Mildura sits beside the Murray, taking its environmental, social and economic lifeblood from it. This ride celebrates that relationship. Starting from the tranquil setting of the Arts Centre traveling alongside the river past locks, the pioneer settlement, and riverboats, the path finishes at Apex Park. The park is surrounded by state forest that is abundant with animal and birdlife and is also located beside a broad, golden sandbar ideal for swimming and taking in the sun and fishing.
Gravel shared pathway on mostly flat terrain. As with all rides in this area, the weather is kind for all but the hottest days of summer.
This path is popular with both recreational cycling friends and those just out for a walk.
Mildura is 546 kilometers northwest of Melbourne on the Calder Highway. The ride leaves from the car park at Rio Vista Park opposite the Arts Centre on Cureton Avenue. From the Sturt Highway turn left at Seventh Street and right at Chaffey Avenue. VicRoads Map 535:P3.
Food and Drink
There is a café at the Arts Centre and a shop at the caravan park in Apex Park.
At the end of the ride, you can continue on the path for another 3.4-kilometer return trip following the river on a shared track.
The ride commences in the car park across the road from the Mildura Arts Centre, which is approximately one kilometer from the CBD. The center contains a fine art gallery and performing arts theatre. There are regular shows and exhibitions in this vibrant facility. Rio Vista House, with its serene gardens set with sculptures, provides the main setting for the Arts Centre and was the home of the Chaffey brothers who pioneered Mildura in 1886 where they established the first irrigation scheme in Australia.
They originally established themselves at the Old Mildura Homestead, which you pass as you head along the shared pathway, after traversing the river cliff tops. Mildura Station Homestead as it was originally called, was the first Mildura station established by the Jamieson brothers in 1847. It was here that the idea for the irrigation of the colony evolved. The fruit trees around the homestead were watered from the river and the success of this innovation demonstrated the potential for much wider use of the irrigation.
The site consists of the re-created homestead, outbuildings, and wool-shed. Before arriving at the homestead, you should take a detour to get a close view of Lock 11, one of the 13 that enables the river to be navigable right up to Yarrawonga. You may even get to see a vessel go through the locks whilst you are there. Originally the locks were built to allow navigation along the Murray from Blanchetown in South Australia right up to Torrumbarry Weir near Echuca. Today they hold back water for irrigation, but also support the houseboat tourism industry.
Beyond the homestead the path enters the state forest, close beside the river, until you reach Apex Park. The park, with its broad sandbar beach and picnic areas, is the water recreation destination for locals and visitors alike. If you continue on, the path changes to tracks that take you further into the red gum forests. The birdlife here is quite apparent and you will even find mountain ducks perched in the trees beside the river.
- 0.0 Leave the car park opposite the Arts Centre on the path heading north. The path goes down and up a few steps in front of a monument so detour around.
- 0.1 The path winds around back towards the road and follows the road.
- 0.4 You can cross Hugh King Dr or take a short detour to have a close look at the river locks.
- 0.8 Enter the pioneer village via the entrance gates, stop and have a look around and then continue along the path as it follows the riverbank for the rest of the journey. Even when it’s hot there is plenty of shade along the path
- 2.8 The pathway ends in the car park at Apex Park where you turn right onto the road passing the caravan park kiosk,
- 3.2 The ride ends at the car park turn-a-round beside the caravan park.
3.182 km / 1.977 mi
24 m / 77 ft
31 m / 101 ft
50 m / 165 ft