Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
Published October 2nd 2016
Head Up To Family Friendly Shepparton
Shepparton has a rich history which it proudly displays today along with a strong focus on art and culture. What's more, the town has developed a series of family-friendly attractions which will delight parents and children alike. Why not make Shepparton your next family holiday destination, you won't be disappointed.
Victoria Park Lake (Photo from Discover Shepparton Facebook Page)
1. Victoria Park Lake. Covering 43 hectares in the centre of town Victoria Park Lake is an ideal place for family relaxation. Here you will find a café, picnic area, BBQ facilities, walking and cycling paths, expansive lawns and an outdoor swimming pool. The Lake is also a popular fishing and bird watching spot. Explore the area on the 2km Victoria Park Lake Walk or join the parkrun on Saturday mornings.
2.Furphy Museum. Furphy have been operating in Shepparton since 1864 but it was in WWI that the Furphy Water Cart, a water barrel mounted on a horse drawn cart, came into renown. The Furphy Museum is dedicated not only to its namesake water cart but displays the 150-year history of the company which has evolved from a blacksmith and wheelwright into the world class and award winning engineering business it is today.
A Furphy water wagon (Photo from Discover Shepparton Facebook Page)
3.Shepparton Art Museum. The museum has an exhibition program which draws from local, curated and touring exhibitions but its real focus is Australian ceramics for which it has a permanent display. Also on permanent display is the museum's collection of Australian paintings and works on paper.
4.Shepparton Motor Museum. Car enthusiasts this is the place for you. The museum's regularly rotated exhibits of more than 100 vehicles including classic, heritage and muscle cars, motorcycles and vintage bicycles. Also on display are petrol memorabilia, signage and other artefacts relevant to the history of motoring.
Classic Cars (Photo from Shepparton Motor Museum and Collectables Facebook Page)
5.Walking and Cycling. Shepparton and the surrounding towns offer 18 mapped walking trails and 21 cycling trails. Get your exercise in town, in parks and reserves, and in rural landscapes. Comprehensive guides are available.
6. Chocolate Apple Factory. At the Valley Fruit Products orchards around 10kms east of Shepparton, the fruits are transformed into a range of exquisite products. As well as their signature item, fresh apples coated in caramel and topped with chocolate, visitors will be treated to fruit liqueurs, fruit wine, natural fruit juices and other gourmet fruit products.
There's more than chocolate apples here (Photo from the Chocolate Apple Factory Facebook Page)
7.Emerald Bank Adventure Park. Part of the Emerald Bank Leisure Land complex, the park which opens on weekends year round and every day during school holidays is jam packed with all things fun. Children will be entertained with pony rides, a miniature train, a jumping castle, a climbing wall, paddle boats, archery, paddle go karts, farm animals and hay rides.
8.Barclays Antiques and Collectibles. Just one of the businesses at the Emerald Park Leisure Land complex Barclays stocks all things yesteryear and has a range of antiques and reproductions for sale.
The climbing wall at Emerald Bank Adventure Park (Photo from Emerald Bank Leisure Land Facebook Page)
Barclays Antiques and Collectables (Photo from Emerald Bank Leisure Land Facebook Page)
9.SPC Kids Town. This all abilities children's adventure playground is sure to please the younger members of your family and parents too since entry is a meagre gold coin donation. SPC Kids Town is open every day but weekends and holidays are a little special with the running of the miniature train. An onsite café serves drinks and snacks.
10.Mooving Art Shepparton. This ever-changing art exhibition is not gallery based but can be found throughout Shepparton's parks and public spaces. The exhibition consists of over 90 life-sized fibreglass cows each painted with its own unique design. Keep an eye out for these colourful artworks as you move about town.
Mooving Art. (Photo from Greater Shepparton's Mooving Art Facebook Page)
11.Bangerang Cultural Centre. Not just a cultural centre but also a museum Bangerang houses artefacts and artworks from Aboriginal communities across Australia but with a focus on the local community. A series of dioramas depict trade, food gatherings and cultural gatherings.
