3 Dec 2021
Wyld Family Travel are a travelling family of four who recently enjoyed a nine-day family staycation in some of Victoria's favourite destinations.
Used to travelling the world together, by the time they decided to explore central and northeast Victoria, the Wyld Family had not been outside of their home state for close to 2 years!
Bringing their two teenage daughters with them, Willow and Marley, husband and wife team Mark and Bec treated the family to three nights fully self-contained cabin accommodation at Discovery Parks in Nagambie Lakes, Lake Hume, and Bright.
Here's what happened...
"We had 3 nights planned at Discovery Parks - Nagambie Lakes, and booked a Deluxe Cabin right on the water’s edge. At only 138 kilometres north of Melbourne, this is an ideal place to start any Victorian adventure on a Friday night after work.
Our Lakeside Deluxe Cabin had 3 bedrooms, which was just right. This meant our teenage daughters could both have their own room, leaving the third for us parents. Separate bedrooms allowed all of us to have our own space, and anyone who travels with teenagers will know how important that is for them!
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The cabins felt a bit like a home away from home, with couches, flatscreens TV's, a kitchen and air conditioning included. After settling in early on the first night we were all up early the next morning, deciding to cook egg and bacon toasties while we planned our day exploring Nagambie.
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Things to see and do near Discovery Parks - Nagambie Lakes
Having teenagers, we were able to incorporate visits to wineries and historic sites with having some fun around the park during our stay. Some of the things we did in the local area were:
Not far from the park, Tahbilk Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Victoria. It offers amazing cellar door tastings and a world-class food experience at its restaurant that overlooks the Tahblik wetlands.
For our teenagers, it was an adventure visiting the underground wine caves and the historic buildings throughout the property.
This can easily be added to the trip to Whroo. At 310m long, Kirwan's Bridge is the longest in Victoria. Built in 1890, its remarkable that it’s still standing. Both our girls found it amazing as they’ve rarely been over a bridge quite like it, especially in Australia.
Whroo Cemetary and Balacalava Goldmines
Also just a short drive from the park, both of these attractions are a look back in time at the history of the area. As Nagambie was once a mining area, people worked hard and died young here during colonial times.
The mining area is visible from elevated viewing platforms, while a reflective walk around the cemetery brings into focus how hard life was for people living here at this time.
This is a great place to have lunch, whether it be a short picnic or full on BBQ.
The weir wall is an amazing site at one of the oldest dams in Victoria, and there is a huge grassed area perfect for picnics, ball games and relaxation.
Besides the above things to do in Nagambie we also recommend a trip to Mitchelton Winery, The Black Caviar statue in Nagambie town, The Avenal Cemetary where you will find Ned Kelly’s father’s grave, and the Victoria Cross memorial at nearby Euroa.
Facilities at Discovery Parks - Nagambie Lakes
We wanted to spend some time in the park because the park has some great facilities on offer. The first thing that impressed us about Nagambie Lakes was the onsite Cafe thatr made being able to grab a coffee there each morning part of our daily routine.
The park itself is also full of facilities to keep kids happy including a Swimming Pool, Bicycle Pump Track, Tennis Courts and more!
For families who are into water sports such as skiing, fishing or kayaking, then a Deluxe or Superior Cabin is an amazing option.
All of the cabins sit right near the water’s edge, and you can park your boat, kayak or paddleboard directly in front of your deck. We even saw our neighbours catching smallcrayfish from the lake just a few metres away. Incredible!
As a rule, we usually try to make use of park facilities such as Camp Kitchens whenever we stay in parks. While there certainly was one available at Nagambie Lakes, we made the decision to cook in our cabin, so we could eat on the deck and admire the view of Lake Nagambie.
Read Also: 6 Things to do in Nagambie Lakes
The Goulburn Explorer at Discovery Parks - Nagambie Lakes
One of the most popular attractions in Nagambie Lakes is the Goulburn Explorer. The Goulburn Explorer is a riverboat with indoor seating and a roof top deck where people can book a 2 hour cruise on Nagambie Lake.
Friendly onboard staff will keep you informed about the wildlife that calls the area home, while you can also enjoy a drink from the onboard bar. Owned and operated by Discovery Parks, the Goulburn Explorer can be booked from the park office.
