June 19, 2022 5 min read
Written for Auski by Pink Lemonade Social
Shepparton is about a 2-hour drive northeast of Melbourne, making it the perfect weekend getaway. It’s located on the floodplain of the Goulburn River and is characterised by charming countryside, making it the ideal spot to escape the bustle of the city. It has plenty of things to do and see, from exploring the nature reserves and lakes to an array of cafes and restaurants to grab a bite. While you’re there, you can also pop into Auski Shepparton and say hi! So here are our top 10 picks for things to do and see in Shepparton in no particular order.
The Australian Botanic Gardens Shepparton uses Australian native plants, flowers and grasses to create themed gardens for visitors to explore. Each designated garden is designed and cultivated to represent the environment, the history and agricultural characteristics of the area. There’s a variety of different tracks you can stroll along and even some bicycle trails if you feel like getting through all the sites a little quicker. It’s also a great stop for the family as there’s a specific children’s garden and a tonne of picnic tables and spots scattered throughout the grounds.
If you’ve missed out on spotting any wildlife in Shepparton or just want to get a little closer to nature then check out Kyabram Fauna Park. You can find all your favourite Aussie critters at the park, including Tassie devils, kangaroos, emus, echidnas and possums. They also have a reptile centre where you can see native snakes, lizards, crocodiles and even an insect collection. And if you’re a bird lover, Kyabram Fauna Parks aviaries features bird species such as cockatoos, parrots and brush turkeys and you can even grab a bag of seed for just $2 at reception to feed them. To grab some tickets or check out what other activities the park has to offer, click here.
The Lower Goulburn National Park is the point where the mountains of the Great Dividing Range meet the Murray River. If you like all things outdoors such as camping, fishing and kayaking then it’s worth heading down to the Goulburn River. It’s a great spot to go for a swim, as the river is fairly shallow or you can just stick to fishing. It’s also a perfect spot for a picnic as River Red Gum trees litter the banks of the river providing some shade from the sun.
The Dookie Rail Trail is great little outing for families as it offers scenic views of the hills, farmland and wildlife. The trail is suitable for all ages as it has two stages, a shorter one that is 6km and the longer one that is 9.7km return. Along the trail you will be able to spot lots of different wildlife including wombats, kangaroos, koalas and even wedge-tailed eagles. But you will also walk past lots of paddocks filled with sheep, trees filled with birds and some cotton tail rabbits hopping around. Walk or bike, the choice is yours!
An hour north of Shepparton you can cruise along the World-Heritage listed Barmah Wetlands on a MV Kingfisher boat and get a chance to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the river. You’ll be able to enjoy the river red gum trees in all their glory as they tower over the water way and observe over 253 species of birds calling the surrounding forests their home. To book your 2-hour cruise, click here!
For all kids big or small Aquamoves is a great day activity, that is sure to make all family members have a fun day whilst getting wet! Whether it’s using the outdoor splash park that features water cannons, water shooters and a splashing rainforest or the indoor pool which features the Rapid River, Water Slide and Tarzan Swing – Aquamoves makes sure that all kids will be exhausted by the end of the day. Parents there’s also a leisure pool, hydrotherapy pool and spas and sauna, making it the perfect retreat from screaming kids.
Cactus Country is a little slice of Mexico found just 45 minutes out of Shepparton, where you can find Australia’s largest cactus garden. Go explore 12 acres of garden with more than 4,000 species of cacti and succulents from around the world. But the best part is they even have their own plant store, so you can purchase and take home all your favourites. They also have a bar and restaurant so you can quench your thirst with a frozen margarita whilst sharing a side of nachos!
If you’re after a variety of activities to do then Billabong Ranch offers everything from horse riding, mini golf, archery, trampolines and even an animal nursey. The ranch is located about a 50-minute drive out of Shepparton and even has a licensed café for parents who might need a little acholic pick-me-up. Their horse trail rides cater for all age and skill levels and can be led along local rivers & through bushland, but younger kids can also enjoy the pony rides that are led by staff members. Also have fun with some competitive family mini golf or trying taking aim at the archery boards.
This 4.6km return walk offers lovely views of Dookie and surrounding hills as you head towards the summit of Mount Major. Along the trail are scattered information signs providing a deep insight into the area's rich cultural history. Its kindly asked that you don’t bring your furry friends along for the walk as the trail passes a working sheep farm and dogs can be quite disruptive. It’s a moderate walk as the path can be steep and a little rocky at times so definitely wear well fitted and enclosed walking shoes. The Mulana nin iyoga walking trail is perfect for you next weekend hike.
Everyone loves a lolly store, so it’s definitely worth popping into the locally owned GC Nuts & Confectionery to cure those sweet cravings. They have every lolly you can imagine, which you can scoop and weigh yourself or they have premade combinations and gift boxes available. If your more of a savoury person they have a variety of different nuts and salty snacks to choose from and the store is conveniently located in the heart of Shepparton, making it incredibly hard to not drop in daily.
Just over 2 hours from Melbourne (190kms), getting to and around Shepparton is easier with a vehicle. From Melbourne, take the Tullamarine Freeway and Western Ring Road, then turn onto the Hume Freeway, which will take you to the Goulburn Valley Highway. If you’re using public transport to get to Shepparton, every day, V-Line trains and buses travel from the Southern Cross Station in Melbourne to Greater Shepparton.
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