Albury : The Jewel of New South Wales

Albury : The Jewel of New South Wales

The city of Albury is a vibrant inner city in the state of New South Wales in Australia. It is located on the Hume Highway almost at the midway point between the state’s capital, Sydney and Melbourne in the neighboring state of Victoria. It is a state border town only separated from its sister city of Wodonga in Victoria by the mighty Murray River. The two cities combine to form a vibrant urban area with a population of around 100,000 people. The city has a rich history and a variety of attractions where locals and visitors can relax, unwind, and explore.

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Albury : The Jewel of New South Wales

1. Albury Botanic Gardens

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The Albury Botanic Gardens were opened in 1877 by Alderman William Jones, the city mayor at the time, and have since then been a popular attraction to residents and tourists alike. The gardens sit on a four-hectare site which features over 1,000 native and exotic plant species within colorful gardens. The award-winning gardens can be reserved for weddings and other public functions. The gardens are among the most visited outdoor attractions in the whole of Australia, and rightly so. It is an ideal location for a family outing especially with the recent addition of the Children’s Garden, a fully fenced interactive play space with a variety of fun activities that the little ones will love.

2. Albury Station

The Albury Railway Station is one of the most magnificent buildings of its kind in Australia. It was opened in the late 19th Century and is still in operation being the last stop before the Victoria/New South Wales state border. It is housed in a grand Victorian building, designed by John Whitton. Since its opening in 1882, the station has been a symbol of pride in the state and it was listed as a State Heritage Site in 1999. Its most exceptional feature is the 455-meter long platform built to service two full-length trains. Before 1962, the two adjacent states operated different railway gauge lines and passengers and goods had to change trains at the station. It is a truly nostalgic place that is definitely worth a visit while in Albury.

3. Hume Dam and Lake

The Hume Dam is the major source of water supply for the region as well as being a source of hydro-electric power. It was built from 1919 to 1936 and was at the time the largest of its kind in the world. The Hume Reservoir is also known as Lake Hume, and it is a sight to behold. The lake is a haven for recreational watersports and fishing. There are various viewing platforms where one gets spectacular views of the lake and River Murray as well as the surrounding countryside. A walk along the 1.6-kilometer long dam wall is a memorable experience as one admires the beauty of the dam and the lake.

4. Monument Hill

The Monument Hill in Albury is a War Memorial dedicated to the men and women who served in World War One. It was designed by Louis Harrison in 1923 and built a year later at a cost of 3,000 pounds. The location of the monument atop a hill offers great panoramic views of the city below as well as the surrounding countryside. A short walking distance below the monument is a Memorial Bowl dedicated to the men and women who served in the Second World War. The monument is located within lush greenery with walking paths and trails where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the local flora and fauna.

5. Murray Art Museum Albury

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The Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) is an art museum in the heart of Albury that showcases iconic artwork by artists from the region as well as from beyond. It was initially known as Albury Regional Art Gallery but it was renamed after an extensive refurbishment and expansion program that cost over 10 million dollars. The Museum has 10 galleries spread across two levels covering a combined area of 2036 m². The museum’s collection includes paintings, ceramics, woodcarvings, sculptures, and indigenous artifacts. There is also a contemporary photography collection that was started in 1960 and now comprises of over 600 celebrated works making it the most important of its kind in Australia.

6. Murray River

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The Murray River is the longest river in Australia, iconic in so many ways and a perfect place for a holiday. The river is easily navigable and a haven for houseboats and cruises. Starting from the Snowy Mountains, the river slowly swells into the broad boundary between New South Wales before emptying its waters at Encounter Bay further south. It is a cool natural playground ideal for watersports, camping, river cruises, and fishing. There are many access points to the river within the town with parks, cafes, and playgrounds from where the beauty of the river is best experienced.

7. Albury Library Museum

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The Albury library Museum was opened in 2007 and is famed for its architecture and world-class exhibits. The museum is a superb showcase for international and national exhibitions, and for local works housed in a permanent exhibition. The vast collection includes historical objects, books, film, and oral stories telling the story of the region from the first contact with the indigenous people to the bustling town it is today. The museum’s modern technology coupled with its interactive displays and quality amenities make it an awesome place to learn more about the region and its people.

8. Wagira Trail and Wonga Wetlands

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The Wagira Trail is a splendid place to take a scenic riverside walk along the Murray River. It is about 6.5 kilometers long linking the Wonga Wetlands and the south Albury Trail. The two-meter wide pathway cuts through various riverside parks with many spots where you can enjoy the spectacular views and take beautiful pictures. There are also bikes for hire as the trail and its connecting pathways are a popular cycling venue for locals and tourists alike. Further down the trail is Gateway Island, home to a fascinating art gallery, and also a haven for bird watching. The Yindyamarra Indigenous Sculpture Walk, a trail of sculptures by indigenous artists is also located nearby.

9. Nail Can Hill Reserve

The Nail Can Hill Reserve is an area of protected bushland just west of the city. It is part of the regional crown reserve and features a network of trails and pathways used for bushwalking, running, and bike riding. It is also the venue of the famous Nail Can Hill Run, an 11-kilometer event held annually in May. The Reserve is undoubtedly among the best places to enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends with no shortage of fun activities for all age groups. The reserve is also home to some of the region’s rare flora and fauna making it an educative and fascinating place to visit.

10. Noreuil Park

Noreuil Park is a popular recreational park in Albury situated on the banks of the Murray River. It is a tranquil place to enjoy quality time with friends and family while taking in the beautiful views of the river. You can relax, picnic, play some cricket, or even jump in the river for a swim during the warmer months. The park is also home to the River Deck, the closest café to the river with amazing dishes and an even better view of the river. The Oddies Creek Playspace is a modern fully-fenced playground located nearby that has been a huge hit since its inception. The park’s natural beauty coupled with modern amenities make it a worthy entrant onto any visitor’s itinerary.

◎ Closing

Albury has long been referred to as a stopover destination as travelers stopped there on their journey between Sydney and Melbourne. However, its lush riverside setting, renowned arts scene, and an increase in the variety of attractions has seen the city shed this tag becoming a top destination in the region. The attractiveness of the city is further aided by the friendliness of its residents, a sentiment shared by many visitors to the city. If you are looking for a tranquil place for a vacation with a variety of activities and attractions, Albury is your best bet.