I am an academic and writer living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia have to offer.
Published October 4th 2018
The perfect getaway for all
Greater Shepparton which includes Shepparton as the main city, and the smaller towns of Tatura, Murchison, Mooropna and Dookie, has come a long way as a visitor destination. The attractions, experiences, food and wine offerings have all been expanded, refined and rejuvenated to ensure the visitor has a great time whilst visiting and staying in this area. It is only appropriate that Shepparton's logo and catch-cry has become "Many Great Things". And indeed there are many great things, especially if you, like me, have not been here for a while. Shepparton is well-known for its sporting events and precincts but over the last few years it has also become known for its
1. Art and Culture. There is, of course Mooving Art, an exhibition spread through the town of Shepparton, of life-size, painted 3D cows, all unique and with a different theme. It's fun trying to find them all, take photos and even maybe write stories about them if you or your children are that way inclined. New cows are being added regularly so even if you have seen these before, there will be new ones waiting for you.
There are lots of paths and routes for hikers and cyclists to explore. A shared path along the river can take you from the north of Shepparton, at Water's Reserve, south along the Goulburn River to the centre of the City, and branches West to Mooroopna and south to Kialla Lakes. The Murchison Rail Trail follows part of the former Rushworth-Murchison to Melbourne railway, and offers a short, scenic cycle or walk through river red gum wetlands. There is also a purpose-built mountain bike path at Mt. Major near Dookie, for those seeking some more thrilling rides. You can check out all the walking and cycling possibilities here.
3. Indigenous Culture Indigenous culture has become very important for Shepparton over the last few years. The Aboriginal Street Art Project has three major murals of significant past and present aborigines. These murals will impress you with their colours, expressions, and sheer size. To find their location check here or just wander through the central part of Shepparton - you are sure to find them. At Kaiela Arts you can experience, understand and connect with local Aboriginal culture through Art.
Jetjas Café draws its name from the local Aboriginal Yorta Yorta language name 'djetja', which means 'Aunty' and welcomes everyone to this lovely, welcoming cafe in the centre of Shepparton. It is open from 6 am to 3 pm.
4. Food, wine and cider Shepparton has come a long way in what it offers visitors in the form of cafes, restaurants, and wineries and breweries. There is a distinct cafe culture in town, so for all those Melbourne coffee aficionados(me included) this will be very much appreciated. Long regarded as the food-bowl of Australia and the home of Ardmona, there are a number of farm-gate opportunities around Shepparton to taste delicious, fresh, seasonal fruit. There are traditional pubs and clubs as well as a wide range of restaurants to try out. And psst... a local secret is The Last Straw, a Thai restaurant serving delicious lunches and great coffee in the industrial part of Shepparton.
5. So Much More... Shepparton is family friendly, has many accommodation options in motels, hotels, B&Bs, and camping possibilities as well as self-contained accommodation. Its surrounding towns of Tatura, Dookie, Mooropna, and Murchison offer heritage and history, in particular, history of POW camps, wetlands teeming with bird life, beautiful landscapes and so much more.
The Greater Shepparton area is the perfect getaway for the whole family and it is just over two hours from Melbourne CBD so why not give it a go? And if you have more time make sure you see some of the other Silo Art which is about 40 minutes from Shepparton and includes Benalla as well. It really is impressive!