12.Telstra Tower Observation Deck. The 76 metre tall Shepparton Telstra Tower was completed in 1968. At the 35 metre mark is a public observation deck which is accessed by 160 stairs where visitors are treated to sweeping views across the town and surrounding countryside. The tower had featured a clock above the observation deck since the 1960's but rising maintenance costs led to this being removed in 2014 when it was replaced with Telstra advertising.
A canoe on display (Photo from Bangerang Cultural Centre Facebook Page)
13.Shepparton Heritage Centre. Situated in the historic precinct of old Shepparton the Centre incorporates a heritage cottage, a four gallery museum, and a riverboat wharf built in 1880. The centre also marks the beginning of a walking track along the Goulburn River.
14.Gallery Kaiela. This local not-for-profit Aboriginal Art Gallery displays and sells Aboriginal arts and crafts.
The Gallery encourages local artists. (Photo from Gallery Kaiela Incorporated Facebook Page)
15.Shepparton Regional Park. River Red Gum forests and woodlands along the Goulburn River are ideal for camping, fishing and canoeing. Swimming is popular near the towns where the river is more accessible. The scenic park which sits between Shepparton and Mooroopna on the Midland Highway is also home to a 4.3km loop walk. The Flats, an Aboriginal historic walk begins and ends at the Kids Town carpark.
16.Aquamoves. Shepparton's aquatic recreation centre, Aquamoves will have the kids squealing with delight. The facility features a Splash Park, Rapid River, a water slide, along with indoor and outdoor pools, spas, a sauna and a gym. No need for Mum and Dad to miss out on the fun.
The children will love Aquamoves (Photo from Discover Shepparton Facebook Page)
17.SPC Factory Outlet. SPC Ardmona, originally called the Shepparton Preserving Company, has been canning fruit in Shepparton since the early 1900's. No visit to Shepparton would be complete without picking up some specials from the SPC factory outlet.
18.The Windmill Chocolate Shop and Café. Chocoholics your dreams have come true in Shepparton. The Windmill Chocolate Shop and Café offers wonderful selections of all things chocolate. Enjoy truffles, pralines, chocolate cakes, and hot chocolate. Fancy a Baileys Bomb, Cherry Surprise or a Golden Tree Frog? What about a Smash Cake, a 2kg cake made with three layers of chocolate and filled with 1kg of mixed lollies. The café also serves home cooked meals and tea and coffee.
(Photo from the Windmill Chocolate Shop and Cafe Facebook Page)
19.Fine Food. Shepparton has a wide variety of restaurants, cafés and takeaways so whatever your dining preference they have it covered. Add to that a selection of Goulburn Valley wineries, farm gate and chocolate and confectionary outlets and how could you go wrong.
20. Stay a While. There is so much to see and do in Shepparton you will surely want to stay a while. Choose from a wide array of accommodation options from hotels, motels, B&B's, and holiday homes to caravan parks and camping grounds.
Shepparton is only 190kms and around 2 hours' drive from the Melbourne CBD along the Hume Freeway. For further details contact the Greater Shepparton Visitor Information Centre, 33 Nixon Street Shepparton (just off Wyndham Street/Goulburn Valley Highway), Shepparton VIC 3630 by telephoning (03) 5831 4400 or 1800 808 839 or by visiting their website.
Where:Shepparton is only 190kms and around 2 hours’ drive from the Melbourne CBD along the Hume Freeway. Greater Shepparton Visitor Information Centre, 33 Nixon Street Shepparton (just off Wyndham Street/Goulburn Valley Highway), Shepparton VIC 3630
Cost:Click through to the individual attractions for cost details.
Shepparton has a lot more to offer than it did last time I was there. I saw a report on the ABC's Landline just last weekend about the almost demise of SPC and the fight back top save the company, jobs and orchards. It's a fine thing that they succeeded.