14 Best Things To Do In Mildura: Tons Of Fun

Going on a Mildura trip and want to know all the best things to do in Mildura Victoria? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to all the best Mildura attractions to plan your ultimate trip.

Sunny Mildura is a great place to head on a Victoria adventure. It has everything you want from a Murray River town – paddle steamer trips, water activities like canoeing and fishing – as well as some great dining options, art deco buildings and some of the best weather in Victoria.

On the edge of the Outback and close to both the NSW and South Australian borders, it can also be the perfect stopping point on your way further afield with plenty to do and some great accommodation options.

Mildura

We love visiting Mildura for something a bit different without having to go too far from our home in Melbourne – and as a stopping point on our way to an Outback adventure. The warmer weather, the pretty Murray Riverfront area and the varied attractions make it a great destination for your holiday.

Below, you will find everything you need to know about the best Mildura tourist attractions, the best activities in Mildura for families, as well as the best places to visit in Mildura for your ultimate holiday!! There is also a handy map of all the best things to see in Mildura Victoria.

Top 14 Best Things To Do In Mildura

Here are the fun things to do in Mildura. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.

Explore Mildura Arts Centre & Rio Vista Historic House

Mildura Arts Centre
Mildura Arts Centre

One of the top things to do Mildura offers is the Mildura Arts Centre and Rio Vista Historic House. We stopped here first on our Mildura adventure and it is the perfect place to get an introduction to the area.

First of all, the Mildura Arts Centre and Rio Vista Historic House are connected buildings – one new and one (the Rio Vista Historic House) was one of the first buildings in the area. It was built by brothers George and William Chaffey who arrived in Mildura in 1886 where they established the first irrigation system in 1886. They started construction on the house in 1889.

Rio Vista Historic House Mildura
Rio Vista Historic House

Today, the Rio Vista Historic House has been restored to its former glory and you can wander through the house with information sheets checking out the furnished home. What we liked best is the video that discusses the history of the home and its original owners which really tells some of the early colonial history of the area.

On the basement level of the house and in the arts centre are five galleries as well as a performing arts theatre. The galleries feature a range of exhibits which is always changing from local artists to one much further afield.

The best news is that this is also one of the things to do in Mildura for free – that’s right, you can wander both the historic house and the galleries for free. There is also a cafe on-site.

Stroll Along The Mildura Riverfront

Mildura Riverfront
Mildura Riverfront

The prettiest part of Mildura is definitely by the Murray River. It can feel like you are a world away from the centre of town rather than just a few blocks with the riverfront area being lower than the rest of the town which hides it from view. Visiting the Murray River is definitely one of the Mildura places to visit which is essential!

We liked exploring near Lock 11 (more below) and the Arts Centre. There is much parkland and some very pretty views as well as the occasional paddle steamer steaming past. It’s a great place for a stroll and to really take in your location.

Likewise, the area further along where the Mildura Water Play Park is located is also a great stopping part with an eating option and playground as well.

Wherever you visit by the river will be worth your time!

Check Out The Well-Engineered Lock 11 And Mildura Weir

Lock 11 Mildura
Lock 11

Navigating the Murray River hasn’t always been as simple as it is today. Years before, the river would ebb and flow, sometimes drying up completely or flooding its banks. This unreliability caused problems for early settlers who were relying on the river for transporting their cargoes of wheat, grapes and wool to markets.

In 1914, the Commonwealth, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australian governments signed an agreement to build locks, weirs and storage areas, and by 1923 construction of the Mildura Weir had commenced. Aiming to raise both the water level and the pressure from the Mildura and Red Cliffs irrigation pumps, the completion of the weir was quickly followed by the construction of Lock 11 in 1927.

Today, this epic weir comprises of 24 steel trestles that individually weigh 11 tonnes! Yet modern technology permits the weir to be almost magically winched from the river allowing flood flow to pass when needed. The weir pool holds a mammoth 36,200 megalitres of water. Yet more proof that Australians’ don’t do things by small scale!

