There’s more to Deni than a world-famous ute muster, much more! To be perfectly honest, we had no idea to expect of Deniliquin and we were definitely taken by surprise. We had the image in our heads of a lot of farmland, a lot of utes and not much else. But we couldn’t’ have been more wrong. Deni is like an Aussie outback oasis, with the gorgeous Edward River flowing through town.
Also, its only 3.5 hours’ drive from Melbourne, so what are you waiting for, start planning a weekend away! Although the town is known for all its river-based activities, there’s loads more of Deni to explore!
Oh, and if you’re still wondering what a ‘ute muster’ is, it’s a yearly music event bringing people and their utility vehicles from all over the country. In fact, it holds the Guinness world record for the most utes in one place at one time, a mighty feat!
Where is Deniliquin?
Deniliquin is located just roughly 3.5 hours (275km) north of Melbourne. It sits in NSW not far from the border with Victoria. To be honest we had no idea it was such a short distance for Melbournians to drive interstate!
A Day in Deni
Beach to Beach Walk and the Island Sanctuary
What better way to get the blood flowing and clear the head than going for a walk along the picturesque Edward River. The track winds its way through a forest of river red gums along the river from McLean’s to Willoughby’s beach. These seriously are beaches on the banks of the river, sand and all! We still can’t believe it and would love to spend a week hanging out on them! This walk goes through the centre of town, so maybe stop off for a coffee before continuing on your walk!
Along the walk you will pass through the 4 hectare ‘island sanctuary’, this is a protected section of bushland with an abundance of flora and fauna. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a kangaroo or one of the 100 or so varieties of birds that frequent the area!
Peppin Heritage Centre and the Mosaic Ute
After getting a feel for the town and its river, why not check out the Peppin Heritage Centre. This centre is both the Visitor Information Centre and a museum filled with various exhibits and experiences. It’s often host to travelling exhibitions throughout the year so be sure to check out what’s on display! There are a few permanent exhibits that are really cool like a recreated classroom in the original school building, the Deniliquin Gaol and reconstructed ram shed from the 1860’s.
The friendly staff in the centre will be able to help you with all things Deni so make sure to pick their brains for info! Additionally, the centre sells a variety of local goods and produce which is all absolutely delicious and a testament to the locals!
A super cool thing right next to the centre is the Mosaic Ute sculpture. This original EH Holden Ute was covered in mosaic tiles in 2008 and is a vibrant reminder of this town’s affinity with utes! We hear they are in the process of updating this with a new one, so we are keen to see what they come up with!! Around the corner you’ll also spot a ute perched up high on a pole, quite an interesting sight to say the least!
Mountain Bike Trails (and free hire!)
Whilst at the Peppin Heritage Centre, make sure to take advantage of their free mountain bike hire and take to their newly created mountain bike trails! If there weren’t already enough adventure activities here with all the river activities, Deni stepped up the game by creating this epic 12km network of bike trails. Ride into the Murray Valley Regional Park and feel the rush of the curves, dips and log rollovers as you go cross country through the bush. It’s mostly flat with some gentle hills, so perfect for people of all levels of fitness or biking ability!
Keeping with the natural vibe of the area, these trails actually follow the original kangaroo tracks, so there has been minimal destruction. Whilst your riding there’s a good chance you’ll see some eastern grey kangaroos and if you are lucky maybe even a goanna!
Picnic in Waring Gardens
The Waring Gardens is located right in the middle of town and is a luscious oasis of greenery surrounding some of the towns chain of lagoons. It’s the perfect spot to find a corner all to yourself, throw down a picnic rug and relax with a bite to eat.
These gardens date back to 1881 and as such have some magnificent shady trees such as Moreton bay figs, palms and willows. We set up for our picnic right on the water’s edge beside the footbridge, whilst there Ollie had his first duck feeding experience. If it was up to him, he would have stayed all afternoon and thrown all our food to them!!
Check out some of the famous sheep and cotton crops
You couldn’t come to Deniliquin and not check out at least one of the local farms that the area is famous for! Driving around Deni you’ll be amazed at the sheer scale of the seamlessly never-ending paddocks, filled with livestock or crops. This area, also known as the Riverina region, is famous for its Peppin Merino sheep and regarded one of the best wool-growing regions in Australia.
In addition to providing a lot of wool to the market, the area is also renowned for its multitude of cotton crops. We had never seen a cotton crop and were in awe of the stretches of fluffy white balls, it was as-if you had landed on a cloud! What amazed us is how such a water intensive plant can grow in such a dry area. When we visited a farm we were stunned by the enormous irrigation channel distribution and reuse system that flows between the paddocks, quite an amazing feat!
Just driving around you’ll come to truly appreciate the area and the reason it thrives as an agricultural region of Australia.
Hay Plains for sunset and stargazing
For an epic evening sunset drive out past Wanganella and you will notice the landscape dramatically change. This area known as the ‘Hay Plains’ is some of the flattest plains on earth and you can see the horizon in all directions. It’s a totally bizarre feeling and when you’re driving along seems like you may just fall off the edge of the earth! The barren landscape is populated by saltbush and the odd tree dotted around, giving off a really deserted vibe. You’ll feel like, and probably are, the only people out there! Watching the sunset go down here was absolutely incredible and the colours were out of this world! Afterwards once dark, the sky lit up with the most stars we have ever set eyes upon, definitely a must see as there is no light pollution whatsoever affecting visibility.
Where to stay in Deniliquin?
To save you the serious struggles of searching for the best accommodation options Deniliquin, we have compiled a list of them for you, simply click the property name to be taken to their booking page.
Please note these are affiliate links, which means you’re getting the cheapest price possible, however booking.com provide us a small commission for pointing you in their direction.
BIG4 Deniliquin Holiday Park
This is where we stayed and it is the ultimate choice for families, couples or really anyone! Its located right on the river and a lot of the rooms have an insane view directly over it. Aside from this the facilities here are second to none, they even have a water park and mini golf! They’re also the crew who offer pontoon hire, which is a must do!
Cottages on Edward
These lovely cottages have a quaint charm to them and they are set on the bank of the Edward River. The property offers a welcome cheese platter, breakfast baskets and barbecue facilities.
Located in the heart of Deni just one minute from the town centre this recently refurbished establishment is the best rated motel in the area.
This article was produced in partnership with Visit Deni.
For more information on Deni you should check out the absolute wealth of knowledge on the area at Visit Deni.