‘Your own backyard’ bucket list

All things outdoors on your doorstep

1. Climb Mount Major in Dookie 

Mount Major is popular with walkers and mountain bike enthusiasts. The peak reaches 381m (1251 ft) above sea level and is accessible via Mulana non iyoga (Yorta Yorta for ‘Spirit of the Stone’) – a 4.6km return walk at the mountain’s northern side. For a challenge, turn off Dookie Nalinga Road and try the Mt Major TV Road return trail beyond the University of Melbourne sign. The effort is worth the stunning views. 

2. Ride to The Australian Botanical Gardens Shepparton via a bushland pedestrian bridge 

Cyclists can now travel easily and safely to Shepparton’s Botanical Gardens thanks to the recently unveiled bike path extension and pedestrian bridge. The site of the Botanical Gardens is former landfill that has been regenerated into a showcase of Australian native plants and distinct themed gardens. 

3. Explore local free camping and fishing areas 

This region offers abundant free camping sites, as well as access to waterways for those who want to throw in a line. Goulburn National Park and Shepparton Regional Park are close by or sites like a little further afield, like Lower Goulburn National Park in Kotupna, will transport you far away from home. 

4. Organise a Trelly’s canoe trip 

Don’t want to rough it but still itching to explore? Trelly’s Outdoor will do the work and set up an experience for you paddling down the Goulburn. Call Ross on 0488 775 477 to see how Trelly’s can make your adventure unforgettable. 

5. Paddleboard on Lake Victoria, Shepparton 

Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) is a great low-impact exercise in nature that trains your balance and strength without exertion. Greater Shepparton City Council offer SUP hire $20 for a 45-minutes. Suitable for all abilities. To book go to https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/stand-up-paddle-board-and-pedal-boat-hire-tickets-181513641187 or contact Council’s Healthy Communities Team on (03) 5832 9432 or email [email protected] 

6. Visit a farmer’s market 

Farmer’s markets are a great way local people can connect with local producers and growers. A great range of fresh fruit is grown right here in the Goulburn Valley. Emerald Bank Market lights up Kialla the first and third Sunday of every month and offers fresh produce at farm-gate prices. For more local markets, go to https://visitshepparton.com.au/events/markets 

7. Ride the Dookie Rail Trail 

Stage 2 of the Dookie Rail Trail was opened this month, extending the trail 3.1kms west from the Dookie CWA Gardens to Conway Road, providing visitors around 8kms of local trail with views of farmland, and 16kms of return trail that is suitable for families and great for walkers or cyclists. 

And so much more to explore…

Such as the Gargarro Botanic Gardens, White Night (pictured above) coming to Shepparton in winter, the Nagambie foreshore walk, the Murchison-Rushworth Rail Trail, and much more. 

Is something missing? Let us know! What local great outdoors experience would you add to this list? Email your thoughts on this and more to
[email protected] with the subject ‘Your Thoughts’. See this newspaper edition for more details.