River Murray Reserve
Parks and reserves along the majestic Murray River protect significant Aboriginal cultural heritage, towering river red gums, sandy beaches, colourful red cliffs, diverse permanent and seasonal wetlands and a rich array of wildlife.
From its source in the Australian Alps, the Murray River twists and turns through alpine grasslands, rugged mountains, and rolling farmland before flowing into Lake Hume. On its way, it passes Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park, Mount Lawson and Mount Granya State Parks and the River Murray Reserve, changing from a clear mountain stream with gravel bars to the iconic Murray River of the floodplains.
Below Lake Hume, the Murray meanders down through gentle hills and on to extensive floodplains supporting River Red Gum forests and countless lakes and wetlands. The Barmah and Gunbower Forests, Kerang Lakes, and Hattah Lakes, are internationally significant RAMSAR wetlands, renowned for their waterbirds and other wildlife.
The river becomes wider and shallower as it passes through Mallee bushland, providing an oasis for plants and wildlife in this semi-arid landscape. As it approaches Mildura, it cuts through dramatic red cliffs before spilling out into the wetlands of Kings Billabong and Merbein Common. Finally, it winds through Walpolla, Mulcra and Lindsay Islands, part of Murray-Sunset National Park – a remote landscape of starry nights and wide horizons – before reaching the border with South Australia.
From bushwalking and birdwatching, to fishing and watersports, the Murray River offers something for everyone. Its sandy beaches are very popular over the summer and Easter holidays, but there are many secluded riverside camping and picnic sites. Most have few facilities other than occasional picnic tables, fireplaces and boat ramps.
See below to learn more about the different parks, reserves and experiences along each reach of the river, and which visitor sites may be open or closed.
Meandering through the dry Mallee, the Murray River is an oasis in an otherwise arid landscape. Its wetlands provide a haven for wildlife and visitors alike. Spend peaceful nights camping under star-filled skies. Swim, fish, paddle or relax on a sandy beach, or explore the natural and cultural history of Nyah Vinifera, Kings Billabong and Merbein Common.