 10.5ha, produces more than 27 varieties. Its specialty is traditional Italian varietals such as pinot grigio, sangiovese and barbera. 


Dinner

Several editions of The Age Good Food Guide have included Yiche, Mooroopna; you’ll understand why when you try the elegant, modern Asian cuisine. Thai Orchid in Shepparton has all the favourites in a fun environment – sit in sumptuous Thai-booths and dig in.

Wherever you dine, don’t forget to raise a glass to Shepp.

Save

RACV members receive 25% off accommodation at RACV Cobram Resort, on the Murray.

RACV members get discounts at SPC Ardmona and 20% off entry to the Motor Museum, when they show their RACV member card. For details of Show Your Card & Save member discounts and offers all around Victoria, go to racv.com.au.

 

Locals takes time out practising cycling
Furphy
Volunteers at lake
Monichino Wine cellar door
Written by Luna Soo, Pictures Meredith O’Shea
November 02, 2015