Mildura Weir
Mildura Weir

Lock 11 is a chamber with four steel lock gates, fed by two tunnels that fill with 4.5 megalitres of water as needed. And it’s needed often, as the Paddle Steamer Melbourne alone passes through the lock up to 1,000 times a year! Plus there’s an increasing number of houseboats, paddle boats, tourist cruises and private boats that keep Lock 11 rather busy.

Mildura Weir and Lock 11 are unique by being the only site on the River Murray where the lock and weir are separated by an island. Visitors can access this 15 hectare bushland island, home to a surprising amount of native wildlife. You can cast your rod downstream of the weir, as ample fishing opportunities include perch, carp and bream. Or do as the majority do, and simply relax and watch the passing boats – over 3,000-5,000 vessels pass through each year – whilst admiring one of man’s most creative inventions at work!

Take A Paddle Steamer Along The Murray River

Paddle steamers along Murray River
Paddle steamers along Murray River

Paddle steamers have been on the Murray River for many a year – in fact it was 1853 when William Randell launched the first steamer, the P.S. Mary Ann.  Fast-forward more than 160 years and today you can still enjoy a pleasant ride on this historic form of travel.

Australia has the largest collection of active paddle steamers in the world, with a large number of these offering a fabulous way to experience the Murray River and a bygone era.  The iconic P.S. Melbourne, built in 1912, is the only steam-powered boat still in action – with other vessels having been converted to Paddle Boats running on diesel power.

One of Australia’s most picturesque and diverse regions, there’s simply nothing more relaxing than meandering the Murray River by paddle steamer.  It’s our top pick of things to do at Mildura and great fun, thus also our top pick of things to do with kids in Mildura.

Paddle Steamer Melbourne travels downstream through Lock 11, bypassing the weir across the river.  A live commentary keeps you engaged, which explains the history, fauna and flora of the region, along with highlighting some of the vessels that once cruised on the river carrying wood, mail, or transporting fruit and supplies.

You’ll see the fireman fire the boiler, and see the old engine that drives the massive gears of the paddlewheels as the steam flows from the large funnel over your heads.

A refreshing lunch is provided – nothing too fancy, with sandwiches and cakes – along with cool drinks.  The vessel is also fully licenced if you fancy something stronger!   And the Melbourne cruises twice a day, departing from Mildura Wharf.

There are many alternative vessel options, such as P.S. Mundoo – the most recently built paddle vessel that has dining facilities for up to 180 guests.  Or choose P.V. Rothbury for a journey upstream on what is one of the fastest paddle boats on the river.  Their day cruise takes you to Trentham Estate Winery or you can take a dinner cruise where majestic river red gums are reflected in the calm evening waters.

All depart from Mildura Wharf.

Have Fun At Mildura Water Play Park

Mildura Water Play Park
Mildura Water Play Park

If you have kids under 10, you won’t want to miss the Mildura Water Play Park. This fun water play area has shallow “streams” to play in along with other fun water toys and spraying water. On a hot day, it’s perfect!

Right by the river, this is also a nice place to have a picnic, explore or to play on the dry playground as well. There is an eating option here as well as the riverfront walk.

Tour And Taste Fresh Oranges At Orange World

Orange World Mildura
Orange World

Orange World was one of our favourite Mildura things to do and see. Located over the river in NSW, it’s just a short drive to this 50-acre orange and mandarin farm.

There is a small cafe on shop on-site which anyone can visit. However, I recommend you come for one of the one-hour tours that run a few times a day.

The tour is fun and informative. It starts with about a ten-minute presentation in a shed next to the shop with an introduction to the farm, the oranges and a demonstration of the orange sorting machine. The rest of the tour is on a tractor pulled train around the farm.

Orange World tour
Tour around the farm on a tractor pulled train

We saw many of the plants and learned a lot about the oranges, mandarins and avocados on the farm as well as running a farm, fruit picking and more.

It was a good pace and the guide was great at making it fun. I did this tour with my 9 year old and it worked well for his age as well. We especially enjoyed the glass of freshly squeezed orange juice at the end.

