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10 Best Things to Do in Mildura with Kids

Mildura is a terrific place to visit with kids at almost any time of year.

Its Mediterranean climate means hot summers and mild winters, with rain unlikely to trouble you for long. And it's a city that's easy to enjoy with children without breaking the budget as there are many free things to do in Mildura or that are low-cost.

If you're wondering what to do in Mildura I'm here to help! I spent many of my own childhood holidays in and around Mildura and now love going there with my own kids. Given the city is centred around the banks of the Murray River it's not surprising that many of the top things to do in Mildura involve water!

Here is my list of the best things to do in Mildura for families

Things to do in Mildura with Kids

1. Mildura Water Play Park

One of the top Mildura attractions for families is the Mildura's water play park. It's one of the best Mildura playgrounds and it is paradise for kids! There are pumps, weirs, sensory stones, bridges, fountains… There's shade and sun, plenty of space to set up for a picnic (or grab a coffee and a sweet treat at the vintage caravan) and, best of all, it's free.

Its riverfront position is a lovely starting point for walks too.

Mildura Water Play Park, Hugh King Drive, Mildura 

10am–9pm daily during summer

mildura water park

2. Jaycee Park 

If the weather is cool or you forgot your bathers, another of the best Mildura parks is Jaycee Park. It is a lovely alternative to the Mildura water play park in the riverfront area. There's lots of play equipment (though not a lot of shade) and Cafe de Caravan does a roaring trade in lattes and light food options.

Jaycee Park, Hugh King Drive, Mildura

3. Lock 11 and Mildura Weir

Children who like to know how things work will love Lock 11, where boats and paddlesteamers pass through different sections of the Murray River between gates controlling the water level.

You can walk across a bridge to a manmade island for a short walk to see the weir – you'll hear the water roaring through the spillway long before you see it. Keep going and you can find sandy beaches to paddle your feet, but always be careful as the depth increases steeply and the current can be strong.

Check it out for one of the things to do in Mildura for free!

Lock 11 and Mildura Weir, Hugh King Drive, Mildura


4. Paddlesteamer rides

Three paddlesteamers operate on the Murray at Mildura, with two-hour cruises daily.

The tours are informative and include passage through Lock 11. The grand old boats will enchant adults and children alike and the gentle cruise is one of the best things to do in Mildura.


Find Hotels and Airbnbs in Mildura

5. Orange World

When you think about Mildura tourist attractions Orange World may not necessarily make the list because it's in New South Wales – but it's just eight minutes from Mildura!

You can take a tour on the tractor-drawn “train” through the grove of oranges, mandarins and avocados to learn about the citrus industry in the region, finishing with a glass of freshly squeezed juice. Drinking that juice is one of the most memorable Mildura activities for my kids!

Orange World is a really fun little local attraction – young kids in particular just love this place.

Orange World93 Link Road, Mourquong, NSW 03 5023 5197

9.30am – 4.00pm 7 days.
February: 7 days. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day 

6. Perry Sandhills 

One of the unmissable things to do around Mildura are the Perry Sandhills.

Geologists believe the Perry Sandhills were formed about 40,000 years ago after an ice age – skeletons of megafauna have been found here and it isn't hard to imagine more under the constantly shifting dunes.

The sandhills are just outside Wentworth, about half an hour from Mildura. Take plenty of water if you're going in warm weather.

7. Australian Inland Botanic Gardens

The botanic gardens were the first in the Southern Hemisphere to showcase semi-arid plants and the desert landscape. There is a children's garden with cubbyhouse, sand pit and musical instruments, and a tractor/train offers rides on Saturdays. There is a coffee shop on site. It's one of the fun things to do in Mildura where entry is free, with donations appreciated.

Australian Inland Botanic Gardens1183 River Road, Mourquong NSW

8. Woodsie's Gem Shop

The decor at Woodsie's Gem Shop hasn't changed one bit since it opened, but that won't worry children. This kitsch gem of a place (pun intended) features crystals and gems from around the world – but the real highlight is the maze, which you can enter for the laughably low sum of $1. There's a cafe and souvenir shop featuring jewellery of varying quality and price as well as turned stones.

Woodsie's Gem Shop516 Cureton Avenue, Nicholls Point

9. Big Lizzie 

The pride of Red Cliffs, Big Lizzie was the biggest tractor in Australia when she was built in 1915. In 1921 she began clearing Mallee scrub to create the soldier settlement blocks that were critical to the region's development. Big Lizzie was designed to work in the area's sandy conditions but she was eventually superseded by vehicles with caterpillar tracks.

She's hard to miss – 5.5 metres high and 10 metres long, Big Lizzie is the centrepiece of a lovely little park on the Calder Highway on the way to Mildura from Melbourne.


Family restaurants Mildura

10. Grand Hotel

Stefano de Pieri opened his eponymous Stefano's Restaurant in the cellars of the Grand Hotel in 1991. Since then the Grand has become a Mecca for good food, with restaurants and cafes catering for different budgets and experiences.

Grand Hotel Mildura

Pizza Cafe is one of our favourite family restaurants in Mildura. It offers wood-fired pizzas, pasta and salads at a reasonable price point. The pizzas are superb and the staff are friendly and helpful, providing paper and crayons even on a busy day. High chairs available.

Grand Hotel, Seventh Street, Mildura

Note there's not a lot of kid-focused eating simply because children are welcome everywhere. Most cafes have high chairs and kids menus.

Erika Jonsson is a communications specialist, former journalist and mother of two boys aged 5 and 9 years old. She lives in inner-city Melbourne and loves running, travel, cooking and reading.

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