Guides

24 Hours In Albury, Australia’s Most Underrated Town

This little regional town is much more than a place to crash.

Albury is often considered a necessary pit-stop for bleary-eyed drivers on their way to Sydney or Melbourne – but this little regional town is much more than a place to crash.

It’s fast becoming one of the best regional towns for a weekend away, with a brand new modern art gallery gracing the centre of town. And, during summer, there’s nothing better than whiling away a day on the banks of the Mighty Murray.

Day 1

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Reflecting Albury’s arty persona, The Atura is kitted out with quirky designer flair. It’s probably the nicest accommodation in Albury (rooms start at $145 per night), but, luckily, this isn’t the big city so you’ll get away with a modern, comfy room for a lot less than you would in most capitals.

Check out the view over Albury from your room – it’s one of the highest buildings in town! But don’t linger too long, because there’s plenty to do in the afternoon.

Lake Hume is home to the famous Hume Dam – but it’s also a favourite spot of Albury locals for water sports like kayaking and jetskiing. If you’d prefer something a little less speedy, you can swim off the sandy beach at Apex Park, known to locals as The Pines. It’s the perfect place for a laidback picnic lunch.

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After you’ve soaked in some summer sun, find respite at Murray Art Museum Albury, or MAMA – Albury’s modern art gallery. Featuring mostly local artists from Albury and the Murray region, the gallery also hosts roving exhibits.

Be sure to take a pic for Instagram with the giant plug in the park out the front, and then head back to Atura for a cheeky arvo vino by the pool.

Now that you’re in proper holiday mode, head upstairs and pop your walking shoes on – you’re about to head out for a sunset sculpture trail. Grab a taxi to the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk, a 5km combined walk and bike trail along the Murray River, which features local Aboriginal artist sculptures.

From a giant picture frame to an ode to the guardians of the forest, it’s the perfect place to watch the sun set over the river. Be sure to bring a torch in case you get caught in the dark, as there’s not much lighting along the path.

Back in town, you can totally bar hop in Albury – we promise. Head to Bistro Selle for drinks and top-shelf bar food like smoked beef tartare, lamb shoulder and octopus with manchego.

Once you’ve had your fill, try the modern, airy rooftop at The Bended Elbow for a nightcap.

Day 2

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One of Albury’s best-kept summer secrets is to grab a floatie, jump in the Murray, and take an extra-long “river float” downstream. Start out at either Waterworks, Mungabareena Reserve or Oddies Creek Park (depending on how long you would like to float for), and you’ll end up in the pretty Noreuil Park just in time for lunch.

BYO floaties (rainbow swan recommended), check the conditions before you go, and be sure to stay safe.

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If you’ve planned it just right, you should arrive at Noreuil Park about midday to grab a seat at the nearby River Deck Cafe – a great spot for lunch with views of the Murray River. How else could you possibly end your weekend in Albury other than with a wagyu cheeseburger or house-cured salmon after a lazy float downstream?

Sounds like heaven to us.

Bianca O’Neill was a guest of Albury-Wodonga Tourism and Atura Hotels.

(Lead image: Rob Blackburn via Destination NSW)