Murray River road trip
Tracing the mighty Murray River from Albury to Mildura.
The car is sardined with our holdalls, a picnic rug and an Esky filled with cheeses as chilled and mature as my Irish mother, who is currently humming along to the radio from the passenger seat on the first day of her Australian holiday. From Albury to Mildura, we’re state-hopping between Victoria and New South Wales, threading our way through Cobram, Echuca, Gunbower and Swan Hill, to the melodies of country music waltzing from the speakers.
It’s a peaceful, easy feeling shadowing the patchwork of pastoral fields and native forests that tiptoe down to the banks of the Murray River. Through the wide lens of our Land Rover’s windows, the journey is a stop-motion gallery of landscape artists, where scenes evoking Turner’s ethereal light, Heysen’s towering eucalypts, and Streeton’s dreamy waterways paint a bucolic canvas.
No sooner do we start driving, than we’re out of the car again. Just five minutes from Albury’s town centre, the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk traces 11 Indigenous installations that border swamphen, cormorant and pelican-flecked lagoons. Rising from the riverbank is Katrina Weston’s The Bigger Picture. Through its giant hollow frame, we capture the pulse of the region’s lifeblood, the Murray, ebbing slowly westward, much like we’ll be doing over the next few days.