After we'd finished this final part of our trip, our 3 nights at Nagambie came to an all-too quick an end. For us it was time to pack and head to Lake Hume near Wodonga.
Nagambie to Wodonga Road Trip
The trip from Nagambie to Wodonga is around 2 hours if you travel directly, but because we were on holiday there were a few special sites we wanted to explore along the way.
The North East Silo Art Trail
Easily accessible on the trip from Nagambie to Lake Hume. the towns of Goorambat, Devenish, St James and Tungamah make up the trail and feature several mesmerising artworks on Grain Corp Silos. Not to be missed on any great Victorian road trip.
At Goorambat the Diggers Wife Cafe is a great place for a coffee and a slice. The pub at Devenish is a great spot for a cold drink but don't forget to check out the old bowsers for some seriously low petrol prices. Another pub with great views exists at St James, while at Tungamah a small milk bar that sells food is surrounded by roses, which were in full bloom when we were there!
Arriving at Discovery Park - Lake Hume in Victoria (there is also a Discovery Park Lake Hume in New South Wales), you get the feeling of arriving in the tropics, with palm trees growing everywhere.
We checked in quickly and headed to our Superior 2 Bedroom cabin that included our own private deck overlooking the lake and pool area. Once again the cabin had everything you'd expect from a Discovery Parks including a microwave, couches, dining table, dishwashing liquid and more!
Because everything is done for you, arriving here confirmed to us that you really only have to bring yourselves and your own food when you stay in this type of accommodation at a Discovery Park.
Things to see and do near Discovery Parks - Lake Hume
Lake Hume Weir
Only a 5-minute drive from the park is the impressive Lake Hume Dam Wall. Walk across the wall and admire the views of the Murray River, which flows downstream from here. Nearby is a popular picnic area, public toilets and some heritage items on display.
Rutherglen is another town in the middle of the Victorian wine region with several outstanding colonial-style buildings still standing. Visit De Bortoli cellar door, buy a pie from the award-winning Parkers pies and pick up some meat for a BBQ dinner at Rutherglen Butchery. Our kids loved the Rutherglen lolly shop!
This is what I would call a niche attraction and one that is not well known except among locals.
It was the helpful staff at the park who told us about the last operating Murray River ferry in this region called the Wymah Ferry. It's still free, you can drive your car on to it and cross the river into New South Wales!
This is truly a town where time has stood still. The main street looks the same as it did 100 years ago and you can visit the Chiltern lockup by asking for the keys at the tourist information center. Australia’s oldest grapevine and the historical Federal printing press are also here. This was a fun little afternoon for all of us. Just out of town is the famous Magenta mine in Mt Pilot National Park.
In addition to the above, be sure you see the Bonegilla Migrant Experience. If your kids are into bikes the nearby Hunchback Mountain Bike Park is also good, and the Huon Hill Lookout is on your way there. Wodonga also has a great shopping area with supermarkets and department stores for those seeking some retail therapy close to Lake Hume.
Facilities at the Discovery Parks - Lake Hume
Lake Hume Discovery Park is the Rolls Royce of holiday parks. With so much to do onsite we could have stayed there for 3 days and never left!
The sun was out during our stay so we were able to use the pool area which also features a spa big enough for 8 people.
The park hires out bikes and kayaks, so we grabbed 2 kayaks and hit Lake Hume for a paddle. This was great fun and now has us planning to buy two of our own!
The park also has a full-size tennis court, games room, trampoline, jumping pillow and more!
One of our favourite features was the rotunda on the shores of Lake Hume just near our cabin. It was a mix of camp kitchen and communal area featuring couches, a fireplace, oven and dishwashing facilities, while just outside our door were BBQs and picnic tables.
Park cooking facilities were everywhere, with BBQs scattered around the park. It was great to be able to cook so close to our cabin, bring the food back hot, and enjoy a family meal on the deck!
Another thing that makes holiday parks easy is washing facilities. Unlike hotels where you pay a fortune for clothes to be laundered, Discovery Parks makes it easy with washing machines and dryers that can be used for a few dollars. Anyone with teenagers knows that they go through clothes pretty quickly, so this is always a god-send!
