Australia Destinations Victoria

7 Must-Have Experiences in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley 

Enjoy a Victoria wine country stay in style with our pick of the best unique experiences in the Goulburn Valley. 

Take a trip to the sprawling Goulburn Valley wine region, an area stretching from historic Seymour in central Victoria right up to the buzzing town of Echuca on the Murray River. The region is so much more than rolling vineyards and boutique wineries; the Goulburn Valley is a gold mine of incredible scenery, expansive orchards and delicious food.  

Adventurers seeking more from this luxe Victoria wine country stay break can go beyond the Goulburn Valley’s vineyards and try their hand at watersports, explore the region’s cactus country and be dazzled by the natural wonders on show at The Rockery Gemstone Museum. 

Get curious and discover more with our guide to the Goulburn Valley’s must-have experiences.  

Read more: Worlds Away: Country Victoria’s Best Luxury Accommodation

1. Discover the charms of Shepparton  

Tucked away in the heart of Goulburn Valley, yet only a two-hour drive from Melbourne, Shepparton feels a world away from the city bustle. This blissful town, dotted with tree-lined streets, tumbling valleys and a network of reserves within the state forest, is scattered with fine-dining options and gourmet delights. Check out Fryers Street Food Store for perfect lattes and artsy brunch dishes and the highly awarded Aangan Indian restaurant, serving up a delectable selection of chaat and curries. 

Fill your belly with locally sourced and produced goodies before heading to the town’s cultural precinct for a visual feast. Stop in at the Shepparton Art Museum to indulge in a selection of incredible Australian ceramics, landscape paintings and a regular program of themed exhibitions. Afterwards, drive around town and try to spot the Moooving Art display of quirky fibreglass cows that pays homage to the region’s rich dairy industry. 

2. Unwind in boutique luxury at the blissful Mitchelton Estate 

Mitchelton Estate

Reconnect with nature and break loose from the demands of daily life at Mitchelton Estate, a romantic escape atop vine-laced hills. This country sanctuary, just 90 minutes from Melbourne, is an architectural marvel of earthy tones and every modern luxury, with each room offering views over the estate’s vineyards or the idyllic Goulburn Valley. 

Unwind in true MGallery by Sofitel sophistication with a winery rated five stars by the Halliday Wine Companion 2021 at your doorstep, a 20-metre infinity pool and a world-class restaurant serving modern farmhouse cuisine with views over the glistening Goulburn River.  

Ready for a luxe Victoria wine country stay? Discover our exclusive Mitchelton Hotel escape here.

3. Make Lake Eildon your playground 

At six times the size of Sydney Harbour, Lake Eildon is a watersport lovers’ paradise.  

Set before a scenic mountain backdrop, the lake boasts over 500 kilometres of shoreline, making space for thrill-seekers of all intensities.  

There is plenty of space for lazy boating adventures or adrenaline-fuelled water skiing and wakeboarding. Real daredevils will be treated to the lake’s gorgeous scenery as they spin behind a speedboat.  

For something more relaxed, kayaking and swimming are popular activities to take in the tranquil waters. If you’d rather not get wet, take in the natural beauty of Lake Eildon along the grassy northern banks, known as a popular spot for picnics, BBQs and fishing.  

4. Get a taste of Mexico at Cactus Country 

Cactus Country. Image by Rob Blackburn, courtesy of Visit Victoria

Experience a little piece of Mexico in the heart of Victoria at Australia’s largest cactus farm. Explore 12 acres of gardens, capture Insta-worthy photos and take home a cactus of your own. Follow one of the eight sandy trails through the desert oasis and cruise past the weird, wonderful and wacky plants that call Cactus Country home.  

Add some Mexican flavour with a visit to the onsite café and bar, where you can pick up homemade nachos and cactus ice cream or sip on a frozen margarita while you soak in the surroundings.  

What’s even better is that Cactus Country is dog friendly, so your four-legged pals can join in on the fun.  

5. Be dazzled at The Rockery Gemstone Museum 

Be amazed by the glistening gemstones, fabulous fossils and fluorescent minerals that can be found at Nagambie’s The Rockery. Gaze at the colorful collection and enjoy gemstone cutting and polishing demonstrations featuring crystals and minerals from Australia and around the world. 

Upon entry, you will feel like Aladdin in his cave of wonders as you step into this incredible collection that transports you across the globe. 

Entry is free – but come prepared with your wallet in hand, as you’ll want to take a piece of the magic home with you.

6. Vine-hop your way around Tahbilk Winery, one of the oldest in the country 

Tahbilk Winery. Image credit: David Hannah

Throw yourself wholeheartedly into a day of indulgence as you head out to discover one of the country’s most beautiful and historic family-owned wineries.  

The 3,000-acre winery of rich river flats, with a frontage of 11 kilometres to the Goulburn River and 8 kilometres of permanent backwaters and creeks, is the ideal venue to kick back and enjoy a tipple.  

Famed for its 1860 Vines Shiraz, Tahbilk Winery is the ultimate stop for the connoisseur. To enhance your experience, reserve a table overlooking the wetlands and indulge in locally sourced produce such as seasonal vegetables, herbs and meats, plus fresh fruit from the verdant citrus orchard. 

7. Pick a section of the Great Victorian Rail Trail 

The Great Victorian Rail Trail is the ultimate experience for adventure seekers or those looking to get back to nature. The 134 kilometre trail travels from the picturesque Tallarook to Mansfield, through the heritage-listed Goulburn River Valley, classified by the National Trust for its scenic beauty. 

Meander through farmland, cross Lake Eildon or explore the Victorian High Country, either on foot, bike or horseback, as you explore the scenic wonders on offer. Take on the whole trail over several days or pick a section to suit – this is the ultimate build-your-own adventure.  

Expect animal encounters with Australian wildlife along the way; the trail is your chance to get up close to echidnas, wallabies, kangaroos and native birds in their natural surroundings. 

Ready for a luxe Victoria wine country stay? Discover our exclusive Mitchelton Hotel escape.

Lover of gelato and all things travel. Annabel is happiest when exploring new places, soaking in the glorious sun rays and scuba diving. When she's not writing about the most glamorous destinations, she's on the lookout for her next adventure.