Find more information on visiting here.

Smell The Roses At Australian Inland Botanic Gardens

Australian Inland Botanic Gardens
Australian Inland Botanic Gardens

Located close to Orange World, the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens is definitely one of the top 10 things to do in Mildura.

Unique among botanic gardens I have visited, this semi-arid botanic gardens isn’t all manicured lawns and gardens. While there are some great garden areas (like the Rose Garden), there’s also plenty of the red dirt and scrub this area is famous for. It makes for an interesting place to explore, especially the gardens showcasing local varieties.

There’s also a Children’s Garden with play equipment made from recycled materials, some by school kids. On-site is also a coffee shop with gifts and cards.

Entry to the gardens is free.

Taste Some Local Wines At Trentham Estate

Trentham Estate, a family-owned boutique winery that’s set on the picturesque banks of the Murray River at Trentham Cliffs, spans over 60 hectares.  Vineyard varieties include Verdejo, Taminga, Chardonnay and Shiraz, alongside newer options such as Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Maestri and Nebbiolo.

It all started over a hundred years ago, when Irish immigrant John Murphy laid plans for the family lands.  Yet it took over 50 years before the first vines flourished, nurtured by water from the adjacent Murray River.

Only 15 minutes from Mildura by road, a visit to the Estate is often included in Murray River cruises.  Yet regardless of how you arrive at the Estate you’ll be met with panoramic views of the river, a pretty alfresco restaurant and a wonderful calm ambience.

The cosy Cellar Door Trentham – open 7 days a week – offers tastings and sales of its vast wine range that has something to please most tastes.  You’ll enjoy classic, rounded styles through to award-winning varieties.

If you have the time, we strongly suggest staying for lunch as the restaurant has gorgeous river views and tasty fresh modern menu choices that change depending on the local produce.

Open for lunch only Wednesday-Sunday (midday-3pm).  Fine wines, great food and a wonderful relaxed atmosphere make this one of the best things to see and do in Mildura, so don’t miss Trentham Estate!

Eat And Shop At Langtree Avenue

Langtree Avenue Mildura

Known as the “living heart of Mildura”, Langtree Avenue is the main road that cuts through the town.

Most people start exploring at No.7, the Grand Hotel that occupies an entire city block!  Once known as the Coffee Palace, the hotel dates back to the earliest days of the settlement.

Discover the historical photos just inside and to the right of the main entrance, before proceeding through the glass doors to see one of Mildura’s original Chaffey fountains taking pride of place in the rose gardens.

“Our intention is to have no hotels at Mildura where liquor can be sold to be drunk on the premises”, said WB Chaffey in 1887!  Part of the Chaffey brothers’ vision for Mildura was to be a place without an ingrained drinking culture to distract working men.  Hence the building’s original name…

Back on Langtree Avenue, you’ll pass on your left some of the town’s iconic restaurants.  Spanish Bar and Grill, Seasons, and Stefano Cellar’s to name but a few.  In fact, this part of Langtree Avenue is often known as Feast Street thanks to the vast array of restaurants to choose from!

Moving on, make your way to the Mildura Brewery that has a wonderful old photo that shows the strength of a Mallee dust storm.  The building was also originally an old cinema in the 1920’s and renovations have preserved some of the old parts.

Opposite the brewery is the Telephone Exchange, once an open air cinema.  1910 was the year of construction, thus epics from the silent-movies were once featured here.  Moving on, you’ll come to the corner of 8th and Langtree. Two places to discover here – the 1920’s clock tower on the T&G building, along with Mildura’s bakery, Hudaks.

Shillidays Mall is opposite Hudaks, and this is another great place to discover – take a walk through the mall to see many historic points of interest.

And finally you’ll come to the Sacred Heart Peace Memorial Roman Catholic Church and check out the adjacent St Joseph’s College with a 1896 wooden structure (relocated from Pine Avenue).

Other sites along Langtree Avenue include Mildura Public Offices, Mildura Fire Station, and Banjo’s Bakery which was once the location of the town’s first resident dentist.

