Sunny, sultry Mildura. After crossing windswept deserts and pale-golden wheat fields, it comes as something of a shock to see the miles of fertile vineyards and orchards that thrive is this corner of the state. Mildura (meaning ‘red soil’) is a true oasis: a modern town with its roots firmly in the grand old pastoralist era.
Considering its remote location, Mildura is a remarkably prosperous and progressive city with fun nightlife, decent shopping, art deco buildings (such as Mildura Brewery, Sandbar and T&G Tower) and some of the best dining in provincial Victoria. Thanks to irrigation, this is one of Australia’s richest agricultural areas – it was once a major citrus-growing region and is now the biggest producer of wine in the country. If you’re looking for casual work, this is a popular destination for fruit-pickers and agricultural labour.
Of course, the region makes full use of the Murray so it’s very easy to get out fishing, swimming, canoeing, waterskiing, houseboating, taking a paddle-steamer cruise or playing riverside golf courses. The weather up here is very much blue sky – you can expect warm, sunny days even in midwinter.
Most places of interest are around the riverside wharf and the main boulevard, Deakin Ave, but Mildura sprawls through the suburbs of Red Cliffs and Irymple, and across the river are the towns of Bunerong and Wentworth.