Wagga Wagga

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Grey nomads in Wagga Wagga
The grey nomad road leads to Wagga Wagga

Just the name itself is enough to put Wagga Wagga on most grey nomads’ must-visit list … but the inland New South Wales town is much more than a great place from which to send a postcard.

Straddling the mighty Mur­rumbidgee River, ‘Wagga’ is situated midway between Sydney and Melbourne, and it’s a great base to explore the Riverina district. The tour­ism authorities here assure visitors that they can sample the extremes of Australia’s natural and cultivated envi­ronment with an easy day trip in any direction. To the east rises Mount Kosciuszko in the Snowy Mountains. To the west lies Griffith, the heart of New South Wales’ biggest wine producing region. Towns like Junee, Lockhart and Temora are all within striking distance.

Okay, so what about the name? The area’s original inhabitants were the Wiradjuri people and in their language ‘Wagga’ means crow. Repeat­ing it means the plural, hence ‘the place of many crows’.

Today, the thriving commu­nity of around 60,000 inhabit­ants wows visitors with its heritage buildings, beautiful parks and modern facilities.

Many energetic grey nomads find taking the Wiradjuri walking track is the best way to get their bearings and to discover history and nature along the banks of the Mur­rumbidgee River. Although the track meanders through the city for a daunting-sound­ing 30 kilometres, there are 11 sign-posted access points.

As you might expect, there are a number of excellent places to enjoy the Murrumbidgee and perhaps to catch a fish or two. These include Brick Kiln, Or­ange Tree Point, Wagga Beach, Wilks Park, Wiradjuri Re­serve, Kolhagen’s Beach, Frog Hollow, Ashmont Reserve and Bateman’s Reserve. Some of these places allow camping … and they are top spots.

There are also a number of excellent van parks in and around town.

Another popular location for swimming, fishing and boat­ing is Lake Albert … but don’t start thinking Wagga Wagga is all about water and walking.

Other highly recommended attractions include the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, the Temo­ra Aviation Museum, and the Steam and Vintage Museum.

When you’ve finally finished soaking up the atmosphere and attractions of Wagga Wagga itself, it could be time to explore the surround­ing gourmet food and wine producing region. Sigh! It’s a tough life, isn’t it? There’s a lot more to ‘the place of many crows’ than just crows.

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