If you are looking for an ideal location as a base for some exploration look no further than the Atura Albury, at the western (or ‘bottom’ end) of Dean Street.
You’ll get a very friendly welcome here and they have gone out of their way to provide added extras to make your stay very comfortable - free wifi, coffee machines in every room, a ‘grab and go’ pantry at reception - and the pièce de résistance - retro bicycles (complimentary for in house guests) to explore the town’s delights.
At the heart of the Atura Albury experience is a hip open plan lobby space that incorporates flexible and comfortable zones for lounging, dining, playing games, conducting business or sharing a drink. The reception hub is manned 24/7 so there is always someone friendly around to make a coffee, cocktail or provide some local knowledge on what to do.
On foot it’s an easy stroll along Dean Street to all local shopping, hair salons and spa treatments, the cinema, the Botanic Gardens, local clubs and pubs and the beautiful banks of the Murray River.
It’s here you’ll find a favourite dining spot - the River Deck Cafe - one of the most beautifully situated places to eat in the area. It overlooks a horseshoe bend in the river’s course and is surrounded by mature Red Gums, Dutch Elm and London Plane trees. A children's playground right on its doorstep adds further to its appeal.
The River Deck offers a modern and relaxing atmosphere to visitors with a cosy fireplace in winter, al fresco dining on the deck in summer, mountain ash features, skandi-style furniture and abundant natural light.
The food style is contemporary Australian, with a classical French backbone. The majority of the River Deck menu is freshly produced in-house using ingredients from local suppliers, farmers markets and small producers. Signature dishes include Milawa Duck and Tallangatta Lamb.
It will be hard to leave, but move on you must as there’s plenty more to see and do. Check out dates for the local markets held in the generous grounds of Noreuil Park , find out what’s on at the Albury Entertainment Centre or seek out experiences such as canoeing. Or grab one of those bicycles available from Atura and spend your day on the 50 kilometres of interlinked on-road and off-road trails and pathways around the area.
Bird life along the river bank is prolific and if that’s your thing you could find your way to Wonga Wetlands for more - it’s six kilometres from Albury and takes about an hour to walk there but you’ll be rewarded with 155 identified species including Thornbills, Robins, Wrens, Rufous and Golden Whistlers, the White Bellied Sea Eagle, Herons, Egrets, Cormorants, Goshawks and Grebes.
After all this adventure you’ll want to eat and there’s no shortage of choices in Albury, starting with the Roadhouse Bar and Grill at Atura. Recommendation? Perhaps the steak. You can start with the Steak Tartare for $18 and follow up with a pasture fed (Riverina) 350gm rib eye on the bone for $55 or the more moderate 300gm pasture fed (north-east Victoria) scotch filled for $45 with two other choices available.
Within a stone’s throw of Atura there are a range of eateries offering a variety of experiences. Look out for Mr Benedict, The Proprietor, Din Dins or great pubs such as The Albion and The Bended Elbow.
IF YOU GO
Atura Albury - www.aturahotels.com/albury
Albury Visitor Centre - at the Albury Railway Station 1300 252 879
Murray Art Museum Albury – www.mamalbury.com.au
Albury Entertainment Centre - via Dean Street (02) 6043 5610
Hothouse Theatre – www.hothousetheatre.com.au
Riverdeck Cafe - book your table! (02) 6023 5980
Regent Cinemas www.regentcinemas.com.au
Looking for something further afield?
The Great Aussie Holiday Park, 30 minutes north of Albury at Bowna, has been gathering up accolades of late. A certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor, finalists status in the Albury Wodonga Business Awards and a Silver Award at the Riverina Murray Regional Tourism Awards have been bestowed on this fantastic park in recent months. The huge park has two kilometres of water frontage onto Lake Hume and offers a huge variety of activities and a range of accommodation.
“Everything we do here is designed to give you the best family holiday experience in Australia,” said Melanie Diffey.
“Achieving these awards demonstrates that our commitment to delivering an exceptional holiday experience is being recognised. We invite anyone to come and experience it for themselves.”
See www.greataussieholidaypark.com.au for more info.