Once you’ve had your fill of searching out the history of Langtree and enjoyed some great food, hit up Langtree Mall.  Once full of shops specialising in fashion, sports & outdoor activities, plus a large supermarket and department store, book shops, bridal and jewelry stores… The mall seems to be slowly closing down.

If so, move on to Mildura Central – a shopping centre at the other side of the town that regularly promotes special events and things to do in Mildura this weekend.

See The Amazing Views At Mungo National Park

Mungo National Park
Mungo National Park

Open all year round, Mungo is a world heritage national park that’s an epic Australian adventure!

Rich in Aboriginal history, you can explore this ancient Park at the heart of NSW’s Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area. It’s just 120km from Mildura. Famous for Mungo Lady and Mungo Man – found at the shores of Lake Mungo and who had been buried for more than 42,000 years – plus 20,000-year old fossil human footprints, they together form a story of First Australians’ long history.

Mungo is perhaps like nowhere else in Australia, resembling an almost Mars-like landscape. Hike, bike and drive around this World Heritage Site to really see the most of the Aboriginal culture and unique landscapes.

Guided tours run most days, heading out to the Walls of China – one of the most spectacular outback landscapes in NSW. Running for 33km, this mind blowing chain of white dunes once surrounded Lake Mungo, dry for over 14,000 years. Taking almost 2 hours and covering 2.5km, the walk is suitable for all ages with medium fitness and is best enjoyed at sunset.

And there are many other tours, from one-day to five-day, that let you immerse yourself in this big-blue sky country, travel by 4WD, or delve more into the historical significance of the archaeological treasures such as tools, animal bones, human skeletal material, all the while pondering what still lies undiscovered. Things to do around Mildura don’t come much better than this!

Surprisingly for such a barren landscape, there’s an abundance of wildlife with kangaroo and emu populations thriving. Pink cockatoos fill the air with their hoots and tweets, flocking in their hundreds. And there’s some fabulous bird watching picnic spots set up around the Park near to walking tracks which are ideal places to relax to enjoy Mungo’s unusual scenery.

There are two entry points – South and Top Hut Road – and parking available at the Mungo Visitor Centre. And do note that flying drones is not permitted without written permission from the park.

Undoubtedly one of the world’s most special places, Mungo is one of the oldest places outside of Africa to have been occupied by modern humans since ancient times. Don’t miss a day out  at this fabulous Heritage Park as it truly is one of the most unique things to do in Mildura and surrounds.

Go Back In Time At Mildura Holden Motor Museum

Mildura Holden Motor Museum
Mildura Holden Motor Museum

Take a trip down memory lane at the Holden Motor Museum, honouring Australia’s unique car culture from the 1950s to modern day.  One man’s obsession has resulted in a wonderful showcase of Holden vehicles, once the market leader in Australia that sold out competitors by two to one!

By the end of the 1950’s over 500,000 Holden’s had been produced, and the introduction of the 1963 EH model became the fastest selling Australian car.  In the 70’s, the star of the decade was the Holden Commodore which became a national icon and was the start of a 14-model series that spanned the following 30 years.  Legendary status had been reached!

Mildura’s very own museum dedicated to Holden’s is thanks to Mr Ron Morello, who created this wonderful showcase of around 35 automobiles.  Starting from the first model made through to current models, and with informative displays relating the history of the manufacturing and model details, you can easily spend an hour or so in this nostalgic museum. There’s a little cafe onsite, perfect for a hot or cold drink and sweet treat.

Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9.30am-4pm, @ 58 West Road Buronga – less than 10 minutes from the centre of town.

Hike, Explore And Admire The Sunset At Merbein Common

Merbein Common
Merbein Common

Looking for an afternoon lost in nature, enjoying peaceful bushland and river views?  Head off to Merbein Common, a floodplain reserve nestled in a bend of the Murray River just north-west of Mildura and another top pick of things to do near Mildura.

You’ll find wetlands such as Cowanna Billabong, and unusual landscapes filled with River Red Gum and Black Box forests.  Birdlife is prolific, with sightings of pacific black duck, crested pigeon, cockatoos, parrots, honeyeaters, silver gull and Australasian darter to name but a few!

