Country cool: 6 must-visit inland escapes and the holiday parks you’ll love
Straddling the Edward River (Kolety), Deniliquin — Deni to the locals — is a tranquil riverside village set by towering red gums, swimming beaches, mountain-biking trails and nature walks. In the warmer months, Deni is popular with water skiers and wakeboarders, but it’s also a peaceful spot to soak up the riverfront serenity year-round.
Stay: BIG4 Deniliquin. You’ve come to the Riverland, you’re going to want to stay on the river, and BIG4 Deniliquin has the goods to satisfy every waterfront fancy. Choose from a campsite, cabin, villa or glamping tent and get set for magical sunsets over the water. Loaded with kids’ facilities, the park also has a private boat ramp and pontoon boats for hire.
The twin Murray River towns of Moama and Echuca form the photogenic paddle-steamer capital of Australia. Cruising the river on said paddle- steamer is de rigueur here, but there are also waterfront wineries to visit, wetlands to see and national parks to explore.
Stay: Discovery Parks Maidens Inn Moama. There’s no such thing as too much water at Maidens Inn. Not only is there an abundance of waterfront cabins and campsites, but the park also boasts a marina, two pools, ornamental pond and a splash park. There’s also a boat ramp and pontoon boats for hire, as well as a jumping pillow and playground.
This border town sits on the northern banks of the Murray where the swollen river spills into Lake Mulwala. It’s premier water-sports territory, where you can swim, paddle, water ski, cruise on a paddle-steamer, or try your luck catching a Murray River cod.
Stay: Tasman Holiday Parks Lake Mulwala. What could be more idyllic than enjoying a glass of wine by a crackling campfire as the sun sets across Lake Mulwala? At this Tasman holiday park, you can fish right from your front door or cast a line from the jetty. The park has a pool, tennis court and BMX track, as well as kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for hire.
With a capacity more than three times greater than Sydney Harbour, Lake Copeton is one of the largest inland dams in NSW. With all that water, this New England destination is ripe for sailing, water skiing and fishing, and is also popular with bushwalkers and birdwatchers.
Stay: Reflections Holiday Parks Copeton Waters. The only holiday park on the lake, Copeton Waters offers a nature-based stay in a delightful bush setting. With the lake at your doorstep, you can fish, swim or take to the water on a kayak, stand-up paddleboard or boat. There’s also 900 hectares of bushland to explore and a pool, tennis court and kids’ facilities on site.
Big on steak, short on (poker) chips, Casino sits on the banks of the Richmond River in the north-eastern corner of NSW. This cattle town is the state’s beef capital and is also known for its heritage buildings and proximity to World Heritage-listed Richmond Range National Park.
Stay: BIG4 Casino Park. Located on the site of an old airport, Casino Park guarantees visitors space. Lots of it. There are plenty of campsites and cabins, as well as a nine-hole golf course, swimming pool and a cavernous games room housed inside a former aircraft hangar.
A hop, skip and jump from Albury-Wodonga, Lake Hume is another water-sports mecca on the mighty Murray River. The imposing dam wall captures water for one of Australia’s most important storages, providing local irrigation and recreation opportunities for the countless boaters, anglers and swimmers who flock here.
Stay: Ingenia Holidays Lake Hume offers waterfront respite from the modern world on the shores of one of the country’s biggest lakes. Guests can launch boats straight from the park, which offers campsites and cabins, and has a swimming pool, splash park, playground and tennis court.