Forget Joshua Tree | Explore This Giant Cactus Farm Just Outside Of Melbourne

By Amber De Luca-Tao - 08 Nov 2018

While people might think you need to live by the coast to soak up the sun at the beach, we’re here to let you in on Victoria’s best kept secret.

If you’re not familiar with Sun Country on the Murrary, let’s get you two acquainted. Less than three hours from Melbourne you’ll find a collection of towns along the Murray River, bejewelled with picturesque national parks, the best cider you will ever taste and our state’s largest inland beach. Yep, we’re for reals.

Consider this your perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature in all of its Australiana glory. Full days of inland beaching and national park trekking certainly makes for thirsty work, but that’s nothing top-class ciders created by a local brewery won’t fix. Welcome to Sun Country on the Murray. Salute!

Eat and Drink

Cape Horn Vineyard and Riverside Bar

Wine tastings, wood fired pizza and a cheese platter right on the banks of the Murray River? Cape Horn Vineyard and Riverside Bar is every bit as tranquil as it sounds. And we haven’t even gotten to the best part. You can stay in the vineyard villa! The two storey, five bedroom, open plan living space with a fully equipped kitchen is yours for the taking. It’s complete with Murray River views and is also fitted with an indoor Jacuzzi.

If you don’t decide to book out the villa (rookie mistake), grab a glass of wine from the bar and simmer down at one of their live music events.

Manto Fresh Produce

All this Sun Country on the Murrary roadtrippin’ will definitely have you craving a juicy pit stop along the way. Enter: Manto Fresh Produce. Much of their fruit is grown on-site and picked from their stunning orchards with the best clingstone peaches in the region and a wide range of nectarines, apricots and apples, all ready to be demolished come mid-November. Our pro tip: plan ahead and pre-order a box (or two) of their mixed fruit. $18 for a box of pure goodness is a small price that we’re sure as hell willing to pay.

Byramine Homestead and Brewery

Zesty. Lemon lime. Cider. Yep, now we’ve got your attention. Byramine Homestead and it’s adjacent Cider House is the perfect spot to sip on a variety of brews, all made at their on-site brewery. Our favourite is the Quinn’s Poison (and it’s the locals’ go-to choice!), but you’ll wanna meet her mates Remi’s Remedy and Sage’s Syrup. It’d be rude not to.

Rich Glen Olive Oil Estate

We’ve got the in on where you can find the finest cold pressed extra virgin Australian olive oils on the market. Look no further than Rich Glen Olive Oil Estate.

Their homemade products are endless; olive leaf tea, salad dressings and dukkah (Spiced Moroccan, Macadamia and Myrtle, Pistachio and Wasabi Peas, just to name a few.) There’s even pear, honey and vanilla bean jam. Taste tests are a thing, and we are forever thankful.

But that’s not all; there’s also an inedible product range that extends far beyond your taste buds with natural skincare products, aromatherapy candles and more, all made on-site.

Café 3641

This 1880’s Victorian-style home turned cuter than your average café is perfect for a sit down meal or a light snack. There’s homemade lasagne, pies and more to choose from, along with a range of side salads (because balance), all made from locally sourced produce.

Plan your trip wisely as Café 3641 hosts a 14-course high tea on the last Sunday of every month and you best believe that it needs to be booked in advance.

Play

Teepee Picnic Breakfast at Wakiti Creek Resort

So. Much. Room. For. Activities. Located just thirty minutes from Echuca by car, Wakiti Creek Resort is home to a collection of traditional teepees just waiting for you to move in. Each teepee is fully lit, has a raised wooden floor and can sleep up to six of your favourite peeps.

Want a hot tip? To make the most of your stay, take the not too short/not too long one kilometre Wattle-adorned bush walk by Wakiti Creek. Bring some snacks, friends and pick a spot along the creek’s edge to soak up all the nature.

Kayaking at Barmah National Park

Barmah National Park’s Murray River location will make you forget everything you thought about rivers. It’s also home to the largest crop of River Red Gums in the world, because you know, the ‘gram. And the park’s biggest drawcard? You can rent kayaks and canoes from the legends at River Country Adventours to make full use of the glorious Murray River.

Cactus Country

Ok, we know we said Sun Country on the Murray, but if you’re riding the massive green thumb trend at the moment, may we welcome you to Cactus Country. With over 4000 species of cacti and succulents, feel free to lose your collective minds.

There is even a Mexican Restaurant and Bar where you can try a slice of their famous cactus cake. While you’re at it, we recommend grabbing a block of the cactus chocolate to go.

Thompsons Beach

Summer = beach, we get it. But not everybody knows that Victoria is home to Australia’s largest inland beach, and there’s a spot on the shore with your name on it. Located just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Cobram, you’ll find the ultimate gumtree-filled, beach getaway and it’s even dog friendly. Is this real life?! All you’ve got to do is pack your swimmers, book in one hand and a snack from the beach kiosk, Ku de' TA Cobram — happy days.

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Murray Region Tourism and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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