Facilities for fishing, cycling and canoeing are currently being improved on, and you’ll find designated swimming spots that make a visit here great if you’re looking for things for kids to do in Mildura.  There’s a few river bank sandy areas with a couple of small beaches but the main appeal is the quiet peaceful air of the place, with usually only a handful of visitors camping at the free riverside camp or exploring the bushlands.

It can be a little hard to find along dirt tracks.  From Mildura travel north-west on Ranfurly Way, right at Chaffey Park to the Mildara-Blass Winery, left on the Wentworth Road, right into Merbein Common, then follow the tracks to the river.  And time your visit well, as the area can be boggy when wet.

Enjoy A Mini Golf Game At The Putt Putt Family Fun Centre

Putt Putt Family Fun Centre
Putt Putt Family Fun Centre

Looking for things to do in Mildura for kids?   Look no further as it’s time for some fun at the Mildura Putt Putt!

Putt Putt Family Fun Centre

A great family entertainment venue with an 18-hole Putt Putt Golf Course, dodgem cars, laughing clowns, air hockey, pool table and a myriad of arcade games, this is your one-stop entertainment complex.  Let the family rivalry commence at this fun pick of things to do in Mildura a night!

Drink At The Fossey’s Ginporium And Whisky Distillery

Fossey’s Ginporium And Whisky Distillery
Fossey’s Ginporium And Whisky Distillery

One for the adults now and our top pick of things to do in Mildura for couples.  A landmark in Mildura, the complex known as The Setts on 8th Street is the venue of a family-owned boutique gin distillery and tasting room.

Ready for a little tipple?  Enjoy some of Fossey’s artisanal infused gins such as imaginatively named Rose Petal, Hot Cross Bun, Gin Toddy and even Christmas Pudding. Plus there’s single malt whiskey for those with a more refined palate!

And if you’re interested to learn more about the Ginporium, try to drop by on a Thursday afternoon as they present the ins-and-outs of distilling gin and whiskey. …followed by the obligatory tasting paddle where you can try to discern the different infusions.

Mildura Things To Do Map

Best Things To Do In Mildura map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

Best Place To Stay In Mildura

When it comes to where to stay in Mildura, there are some great options from roadside motels to great hotels and holiday parks. No matter what your budget, your holiday style or who you are travelling with, there are some great options, but note that they can become booked out in holiday periods so book ahead.

Below I’ve listed a few different places to consider including a budget, mid-range and more expensive option.

BEST – Mercure Hotel Mildura Review

Our top pick for your stay in Mildura, the Mercure Hotel offers contemporary accommodation near to the famous Murray River. Just 250 metres from the shopping and dining venues of Langtree Avenue and a 5 minute walk from Mildura Railway Station, the hotel holds a prime location in the town.

Sporting an 80-year old heritage facade and tower, the hotel boasts a wonderful blend of old and new, with a modern interior. All 68 of the guest rooms come with modern furnishings, including air-conditioning as standard.

Stream Netflix on your flat-screen television and enjoy complimentary amenities in the ensuite bathrooms provided across all categories. Accommodation types include Superior with Spa Bath, Standard Queen Room, and One or Two-Bedroom Apartments.

The hotel has a large outdoor swimming pool, with sun loungers and shaded seating areas. And the onsite restaurant provides Continental, Vegetarian or Gluten-free breakfasts. There’s free parking and free WiFi is provided throughout the hotel, plus there’s a 24-hour reception on hand to assist with arrival, departure or activities arrangement.

Click here for the latest prices.

MID-RANGE –  All Seasons Mildura Holiday Park Review

All Seasons Mildura Holiday Park

If you’re looking for family fun, the All Seasons Mildura Holiday Park can definitely not be beat!

Our favourite part of this option is definitely the facilities. The kids Splash Water Park is amazing. My kids could spend all day there. You can see it in the video below!

