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