The Chair’s Where? Barham & Koondrook on the mighty Murray

The Chair’s Where? Barham & Koondrook on the mighty Murray

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For all of us in southern Australia, whether a local, a visitor or an overseas traveller –  the need will arise to see the Murray River. Often referred to as the Mighty Murray, this river is the lifeblood of numerous agricultural endeavours, the actual border between Victoria and New South Wales, a mecca for fisherman, a delight for paddle steamers... and the list goes on. It is the perfect reason to hire a Melbourne motorhome, grab the wife or partner, the kids, the dog or just travel solo and head off on a great adventure.

The Murray covers a huge area with access from numerous states and cities.  There are some well known destinations such as Echuca-Moama, Swan Hill and the like.  My preference, however, tends to the slightly smaller, less busy environs of Barham and Koondrook.


The townships of Barham and Koondrook sit on opposite sides of the Murray river – only a three hour drive from Melbourne.

All sealed, major roads, make for a safe and easy trip whether by car or motorhome. Several different routes allow for some flexibility and, as such, wine regions, fruit and orchard regions, farming and historical towns, are all available for some great experiences on the trip. Indeed, bring some spare bags as you may well return with a lot more great produce than you started with.

And make sure you bring a camera as this area is full of great opportunities for great photos. Something to share with friends, family and work colleagues.


Now the Mighty Murray allows for a multitude of water based activities including:Boating and Fishing; Kayaking and Canoeing; Water skiing; cruising on a paddle steamer; a lunch cruise and more.

But the Barham/Koondrook area allows for so much more than just water based activities, including

Border Flywheelers Club – established in 1995 to collect, restore, record and exhibit the historical development of farm tractors, machinery and other artifacts used by the broader farming community.

Time your arrival for the Australian Tractor Pull Championships – held every Easter.

Take a run over to the Catalina Flying Boat museum at nearby Lake Boga.

Check out the wharf redevelopment project along the river and the iconic ‘sculpture’ trail.

Wineries are available in the area, along with the opportunity to purchase the very best of specialty produce and direct ‘from the farm’ fresh produce and some great places for a meal abound.


For sure there are a large number of places to stay in this area.  From motel accommodation to hotel accommodation, from Air BnB to private lodgings.

Different levels of standard and price can be found to suit most needs. HOWEVER, given I arrived in a motorhome. I wisely took the opportunity (as I always do in this area) to stay at the Barham Lakes Caravan Park. Did I mention that pets are welcome and this great venue has a significant off leash area?

Now Barham Lakes Caravan Park, proudly part of the Family Parks Chain of venues, has new, keen and highly motivated owners who are in the business of ensuring you have a great experience every time you stay.

They are there to help, and help they will. There is a great range of accommodation options from camping, powered sites on thru to ensuite cabins.

Park facilities start with super clean laundry and amenities and then include bbq area, substantial camp kitchen, playground and pool, and a myriad of sporting options.  Try the ‘golf course’, practice your table tennis, and the list goes on.

Always remember this terrific park is flanked by the might of the Murray River. Check out the wildlife be it a range of native birds through to kangaroos and the like.  Enjoy the wonderful shade provided by a variety of Australian native species.

Also, take advantage of the Barham Club Courtesy Bus – have a beverage, a great meal and maybe a bet or two.  Then return to a tranquil, relaxing environment at Barham Lakes Caravan Park.

So that’s it! Can I suggest that you all simply hurry to the Murray and  I'll see you there.


(DriveNow has teamed up with "The Chair", none other than Dennis Werthenbach, the enigmatic and super popular chairman of the board for Family Parks Holiday Parks & Campgrounds - for more than 26 years, Family Parks has represented independent caravan parks and camping grounds, promoting fantastic holiday destinations for travellers young and old. With so many great caravan and camping parks throughout Australia and New Zealand, Family Parks is more than just a holiday, it’s a unique holiday experience.)

Scott Podmore

Scott Podmore

Award-winning writer, editor, photographer, videographer and owner of October Grey Media. Specialising in travel and lifestyle content and a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers. Has contributed regular content for the NewsCorp stable of newspapers and magazines, TravelTalk mag, The Departure Lounge and many more publications in Australia and internationally. Follow on Twitter & instragram #scottpodmore

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