There’s also a swimming pool with toddler pool and small toddler play area, a playground, jumping pillow, games room, pedal karts, basketball, totem tennis, a pump track perfect for bikes and scooters… Did I mention this place is great for families?!

For campers, there’s also the usual amenity block and camp kitchen and everyone will appreciate the coin-operated laundry and free wifi – although we did have problems connecting to it.

With a range of accommodation choices from 3 bedroom cabins and new 2 bedroom villas to camping sites, there is something for everyone.

All Seasons Mildura Holiday Park playground

We stayed in a deluxe cabin which came with a full kitchen, living and dining area, bathroom and two bedrooms. This is a cheaper option and it shows – there were some maintenance issues and the cabin looked well used despite their site saying they were renovated only 7 months before. For the price, it was still good value, although I would recommend one of the many other options, like the two-bedroom villa units which look new and stunning.

Still, even if you stay in our “deluxe” cabin, I’m sure the facilities will more than make up for any shortcomings! We had so much fun here.

Click here for the latest prices.

BUDGET – Sandors Motor Inn Review

This inner-city motel is set in lush tropical gardens and is a budget accommodation option in Mildura.

Located directly opposite the Mildura Tourist Information Centre and Mildura Waves Aquatic and Leisure Centre, you’ll also find many restaurants, cafes and shops within walking distance.  Just a 5-minute drive to the banks of the Murray River and 10-minutes from the Mildura Airport, the Inn is well placed for all your needs!

Room types stretch from Standard to Deluxe and Family, all with air-conditioning and complimentary tea/coffee making facilities and flat-screen television.  You’ll find a complimentary guest laundry and free WiFi.  Bookings, except for Sundays, come with a complimentary continental breakfast and there’s BBQ facilities provided for lazy afternoons in the peaceful gardens.

For the more active guests, there’s an outdoor swimming pool and separate children’s pool.  With free parking, clean and comfortable rooms (recently refurbished), we think you’ll be pleasantly pleased with Sandors Motor Inn!

Click here for the latest prices.

How To Get To Mildura

It’s easy to get to Mildura by plane, bus, train or car. If you have your own car, great! You are good to go. It takes about 6 hours by car on the Calder Highway via Bendigo. From Adelaide, it takes about four hours and 20 minutes by car.

You can hire a car for the journey by clicking here.

From Melbourne, you can take a 1 hour and 20 minute flight via QantasLink or Rex. There’s also a direct flight most days from Sydney as well as a couple of flights a week from Adelaide.

To see all the latest flights and prices, click here.

On public transport, there are buses and trains from Melbourne and other areas in Victoria. A bus from Melbourne takes around 9 hours while a train can take around 7.5 hours usually with a change in Bendigo.

You can check your options here.

You can read our full guide to travelling between Mildura and Broken Hill here (which is where we headed next and highly recommended!).

Things To Do In Mildura For Families

Children's Garden at the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens
Children’s Garden at the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens

Mildura is a great place to visit with kids. With plenty of sunshine and a range of family things to do in Mildura Vic, your holiday has a great chance of being a roaring success.

I visited Mildura with my 9 year old and visited many kids activities Mildura with him. He especially liked Orange World and the Water Play Park. A paddle steamer ride is always a win as well!

Really, everything in the list makes for great things to do in Mildura with kids – just leave the wine and gin tasting to the adults though 🙂

The All Seasons Holiday Park is great for families – very few accommodation options in Australia have such a great array of kid-focused facilities and it’s tons of fun.

Final Words

Sunset over Murray River in Mildura
Sunset over Murray River in Mildura

Mildura is a great place to visit in Victoria. With a great range of things to see and do around Mildura, it’s hard to go wrong and we enjoyed the unique attractions like Orange World and the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens. The Murray Riverfront area is pretty and worth some time and if you can go further afield and take in attractions like the Mungo National Park, you won’t be sorry.

Add in the warmer weather and sunshine and Mildura is definitely worth your holiday time!

I hope you enjoyed this guide to the top things to do in Mildura Australia. Read more Australian travel guides here.