Lake Hume to Bright
Lake Hume and Bright are only 100 kilometres apart. Explorers like ourselves always enjoy seeing more so our first stop on the road was Yakandnda, another beautiful heritage town of the northeast region.
There we stopped at Gum Tree Pies which came highly recommended, and I can confirm that the Lamb and mint jelly pie was to die for. A short walk along the street will also reveal a number of local boutiques as well as a brewery!
After these stops we headed towards Beechworth where the Woolshed Waterfalls is a must-do before entering the town.
Beechworth itself has a long history with Ned Kelly and gold. The main street is lined with heritage buildings and museums, while the popular Billson’s Distillery is a must-see for its tasty cordials and pre-mixed vodkas and more.
Billson’s was a great for a our girls teens as you could try any of their famous cordials at the tasting bar, then wander the cellar cave before watching them make and package the products!
Arriving at Bright you are surrounded by trees that fill an amazing valley about 10 kilometres from town. The sound of the nearby Ovens River was both relaxing and welcoming as we pulled up to our Superior 3 Bedroom Cabin.
The area of the park we stayed in was so peaceful with the sound of birds and shady trees shedding their Autumn flowers when we were there. This cabin had all the essentials once again, with milk and coffee for your first cuppa, while the bathroom was much like a hotel with soaps and body wash available for your stay.
One modern convenience that the Bright cabin had over the others were USB sockets which came in handy to charge some devices!
Things to see and do near Discovery Parks - Bright
Mount Buffalo National Park
This is a must-do at just under an hour from the park via a scenic windy road with waterfalls and lookouts over the mountains. The Mount Buffalo Chalet is an historic building from 1910 that still draws visitors to appreciate its grandeur. Even the car park has some amazing lookouts with picnic facilities and walking trails that lead to Alpine lakes and forests.
A similar distance from the park via the town of Mount Beauty on the road to Falls Creek. Bogong Village is owned by AGL which operate the nearby hydroelectric station. Outside the snow season, the town is near deserted save for day trippers who enjoy the scenic alpine lifestyle.
This shiny new establishment brews traditional and seasonal beers to suit all tastes. With everything from Draught lagers to Mandarin Milkshakes, the outdoor seating makes this a popular destination for a bite to eat and a few drinks. A tasting paddle is highly recommended as it gives you a decent sample of a range of their beers!
Ever since it became home to Mystic Mountain Bike Park and the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, Bright has become known as the biking capital of Victoria. Family-friendly trails include the Bright to Wandiligong, and Bright to Porpunkah trails, and there are plenty of alpine walking tracks to pursue.
In addition, you can find water parks throughout Bright to keep cool in during the warmer weather. Nearby riverbeds are popular for people who enjoy panning or metal detecting.
The surrounding towns of Harrietville and Myrtleford are worth seeing and a trip to the top of Mount Hotham is an experience you won't forget. Ringer Reef is a nearby winery which serves a mean tapas platter, while Nightingale Brothers Alpine Produce sells all kinds of jams, spreads, apple juices, ciders and other artisanal treats.
Facilities at Discovery Parks - Bright
Discovery Parks - Bright has a number of cool features, such as a purpose-built ramp that leads into the Ovens River.
The park also has a swimming pool, a games room, half-court tennis and basketball courts for the kids. There are two large camp kitchen areas that we used during our stay, and both have hotplates and washing facilities.
The largest area in the middle of the park has a herb garden, fire pit, a communal stove, TV, fridge for campers and ceiling fans. The park often brings in singers on the weekends to perform here - something we had never seen inside a holiday park!
On the weekends the park opens the Coffee Burgh, which comes with a quality barista to make all your coffee dreams come true!
For those who love to travel with dogs, the park also has a dog-washing bath, which is proof of the lengths the Discovery staff go to cater for their guests.
The Great Victorian Staycation
Our 9 days of Great Victorian Staycation came and went so fast that we left each park wishing for more time!
Staying with Discovery Parks made our road trip not only easier and less expensive, but more fun, especially with the range of facilities and activities available to holidaymakers like us!"