Murray River Adventure Trail
May 2023: Planning and draft design work continuingSubscribe for updates
The Murray Region is one of the most dominant features of the landscape in south-east Australia, with exceptional natural environments and significant Aboriginal cultural heritage. The Murray River is a key tourism destination, famous for diverse experiences including food, wine, boating, camping, riding, canoeing and more.
When fully complete, the Murray River Adventure Trail will encompass a series of connecting walking, cycling and watercraft trails. This new long-distance nature-based experience will run along the river and its banks all the way from Lake Hume in the east, near Wodonga, to Mildura in the west.
New and upgraded trails and a range of other new visitor facilities will be implemented from Barmah National Park (near Picnic Point) to Koondrook as part of Stage One of the trail. The trail will pass through Lower Goulburn National Park, Gunbower National Park, Murray River Reserve and Echuca. This initial iconic section of the trail will deliver vital improvements to priority sections of existing trails and create sections of new trail.
The project will also deliver a series of new kayak launches and small bridge crossings, and new facilities at several key visitor sites, including picnic facilities, car parking and toilets. New signage will help visitors navigate the trail and learn about the rich Aboriginal heritage and environmental values of the river and surrounding landscape. Environmental and cultural heritage assessments will inform exactly where, when and how components of the project are delivered.
As the land manager of most of the land this section of the trail is located on, Parks Victoria will lead the project. Parks Victoria is working closely with Traditional Owners, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and local governments in the area.
In developing the trail network, Parks Victoria will undertake cultural and environmental assessments to ensure that any new sections of trail and visitor infrastructure are best placed to minimise impacts to the landscape.
Stage One of Murray River Adventure Trail
The trail will cater for both day visitors and multi-day trail users and will better connect towns along the river for walking and cycling. Visitors will enjoy river views and an enhanced understanding and appreciation of the rich environmental and cultural landscape they are walking in.
Consolidating and upgrading the walking trail will reduce environmental impacts by keeping walkers on the trail and off sensitive vegetation areas. By improving access to experience the Murray River people will be able to better understand, appreciate and support protection of this environment.
Community and Economy
New nature-based tourism experiences and increased connectivity between towns in the Murray River region will encourage people to visit new locations, extend their stay, boost tourism and support the regional economy.
$10.3 million from Victorian Government Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions to implement the identified priority Victorian sections of the trail.
This is a complex and geographically large-scale project. Subject to on-ground conditions, the outcomes of assessments and construction industry conditions, the following key dates are projected for the project.
Early 2023: planning approvals and detailed design work complete. Early works to commence at identified sites
2024: Completion of priority elements of Stage One of the trail from near Picnic Point in Barmah National Park to Koondrook
Recent flooding has created some delays in planning. This timeline will be updated as the project progresses.
Who we are working with
The Murray Regional Tourism Board, Department of Jobs, Precinct and Regions, and other partners including Traditional Owners, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and local governments including Moira Shire Council, Campaspe Shire Council and Gannawarra Shire Council.
Stay up to date
Parks Victoria will provide updates and information as the project progresses. To stay up to date please register your interest to receive community updates.
As the project progresses this page will be updated regularly. You can also contact us on 13 1963.
Why is the Murray River Adventure Trail being developed?
Despite the natural splendour of the Murray Region, nature-based tourism opportunities are limited. As part of the Murray Region Tourism Destination Management Plan (2012) - commissioned by Murray Regional Tourism - the Murray River Adventure Trail vision was first developed to create new opportunities. This is a high priority project aimed at attracting new visitors to new locations, increasing the length of stay and providing opportunities for adventure tourism operators, leading to new nature-based products and experiences.
How will the environment be managed during the project?
Protecting environmental values is a guiding principle of this project. Of the full land-based trail, less than 22 kilometres of new trail will be created. Extensive environmental assessments will be undertaken to ensure this is done appropriately.
The upgrades planned to existing trail are generally minor and are aimed at making the trail clear and defined to improve safety and reduce environmental impacts by keeping walkers on the trail and off sensitive vegetation areas. In some areas, upgrades will incorporate design features that manage drainage and erosion.
Will people be able to camp along the Murray River Adventure Trail?
There are many locations where people can camp along the Trail or closely connected to it. Free self-selected dispersed camping is permitted in many areas along the Murray River. There are also some designated camping areas and caravan parks. No new camping facilities will be created as part of this project.
How are Aboriginal cultural heritage values being considered?
Working with Traditional owners on cultural heritage protection, interpretation and story-telling will be a core part of the project. Traditional Owner groups have been and will continue to be involved in the development of the project and infrastructure designs. The planning process will also seek to further understand the cultural landscape, which values and sites need protection and associated management plans, and what aspects of the rich culture heritage of the region Traditional Owners would like to share with people undertaking the walk.
What is this next phase for the Murray River Adventure Trail project?
The tender was awarded in March 2022 for planning and design for the Victorian section of the trail from near Picnic Point in Barmah National Park to Koondrook as part of Stage One. Detailed planning, environmental and cultural heritage assessments and design are now underway. As part of this work a comprehensive staging plan will also be developed, outlining the order of works to be delivered at different locations. Recent flooding has created some delays in planning.