When you need a break but don’t have the dosh or the time, there are plenty of destinations close to Wagga.
If you want to save your hard-earned while still feeling like you’ve hit the reset button on life, venture off on one of these short day trips that are guaranteed to impress.
Matthew Holt, Wagga City Council Visitor Economy and Events Co-ordinator, said it is important for Wagga residents to support the towns and cities around them.
“Sometimes we can be our worst tourist in our own backyard,” he said.
“We build the product to get people to use Wagga as a hub and we try get visitors and residents to explore the region on a day trip.
“We run a tourism partner prgram which has 139 partners, that does take in eight shire councils around us as well.”
Mr Holt said they are encouraging their partners to work with each other and highlight the nature destinations.
“We just have to scratch that surface a little bit to see there is so much out there,” he said. “Especially when it comes to the natural landcapes.”
1. Adelong Falls
With an idyllic – and relatively easy - drive up the mountains, day trippers will find themselves at the Adelong Falls.
An easy walk from the car park, wheel chair accessible, leads to the viewing platform. For the more nimble, pathways lead down to Adelong Creek and the ruins.
By foot, cross over the swinging bridge, which can be found by walking down the path beside the Swinging Bridge Café in the centre of town. Take the left hand path and follow Adelong Creek to the ruins.
This hidden gem is the perfect spot for a picnic, taking some stunning photographs or to cool off in some of the deeper pools.
Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins is not just a wonderful place for recreation for people of all ages, allowing for picnicking, walking, and swimming, it is also a state heritage listed industrial site with interpretive signage providing valuable insight into the Australian gold rush, and the history of the region in general.
The viewing platform allows for wheelchair access, and the gentle cascades of Adelong Creek make it a safe but fun spot for gold panning.
Distance: An hour east from Wagga’s CBD.
2. Darlington Point
Head about 150 kilometres northwest of Wagga and you’ll find the historic township of Darlington Point on the banks of the mighty Murrumbidgee.
Just out of town is the expansive Altina Wildlife Park where personalised, open air cart tours wind through the grounds amongst river red gums. Observe the many native birds and animals as well as the more exotic animals that roam in large, open-styled enclosures, such as African lions and wild dogs, bison, zebras, meerkats and giraffes.
Distance: An hour and a half from Wagga’s CBD.
Young’s Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Gardens are located at the Chinaman’s Dam reserve. Now a well-established garden set in a quiet, picturesque site, the gardens are the perfect spot for a relaxing lunch, with picnic and barbecue facilities.
After crossing the bridge to the garden and passing the marble lion sculptures guarding the garden entrance, make your way to the garden viewing platform and sit and relax overlooking the garden and the Pool of Tranquillity.
Melanie Ford, tourism and events manager for the Hilltops Council, said the garden is the perfect spot for a picnic and to relax.
“The garden was developed in recognition of contribution of the Chinese community that settled Young in the 1860s," she said.
“We also have the Lambing Flat Museum, which is about Young’s history and is open seven days from 10am to 4pm.”
The Rustic Maze and Country Garden is also perfect for a family outing, Ms Ford said. “There is your coffee, tea and treats as well as the maze and gardens to explore,” she said. “There's lots to keep people entertained.”
Ms Ford said, for her personally, she recommends people to shop locally because it's what going to keep communities alive.
“We are so tempted by online shopping and if we continue to go that path our businesses will suffer,” she said. “Young is a great location for anyone who loves shopping because we have the big brands but also boutique stores.
“A bonus is, if you are heading this way you can visit Harden and Jugiong before heading home.”
Distance: A hour-and-a-half northeast of Wagga’s CBD.
4. Yarrangobilly Caves
Step into the depths of Yarrangobilly Caves and you'll discover stalagmites, stalactites and delicate decorations like shawls and cave corals.
Explore five caves created from a belt of limestone laid down about 440 million years ago in Koscuiszko National Park.
here’s so much to do, with National Parks’ discovery tours, both self-guided and guided tours of the caves, hiking trails, and the thermal pools (27 degrees all year round).
Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre is open 9am to 5pm while the self-guided South Glory Cave is open 9.30am to 4pm.
Distance: About two hours south east of Wagga’s CBD.
A flat, two-hour drive north will lead day trippers to the dynamic city of Griffith. While the drive itself is nothing to write home about, a feast for the senses awaits in the Riverina’s second biggest centre.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are sold at roadside stalls around the city, while the town’s restaurants and eateries rival anything you’ll find in the big cities. Take a wander up Scenic Hill and check out the ruins of the Griffith Hermit’s series of living areas or visit one of the many cellar doors at wineries around the city.
Distance: Two hours northwest of Wagga’s CBD.
If you love the great outdoors, there is nowhere greater in the Riverina than Narrandera.
Explore the natural beauty with free camping on the river, bird watching at the wetlands or biking and hiking on the three connecting trails. Anyone who has grown up in the area will also know the Lake Talbot Swimming Complex.
It’s still a top spot with rolling, lush green lawns, multiple pools and two brilliant slides for the young or young-at-heart.
Distance: One hour northwest of Wagga’s CBD.
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