The first image that might spring to mind when you hear that New South Wales’s Riverina region is nicknamed the ‘food bowl of Australia’ might be that of an immense green valley, packed with glistening fruit and vegetables. A trip around the region will prove how close to the truth this really is, with key agricultural crops including olives, grapes, oranges and lemons. But in addition to its delicious produce, the Riverina region is also dotted with fascinating natural and historical attractions, perfect for a tranquil holiday.
Start your tour in Jerilderie, home to a large agricultural industry of olives, tomatoes, cotton, and canola. Take a morning stroll through one of the town’s many farms and vineyards for a sample of fresh produce, or spend a sunny afternoon picking strawberries and stone fruits.
Jerilderie is also famous for its place in the Ned Kelly story, as it was here that Kelly penned the monumental Jerilderie Letter. The infamous highwaymen stopped here in 1879, before impersonating police officers and robbing a bank. History buffs can follow the Ned Kelly touring route or explore the Jerilderie Historic Residence, a Victorian-era building that reportedly contains the safe that was robbed by Kelly and his gang.
The next stop on your touring route of the Riverina is Lockhart, where you can get a dose of fresh spring air on a horseriding tour, or venture a little out of town to the Galore Hill Scenic Reserve, just 13 kilometres away. The reserve stretches across more than 500 hectares of sprawling bushland and includes numerous walking tracks and scenic lookouts. Like Jerilderie, the reserve also holds some fascinating Australian history, as it’s home to the caves inhabited by John Fuller – also known as ‘Mad Dan Morgan’ – a lesser-known Australian bushranger, but one who was feared as much as Kelly for his crimes of highway robbery, kidnapping and murder. From here, continue to Griffith, Narrandera and beyond for a perfect road trip this spring!